Daily Devotion Tuesday July 18, 2017
“We do not need to defend ourselves in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set.”
The undivided allegiance portrayed by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego at king Nebuchadnezzar’s palace should be able to teach us a great lesson: to remain true to the Lord Jesus Christ at ALL times. Sometimes our faith is more of lip service that it barely stands when we are faced by certain circumstances. This is true to many Christians of our era; pastors, bishops, apostles, evangelists, etc. are not exempt.
A story is told of a congregation that denied the Lord Jesus after they were stormed by a gang of robbers while in an overnight prayer. It is said that a congregation of faithful men and women, Holy Ghost filled who spoke in tongues for several hours were suddenly interrupted by a group of six armed men. The armed men looked very dreadful, they looked ready to kill. They ordered everyone to move to the back of the church, insulted at these men and women and ridiculed their God. They gave an option for these Christians to either denounce their faith and live or profess God and be killed.
They asked all those who were willing to denounce their faith to move forward. One by one all the men and women moved forward except the pastor and an elderly woman. The armed men went ahead to give a countdown from three to zero for the two (the pastor and the elderly woman) to make their final decision. Before the countdown could reach one, only the old lady was left with an undivided allegiance, she wasn’t willing to denounce her faith, she was ready to die than to denounce Christ.
- Related: I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb
This was like what happened to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They refused to worship the gods of Babylon and the golden image that king Nebuchadnezzar had erected. The king had ordered that: “Whoever does not fall down and worship [the image of gold] will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace” (Dan. 3:6). These three young Jewish men decided not to obey the kings order, to bow down before the king’s self-made god. Of the three was this report:
“But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up” (Dan. 3:12).
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not merely trying to set themselves against king Nebuchadnezzar, they were being true to the LORD their God, they wanted to remain true to God in heaven with an undivided allegiance. So, Nebuchadnezzar was very furious that these young men wouldn’t obey his orders. He summoned the three; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to appear in his courts to inquire whether they really did not obey his orders. He read to these men the penalty for not obeying this command, which was to “be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace.” In their response, the three Jews confirmed their unwillingness to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. They said;
“We do not need to defend ourselves in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set” (Dan. 3:16-18).
This even made the king more furious, he ordered for the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual to get rid of these men who worshipped God. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego wouldn’t renounce their God, they were thrown into the blazing furnace. This story always reminds me of the persecutions the early church faced. It reminds me of how Stephen, probably the first martyr was stoned to death without renouncing his faith. It reminds me of how James, the brother of John was killed by Herod for his faith in Christ. It reminds me of how Saul who persecuted the followers of The Way suffered for Christ after his conversion.
Ray Bolts couldn’t have put it in better words in his song I Pledge Allegiance than to write:
I have heard how Christians long ago
Were brought before a tyrant’s throne
They were told that he would spare their lives
If they would renounce the name of Christ
But one by one they chose to die
The Son of God they would not deny
Like a great angelic choir sings
I can almost hear their voices ring
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
With all my strength, with all I am I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
Dear friends, let it be known to us that “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer). Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who wouldn’t let their allegiance divided even at the cost of their lives, like the Christians long ago who when brought before a tyrant’s throne wouldn’t renounce their faith, let us stand up with an undivided allegiance to Christ. We must remain true to Christ even in the face of an impending persecution. The motivation for our undivided allegiance is that no one can separate us from the Love Christ has for us.
In his encouragement to the Christians in Rome, Paul asked; “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” The apostle answered the above questions this way;
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35, 37-39).
We are being called to an undivided allegiance to Christ. We shouldn’t be shaken by circumstances to the extent of letting our allegiance to Christ go or trying to serve two masters at ago. It doesn’t work that way. We must therefore remain with an undivided allegiance even if we are faced with troubles, persecutions and other forms of suffering. Let us pledge our allegiance to Christ the Lamb of God. Amen! Rev. J
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture Quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV) 2011.
Rev. Julius Izza Tabi is the founding Director of this online New Dawn Ministries. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues from the Norwegian School of Theology. Julius also is a pastor in the Anglican Diocese of Ma’di and West Nile of the Church of Uganda who believes that God’s timeless truth of salvation must be preached to all Nations. Help Donate here to support the New Dawn Ministries. You can also support this ministry by purchasing Julius’ popular books Triumphing Over Odds and Suffering and Pain? from Amazon. Thank you.