Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
Do you know who they are?
Maybe this will help, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Better now? Anyone who has been around church any amount of time, or at least perused the Bible has heard or read the telling of these three young men being thrown into the fiery furnace and how God delivered them completely. It was such a miraculous salvation that the wicked pagan King Nebuchadnezzar declared,
“Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” Daniel 3:29
Why were they thrown into the furnace in the first place? They refused to betray God by conforming to the ways of the world. The king demanded they worship a false god by bowing before a great image of gold he had erected, and all the people did, except these three. Why? Because they REALLY feared and served God.
You say, well they could have bowed and just prayed to God, right?
NO! For them to have bowed would have been an act of conforming to this world, and scripture tells us to not be conformed to this world. In fact James goes so far as to say do not even be friends with the world, its systems, it politics, its morality (or lack thereof):
“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4
Why am I writing this? What has spurred this on?
Today many people declare themselves to be Christians; followers of Christ, servants of God… all the while they are bowing to the golden statue, professing to fear and serve the One True Living God whilst they are conforming to the wishes of the king and the people. I declare that every single one of you who call yourself a Christian yet align yourself to a politician, a cause, or an agenda that supports an anti-Biblical world-view are either a liar or deceived, and you are an enemy of God.
I can hear the cries; I pray! I go to church on Sundays! And yet you support politicians who stand on platforms that do not even attempt to act as if they would align themselves rightly with Scripture, with the Word of God. You celebrate and support immoral lifestyles and activities watching as their proponents promote agendas that are ripping apart the very moral fabric binding this country and its people to the One True God. You ARE bowing.
True Christians, true followers of Christ Jesus CANNOT bow.
King Nebuchadnzzar’s proclamation tells us why the young men could not bow and secretly pray to the True God… “Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God“. It took their public refusal to not bow, in effect saying we will not deny the True God by aligning ourselves to this evil, and it doesn’t matter if God deliver us or not;
“… but if not be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel 3:18
Had they just went ahead and bowed there would have been no witness that God is True, that He is Mighty, that He is REAL! Had they just cowered down and bowed, the people, nations, languages could have kept on speaking against the True God.
How do the people, nations, languages speak of the True God today? Is He allowed in our schools? Public places? Is His Name praised or vilified? What do you hear more often, His Name honored or profaned? Do you speak up for or against either?
Just as it was then, so it is now- If you would not bow then, you would be signaled out as a troublemaker or a wicked rebellious person; to be punished. To not bow now, you are a hater, a bigot, a troublemaker, an infidel…
Yet if we refuse to bow, then a way is made for the proclamation to not speak against the One True God to be given. Just as then it matters not if He delivers us immediately, what truly matters is that He be honored.
Again I ask, How do the people, nations, languages around you, in your sphere of influence speak of the True God today?
Any bowing going on?