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Humble Confidence in the Trial

But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. Daniel 3:18

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood before Nebuchadnezzar with their lives in the balance. Nebuchadnezzar was infuriated with their refusal to bow to his idol, yet he had given them another chance to give in to his demands. 

These three men had no promise from God that they would be delivered from the capital punishment they were facing. They knew that God could rescue them. They knew He was fully capable. However, they did not know if He would.

They had a choice before them. Would they give in to Nebuchadnezzar in order to save their lives and earn the temporary favor of the king? Or would they stand up for the True King?

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not waiver; they boldly proclaimed that they would not bow to the idol. There was nothing that Nebuchadnezzar could threaten that would change their minds. Their faith was not dependent upon what would happen to them. Their faith was not reliant upon whether or not they were rescued from the furnace. 

Why were they so confident? How could they face Nebuchadnezzar with humility and confidence knowing they would likely die? They were able to respond with confidence and conviction because they had already made the decision to follow God regardless of the circumstance. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were brought into captivity along with Daniel, they took a stand. They stood with Daniel, who purposed not to defile himself with the king’s food (Daniel 1.9). They started with something that was seemingly a small issue—the food they ate. However, to them it was not a small issue. They could not eat the king’s food in good conscience. They took a stand to honor God, and God honored them. This was not even the first time that these men had faced imminent death at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. In Daniel chapter 2 we see that all the wise men should be killed because no one had revealed and interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Together with Daniel, these men prayed to God and sought His mercy and help (Daniel 2:17-18). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the practice of standing for God and seeking Him for help. They had purposed long ago to not defile themselves, to not give in to this pagan king. The decisions they made and the steps of obedience they had taken up to this point allowed them to stand face to face with the king and confidently stand for God. Their confidence was not in the fact that they thought they would rescued. Their confidence was in God and the fact that their obedience would honor Him whether they lived or died. They knew first hand that God could miraculously deliver them as He had before. But they also knew that God is honored by those who give their lives for His glory.

These 3 men showed incredible faith. They were willing to die to honor God. They didn’t pray to God and say, “If You rescue us then we will honor You.” They were able to boldly say that they would honor God in either life or death. They grew to this point by taking small steps of faith and faithfully following God. We saw the same thing in David’s life last week. The Lord delivered David from smaller foes when he was a shepherd. David grew in his faith and confidence in the Lord. God used his small steps of obedience to prepare him to face Goliath. The same God used the small steps of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to bring them to the point where they were able to stand for God while facing death.

Humble confidence grows as we take small steps of loving obedience. May we take small steps of faith today.

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