Stand Out

Posted: February 2, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

     In the third chapter of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold 90 feet high by 9 feet wide.  For the formal dedication of this great golden image, Nebuchadnezzar invited all of the officials of the kingdom.  What person in his right mind would refuse such an invitation?

     A herald moved through the crowd proclaiming the purpose of the meeting.  The king decreed, that when a musical signal was given, all people present were to fall down and worship the image. If one refused to bow down and pay homage, they would be cast into a furnace of fire.

      This may seem like a drastic measure, but it was not out of the norm for this king.  This is the king, that told the wise men, they would be torn limb from limb and their houses would be rubble, if they could not tell him what he had dreamed.  Earthly tyrants require absolute allegiance and virtual worship from their subjects.  Not even God coerces outward acts of submission to heavenly authority.

      Most who are present in the crowd that day, owe their position, prestige, and wealth to Nebuchadnezzar.  They were anxious to do anything to gain favor with the king no matter how eccentric the command may seem.  The instruments sounded and thousands fell in unison before the image.  Out of this vast crowd, three young men, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego stick out like a sore thumb.  They are the only ones standing in the crowd of people that are bowed.  They refuse to bow and pay homage to the image.

      Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego could have rationalized “the pressure is great, everybody else is doing it, what’s the harm”.  They did not attempt to rationalize.  In fact, they were going to do something very simple and counter cultural, they were going to stand up for their faith.  Many that call themselves Christian today, would have tried to blend into the crowd.  They would bow and reason in their mind  “everybody is doing it, we really don’t worship this image, but we want to stay on his good side”, not Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego.

      The excuse of the day is “everybody is doing it”.  The truth of the matter is that not everybody is doing it.  Everybody is not doing drugs, alcohol, illicit sex; everybody is not smoking, getting a divorce, going to the bars, lying and cheating to get ahead. Yes, you may have peer pressure but not everybody is doing it.  Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego made a decision not to compromise and they stood by that decision.  Social propriety meant nothing to them, peer pressure meant nothing to them, being God’s person meant everything to them.  Be like Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego; do not blend into the crowd, stand up and stand out.

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