In the Book of Daniel, we read where Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar built a gold statue and ordered his officials to worship it or be thrown into a furnace. Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego — three Israelites brought to Babylon from the conquered Judah — refused to bow. Nebuchadnezzar gave the men another chance to bow to the statue and live, but Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego still refused, answering, “The God we serve is able to save us … but even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods” (Daniel 3:17,18).
Why could they be so bold? How could they dismiss the king’s offer of life?
Because God had already set before them life and death, and they knew His life was true life, and the death He spoke of us was true death.
Before the Israelites ever entered the Promised Land, Moses had told them: “See I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws. … For the Lord is your life” (Deut. 30:15, 16, 20).
Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego could confidently refuse Nebuchadnezzar’s offer of life because they had a much greater offer, an offer of life straight from God.
In our lives, we may not face a choice like the one Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego faced, but we, too, must decide if we will trust God’s offer for life. Jesus said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:24,25).
Your Turn: Is the Lord your life? What does that mean to you?