Continuing with our series ‘The blessings of God’s presence’, we look at the story of three young men in a foreign land who refused to compromise their beliefs and conviction, and as a result were able to significantly influence a powerful king and the course of the history of that nation.
In Daniel chapter 3, we read that King Nebuchadnezzar made a ninety feet tall gold statue. He then proceeded to issue a decree that at the sound of the various musical instruments, all people, regardless of nationality, religion or language, must bow down and worship the image. However there were three young men of Jewish descent, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who occupied prominent positions in governmental structure of the Babylonian kingdom that refused to obey the decree. They objected to doing obeisance to the statue that the king had erected. The penalty for their refusal was that they were bound and thrown into a fiery furnace. The flames were so hot that the soldiers who threw the men in were themselves killed.
Suddenly and dramatically the king and those around him could see that there were not three men in the furnace but four. Along with the fourth man, the three young men were no longer bound; they were walking around in the fire, totally unharmed. Not a single hair on each of their head was singed and their clothes were not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke. The king was amazed. Everyone crowded around to see. The heathen king gave a shout of praise to God, the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. As a result, the king promoted the men to even higher positions in his kingdom.
What this story clearly shows, among many others, is that the presence of God makes a difference. God’s presence is most felt when you stand strong in our conviction and commitment to God. As you take your stance, refuse to bow threats, intimidation or blandishments, resist the pressure to yield to ‘foreign’ gods and modern idols; God will deliver you.
Today more than ever, Christians in the world, especially in the countries of the western hemisphere, are coming under huge pressure to bow to the many foreign gods of post-modernism, in many instances driven by government legislation. Let me encourage you to remain resolute and faithful; bowing only to the true and living God. He will vindicate you. However, God goes beyond vindication; His presence also brings promotion. As He did for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, He will do for you.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2014©
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