Last week (while my net was down) I was reading through the book of Daniel. I find it really helpful to write up some thoughts on things that I’ve learnt – it helps me to distill what I’ve been learning and need to remember and keep working on.
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
I love the almost of reckless abandon and faith Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego show here. Despite that, I can’t help but wonder… where is Daniel? Less than a chapter ago, king Nebuchadnezzar fell at Daniels feet in worship, and declared his (Daniels) God, YHWY, to be THE God. Seven verses later Nebuchadnezzar has the whole peoples bowing down to worship a 90-feet tall golden statue.
Sorry… huh?!? Did you catch that? In seven verses we go from declaring YHWH to be the greatest God, to worshiping a big hunk of metal.
In between these two events, the king made Daniel ruler over all of Babylon. This is the context we are in leading up to this verse.
YHWH acknowledged as greatest.
Daniel made ruler.
Everyone worshiping a gold statue.
In step Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, threatened with being thrown into a blazing furnace.
Their courage and tenacity inspire me to strive for more in my life. I do not have to live the way the world lives. I do not have to value the things the world values. I do not have to spend all my time, money, and effort striving after the elusive “American dream” (UK dream).
I am free to chase after God.
“Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.”