Proverbs 19

Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king,  and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?  Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” (Daniel 3:13-16)

Bow down to the golden idol or be thrown into a blazing furnace? Put yourself in their place- can you even begin to imagine? You know it isn’t a veiled threat- the threat is very real. The decision is yours- choose God or incinerate. I think they had to wonder “who will blame me if I just bend over and worship this gold idol to save my life- I’ll just pray to God while I’m doing it and the gesture will be meaningless, right?” Wrong.

What would their legacy be? Was their worship to God more than just a song? Between a rock and a hard place, literally in the hot seat, would everything that they say and do point to God or would they choose their own individual comfort and safety? Would they be sanctified, consecrated, set apart- would they live like His love is true? Saying that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked the walk is truly an understatement. I want to live like that.

Every hard duty that lies in your path, that you would rather not do, that it will cost you pain and struggle or sore effort to do, has a blessing in it. Not to do it, at whatever cost, is to miss the blessing.

Every hard piece of road on which you see the Master’s shoe-prints and along which He bids you follow Him, surely leads to blessing, which you cannot get if you cannot go over the steep, thorny path.

Every point of battle to which you come, where you must draw your sword and fight the enemy, has a possible victory which will prove a rich blessing to your life. Every heavy load that you are called to lift hides in itself some strange secret of strength. –J.R. Miller, Streams in the Desert

Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 26:1)

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