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Sticking Your Head in the Fire!


“Everybody’s doing it so why can’t I!” It was a plea from my heart to my Granny, with whom I was staying at the time. I can’t actually remember what it was that I had been forbidden from doing, but I well remember my Granny’s argument in not allowing me to do it! She said, “So then, if everybody else stuck their head in the fire, would you do it too?” It was an argument for which I’d no answer!

Nowadays, when I remember her wisdom, it reminds me of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, the three Hebrew youths who were living in Babylon during the reign of Nebuchnezzar. They were so determined to live in a God-pleasing manner in their society, that they were prepared to die rather than to compromise their faith in God.

What had happened was that the king had some rather jealous advisors, who were less than pleased that these Jewish youths were gaining more prominence at the King’s court than they had. So they concocted a clever plan. Knowing that the three young men had a living faith in the One True God, they persuaded the king to erect a statue of himself on the Plains of Dura, and to call all the people to come to the plain. When the King’s musicians began to play, the whole of the king’s subjects were to bow down and worship the idol.

The day came, the idol was standing proud on the plain, and the king’s praise-band was assembled. At the sound of the music everyone fell to the ground, except the three Hebrews, who refused to do what everybody else was doing, because God had commanded them to worship him and him alone!

That’s often what it is like, being a Christian in modern society! A Christian does not just automatically do what everyone else does, because his first desire is to please his Lord, the One who loved Him and gave Himself for him at the Cross. Paul, writing to the Roman believers said, Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. In fact one Christian author described being a Christian as living in a ‘counter culture.’ Hard as that may be, there is great reward for the believer in Christ, who remains faithful to God and to His Word.

The three Hebrew youths were arrested for their insubordination, were condemned to die, and were thrown into a blazing furnace. But God always honours those who honour him! Even in the flames of the furnace, the Lord was with the young men, and he preserved their lives! Oh that men and women would trust Him, and would walk with Him, and would live for Him, and would experience His saving and keeping grace!

From → Evangelism

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