Victorious Faith

KEY VERSE: “Be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” —Daniel 3:18

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Daniel 3:14, 16-25

YEARS PASSED AFTER the narrative of our last study. King Nebuchadnezzar had advanced the four Hebrew captives to positions of honor and trust. We are not told what position Daniel (whose name had been changed to Belteshazzar) held at this time, but his three companions who had also been given new names, were made governors of Babylonian provinces.—Dan. 2:48,49

Today we learn that a victorious faith requires a clear understanding of to whom we belong, along with an unshakable belief that God’s way is the only way for us. When a royal decree requiring Nebuchadnezzar’s subjects to bow down to a golden statue confronted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they chose to risk death rather than commit the sin of idol worship. Nebuchadnezzar was understandably furious that his orders were disobeyed, yet he did show mercy by issuing an ultimatum to them to change their minds, to bow down to worship the image, and they would be spared. If not, they could expect to be thrown alive into the fiery furnace prepared to receive those who refused to bow down.—Dan. 3:14-18

Even when the king personally gave them this opportunity, they stood fast in their faith, and refused the king’s demand. Nebuchadnezzar was sure no god would be able to save anyone from death in this inferno. However, they insisted on serving their God no matter what the cost, fulfilling the first of the ten commandments of the Jewish Law: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”—Exod. 20:3

Although they were keenly aware of the punishment that awaited them, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, … if it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace.” (vss. 16,17) The king was furious, and they were bound and cast into the furnace, which had been heated seven times hotter than required! Although this would not make their death more grievous, it signified that the king considered it far more ignominious.

But glory to God! Their deliverance was illustrious! The king had once before seen evidence of the power of God. But now he intently watched the furnace, believing the young Hebrews who had such faith in God were very foolish. As he looked toward the furnace, to his utter astonishment, the king beheld four persons walking in the midst of the fire, unharmed! He went closer, saying, “Lo, I see four men … and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”—Dan. 3:25

What had he done? What should he do now? He called to the three, “Ye servants of the Most High God, come forth.” (vs. 26) They came out, unharmed, with not even the smell of scorching upon their clothing! The king acknowledged the miracle and praised God, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him. … Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.”—vss. 28,30

What a lesson this contains for us! All who defy the mandates of the world that they might worship none but the true and living God, can claim the promise, “Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”—Ps. 2:12

Dawn Bible Students Association
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