Character Quality: Bold
Character Quality: Bold
The image towered.
The order resounded.
The crowd hushed.
The music played.
And the masses compliantly obeyed. Knees knelt in submission to the king’s edict.
But three stood.
A collective gasp reverberated though the masses. Some nearby even urged them to kneel. Some insisted. But they did not yield. They did not acquiesce. They did not conform. They stood firm, not arrogantly as the king assumed, but humbly in honor of their God.
The king was enraged. Who were these three men that they would dare defy his order? Who did they think they were? Mad with anger, he ordered extreme punishment. They had challenged his authority directly and embarrassed him in front of the people, nobles and officials.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego kept their cool. They did not panic. In calm voices they answered the king’s questions. Their peacefulness only further infuriated the king. He acted rashly, sacrificing two of his own in the process as he had the fire stoked. Not even this threat—hot as it was—swayed them. “Our God is able,” they said confidently, calmly, convincingly.
The Bible says they were bound and thrown in and yet they continued to stand. In fact, as Nebuchadnezzar noticed when he was looking in, there were not just three, but four men in the furnace. They were walking about, unbound, as if they were not in a furnace. The king was astonished and called them out: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego!”
Upon coming out, no evidence was found that the three had been in the furnace. No smoke. No singe. No scorch. Nothing. Nebuchadnezzar saw and was amazed. He converted. Now he knew he wasn’t worthy of worship, but the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego was certainly deserving of such honor.
Boldness is standing firm for God in the face of opposition and/or danger. These three young men faced both. Yet they stood their ground, faced the king and his punishment, and walked with God, all in the same day. In this instance the Bible tells us that king Nebuchadnezzar could actually see the ‘fourth’ man in the furnace. We cannot always see the Jesus with our eyes when we are in our furnace, but we can know that He always stands with us!
We need to raise children who will dare to be bold, dare to stand up when everyone else is kneeling, dare to calmly answer rage, dare to confidently say that God is able even when the fire rages. We need a generation who will dare to walk with Jesus and dare to testify to His goodness with their lives.
I love the quote from Jim Elliott:
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”