When asked to pick something that stood out from the book of Daniel, I chose the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (collectively referred to as Shadmego, thanks Pastor Ryan). They defied the king in front of everyone at the probable cost of their lives. They took a stand out of obedience to scripture without assurance of God’s deliverance from the furnace. I absolutely love this story!

Shadmego had been quietly paying no attention to the king’s spiritual directives for some time. But when the king made his golden image and commanded everyone to bow down to it, the gig was up; these young men ended up being the only ones standing tall in Babylon. They chose to obey God over the king because they had faith in a vastly bigger God. They figured God would rescue them, but they didn’t know for sure, and they even said as much. Even so, they stepped out in faith and accepted the consequences, and respectfully declined to obey the king.

This is the true grit of faith, where the rubber meets the road, the very definition of awesome! The world has nothing on such faith. As we know, God rescues Shadmego spectacularly, making it abundantly clear to everyone that their faith was not misplaced. The king immediately folds, praises God, and orders that the people will not speak against Shadmego’s God. That’s our God! If such a time comes when God calls us to rebellious obedience, may we always respond by standing tall!

When we take that leap of faith we will never be alone. Shadmego was joined by an angel in the furnace, but we have an entire third of the Trinity with us at all times and he will empower us to make it through. Though unpleasant, we never need to fear the furnace. Even death, itself has lost its sting!

Jonathan Duncan

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