Chapter 21 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – servants of the Most High God
How well do you know the Ten Commandments? Do they mean anything to you today? In the book of Daniel, chapter 3, we get an amazing look at three young men who took the second commandment so seriously that they did not waver even in the face of a gruesomely painful death. I’m talking about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (When I was a child I memorized these names in this way: Shad-rack, Me-shack, and to bed we go.) These three young men were pals of Daniel, brought into slavery/servitude/exile with him. They were handsome and smart and spent three years being trained for the King Nebuchadnezzar’s service. They did not, however, succumb to any pagan indoctrination.
What is the second commandment? Answer: “You shall have no other gods before me.” King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold and commanded all the people to fall down and worship the image. The horrific consequence for those who did not worship this “god” was to be immediately thrown into a blazing furnace – the kind of furnace that they smelted metal in.
Our three guys held true to their beliefs. When they refused to worship the golden image the King was furious. He gave them a second chance, but reminded them of the fatal punishment. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied that their God, Jehovah, was able to save them. They added that even if God did not choose to save them, there was no way they would worship the King’s gods or golden images. Wow, way to sass your elders, boys. The king was so ticked off that he ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual. The strongest soldiers were to throw them into the blazing furnace. The furnace was so very hot that the soldiers died from the heat and our three boys, still tied up, fell into the furnace.
Would you go to that extreme? Would you face certain death rather than break trust with God? I hope so.
King Nebuchadnezzar got the shock of his life as he looked into the flames and saw the three men walking around in the fire! And there was a fourth man! And he looked like, in the King’s words, “a son of the gods”. The king was shaken, in fact he was more than shaken, he was instantly converted. He shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” And they did.
Next Saturday teen Salome