Daniel 3: 1-15
In the passage, the king erected a huge golden statue in Babylon - nine feet wide and ninety feet high. When the band began to play for the ceremonial dedication, everyone who heard it fell on their faces, except Daniel’s three friends—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
When the King gave them one last chance to change their mind, the three friends did not presume to tell him what God would do because they did not know. The point was to obey God no matter what. No matter if they died. No matter if anyone ever knew they were right.
Perhaps, none of us imagine that what this kind of world may look like, the world in which we may be tortured and killed because of our faith.
If we were born in those days, are we be able to make any kinds of sacrifices for God and our belief? It would be a lot easier for us if we would have a real enemy like the king Nebuchadnezzar to say “no” to.
Isn’t it true that we have been living in Babylon for so long, so that we may lose our capability to recognize the current golden images around us because those do not seem like gods anymore? Most of us may face all kinds of golden statues that become much more subtly a part of our lives.
What today’s passage tells us about is that the golden statue can be everything that we love more than God from the one that is visible to the one that is invisible--money? power? position? pride? ego? prejudice? self-righteousness?
The name of a false god and the image of a golden statue does not matter. What matters is the ones who have set it up, who have worshipped it, and who have bowed down to it.
In today’s passage, there are two gods. One is nine feet wide and ninety feet high, located safely outside the furnace, worshipped by many people with a huge band. The other is the one, which is invisible located inside the furnace, walking with the three friends through the midst of the fire within the furnace.
It is our job and will be a life-long process to check again and again about which God we are worshipping now.
Let’s keep refusing to bow to a false god even if we might lose everything.
Let’s keep standing tall even if many people lay face down in the ground to worship the golden statue.
Let’s keep obeying God no matter what.