Stand Up, Speak Up

There are many issues today where believers in Christ will feel the need to stand up and speak up. I would suggest you may be compelled to stand up and speak up for the truth of God’s Word (The Bible), the abortion issue, LGBTQ+ issues, gender issues – any number of issues in the forefront of our society. I hope you do – thoughtfully and graciously – state your case on such important issues with conviction.

As encouragement in this area, let’s think back to a Bible story I recall being told in Children’s Ministry from my earliest memories. Daniel 3. King Nebuchadnezzar constructed a 90-foot high image of gold that was very elaborate. The King took the advice of those around him and mandated that all people bow down and worship this image that had been constructed. Many people complied. It’s doubtful that their hearts were filled with worship of the image. Instead, as many do today, they went along to get along. They found it easier to go with the flow. Certainly, they were motivated to not be immediately be thrown into the blazing furnace. As my Sunday School teachers years ago would speak about, “the hot, fiery furnace.”

Three Hebrew young men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, out of faithfulness to their God, refused to worship the image. They were turned in to King Nebuchadnezzar who was filled with fury at their disobedience. The King issued the choice: Worship the image or be immediately bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. Their response is recorded in Daniel 3:16-18: Shadrah, Meshach and Abednego replied to the King, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O King. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O King, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

They were thrown into the furnace, heated to seven times its normal temperature. Much to the amazement of the King and others, they saw four men walking around in the furnace. (The Lord was with them.) When they were brought out of the furnace, amazingly, the fire had not harmed their bodies, their hair was not singed, their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

I encourage you to stand up and speak out. One of the translations I have seen of Daniel 3:18 says, “But even if he does not, God is still good.” Obey God, stand up and speak out, and leave the consequences to him.

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