267. The Ultimatum

Daniel 3:15-16 MSG I’m giving you a second chance–but from now on, when the big band strikes up you must go to your knees and worship the statue I have made. If you don’t worship it, you will be pitched into a roaring furnace, no questions asked. Who is the god who can rescue you from my power?” (16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “Your threat means nothing to us.

When your boss or political leaders in your nation make a new law, regulation, or protocol that is directly opposed to what the Lord has established in His Word, what do you do? You may not be asked to bow down and worship a statue, but will you bow down to a statute? Lay down for a lie? Prostrate for a proclamation? When your boss asks you to fudge a few numbers on a report or stretch the truth on a statement, what will you do?

Although throwing people alive into flaming furnaces is a practice presently frowned upon in most of the free world, there are consequences that we will face if we don’t go along with the establishment. You could be passed over for promotion, lose benefits, be fired, potentially jailed or lose your 501c3 tax exempt status depending on how our government decides on some legislation presently and that will be before them in the future. What will you do when faced with very real, life changing, and fearful consequences? Life will present you with ultimatums; how will you decide?

Some choose the “flight” response and knuckle under to the fear and pressure, sacrificing their morals and uprooting their faith. Others choose to “fight” in response to the pressure and their fears forming protests and often lacing their opposition to the policy with hate and even threats or violence. Don’t get me wrong when our civil liberties are being taken away we should stand up and do something, but hate is not the answer. Thankfully we at least presently have a system of government that allows us to take legal action against unjust laws and the people still have a voice, although if we refrain from using that voice we won’t have it for long. Still, look at these young men’s response. They courageously submitted themselves to the present law of the land and its penalty, which was about to roast them alive, while respectfully declining to follow the ordinance.

These men were full of integrity and would not allow the fear of the fire to move them from doing what was right in the sight of God. They knew they were not to have any other gods besides Him and were to only worship the Lord God of Israel (Exodus 20). They chose to accept whatever the consequences of following God’s Word would be and they did it without malice or hatred toward the one imposing the command. How could they do such a thing? Their faith.

Daniel 3:17-18 MSG If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. (18) But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”

They knew God was more than able to deliver them. They also knew that if they perished in the flames they would be in Paradise. The ultimatum from the enemy was a win-win situation for them. Either God would miraculously deliver them or they would be delivered and set free from the bondage they were in as slaves. All they had to do was remember that and not allow fear to drive them away from God. Their faith in God allowed them to both follow His Word and submit themselves to the law of man boldly and without fear. May we be as bold.


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