Life is good. But did you know there is something even better? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego demonstrated this as they were confronted with their moment of truth. How would they fare in this test of character?
The Babylonian emperor, Nebuchadnezzar, created a 90’x9’ golden statue, commissioned a band to provide some music, and demanded that all of his subjects bow down and worship the image. If anyone refused to worship the image, he would be “fired” in a cast-iron furnace. When the music started playing, the people bowed to worship the statue en masse. But some of the emperor’s aides came to him and whispered that there were three men still standing: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
The three Jewish men were brought before the emperor and given a final chance to bow before the statue. Their words are notable:
O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
These words became a death sentence for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But they didn’t back down under the pressure. They didn’t compromise. Instead, they made it clear they would rather serve God and perish than live in disobedience. They believed obedience was better than life, and are remembered today as men of character.
Are you in a moral dilemma right now? You may be forced to make a decision that could mean the death of your dreams, a job promotion, friendship, or popularity. I pray you will choose to obey the Lord above all. It’s better than life.
You can never go wrong when you choose to obey Christ. — Unknown Author
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.