Read Daniel 3
I'm having a hard time getting my head around the situation recorded in Daniel 3. As Pastor Charles has reminded us, the Bible - all of it - is a record of real events involving real people.
So, imagining a ruler so evil that a "lesser consequence" for not following his commands is dismemberment; a lawmaker ordering everyone in his country to acknowledge and worship something false as true; and a discriminatory hatred that causes men to betray their fellow countrymen, even when the consequence are gruesome ... it's almost too much.
But, praise God, the faith of His people under the rule of such evil, deception, and hatred withstands this trial stronger than steel ... literally.
The bold and courageous, yet humble and respectful, young men didn't wake up the morning of the king's declaration and flippantly decide to declare their faith and trust God. I believe they had purposed in their hearts, many years prior, to worship God alone and remain committed to Him even when faced with easy, popular distractions. They KNEW their God, and He knew them.
So, as of today, we may not be commanded to worship false gods with the threat of torturous death; but, we should - dare I say "must" - heed the real life example of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's intentional faithfulness. Join with your GBC church family and purpose in your heart that Christ is Lord - for the glory of God - in your real life today!
Read Daniel 3