Our three guys saw this whole set up, the craziness of King Nebuchadnezzer’s plan, for what it was. They recognized that they were in a culture where they didn’t belong and they weren’t going to do what it took to belong. They may have been the “freshman” of society, but they had wisdom way past everyone else.
The police discovered our 3 guys; not that it would be hard seeing them standing while all are bowing. They reported Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to the king.
The Bible says, Neb was “furious with rage”, demanding the guys to be brought to him. This is when I think the 3 guys get really attractive; stand out among the rest. Listen to their response to King Neb, “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.”
King Neb comes back in verse 19, “Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace (the place where the fire was held) heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and these three men firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.”
Courage. Bravery. Fearlessness. Spunk. Grit. Guts. Lion-hearted. Confidence.
You name it. It is attractive in guys and it is attractive in girls.
Gathering research for the book, “For Women Only” Shaunti Feldhaun asked guys what was the one thing they found most attractive. You know the number one answer was?
It is what Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego had. It is what your girl can have too, when she makes up her mind about who she wants to be. When she stops fixating on “that guy” and starts focusing on The Guy – Jesus. When she gets beyond trying to figure what outfit will catch his eye, what hairstyle he likes or just how to get his attention.
When she becomes brave enough to be herself; to become the best God created her to be, she becomes magnetic. Others will want to know what is different about her.
The difference is Jesus.
I think these three guys had decided way before this fateful day, what kind of guys they were going to be. The courage they displayed didn’t just “come over them” when the fire of pressure was turned up. No, they had made up their minds a long time ago. They pre-decided who they were going to be and every day, through their choices, they were becoming those guys.
Maybe Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego had memorized these words from the Bible and they were deep within their hearts:
“No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life…I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous…be very strong and courageous. Be careful to obey…do not turn to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go….meditate on my law day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:5 – 9
I think the guys knew this part of the Bible. They listened and soaked their hearts it in. They allowed God’s word to get in them and form them into who they were.
So on this day, this day when Neb is calling all those who are “in” to do what it takes to stay “in”, the guys were ready. They had already decided who they were and what they were about.
It was now the time to live it out.
Were they scared? You better believe it!
Did they want to back down? I’m sure they did!
Did they wonder, “What is this about, God? Why are we going through this? I love you, live for you…why?”
I can only imagine what was going through their minds.
No matter what their feelings were, they didn’t let feelings call the shots. The guys followed God’s word and it determined who they were and who they were going to be….no matter what it cost them.
Time to talk: What type of situations have you found yourself in or continue to find yourself in, where you have a choice to stand up or blend in? What types of feelings do you feel inside? Are you ready to start allowing the Lord to call the shots in these areas?