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. ~Daniel 3:17-18
Steel is a very firm metal substance that is used in construction. The word “steel” is synonymous with strength, durability, and support. Someone with nerves of steel is someone who is not easily scared. Steel is a substance that can withstand intense weight and stress. This morning, we are looking at three young men who were unbendable as steel.
We see the unacceptable COMMAND.
King Nebuchadnezzar made a ninety-foot golden image of himself and made it a law that everyone in the kingdom had to bow to it. As soon as the people heard the music play, they were to bow to this monstrosity. All of his kingdom servants and representatives were to be the first to bow to this golden image. It did not matter what or who the people worshipped as long as they bowed and worshipped this king. The punishment for not bowing was to be cast into a fiery furnace to be burned alive. In a similar manner, we face pressures to bow to things or situations that seek to supplant the preeminence of Christ in our lives. There are educational, employment, entertainment, and ethical pressures that blow their horns and seek to get us to bow to them. Is there a pressure in your life that you are bowing to?
We see the unchangeable CONVICTION.
Everyone in the kingdom bowed to this golden image except for three men: Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. While everyone else bowed, these three men stood upright and lifted their eyes to the God of heaven. This did not sit well with their pagan peers or King Nebuchadnezzar. When they were confronted about their defiance and given a second chance to bow, they gave a bold and courageous answer. They said, “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.” They were confident in their hearts that if God wanted to, He would deliver them. However, if God did not deliver them, they determined out of conviction that they still would not bow. Three words underscore the depth of their conviction that they only worshipped the God of heaven: we will not! It did not matter if they lost their jobs, their status, or even their lives. They were men with nerves of steel and unchangeable in their conviction about God.
We see the unbelievable CONSEQUENCE.
Their conviction did not sit well with the king. He commanded the furnace to be heated up seven times hotter and that they be thrown in. However, when the king looked inside of the furnace, he was amazed to see that these men were not alone! There was a fourth man walking with them in the furnace and this man looked like the Son of Man! He commanded the three men to come out of the furnace, and he was further amazed that nothing on these men was burned and that the smell of fire was not on them. He saw that they were yielded in their bodies and spirit to the Lord. What a comfort for all of us when we consider the fiery trials we face! Jesus is with us every step of the trial! The flames and heat cannot hurt us! When we come through the furnace, the effects of the fire and smoke do nothing to our faith and trust in the Lord! Best of all, when we demonstrate faith in God through this, there is a spiritual promotion that awaits us for His glory.
Are you unbendable as steel in your conviction and faith about God? Will you stand when others bow? Will you be resolute when you are put to the test? Will you be unscathed when thrown into the fire?
Have an unbendable God Morning!