“But if you don’t worship it, you will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire – and who is the god who can rescue you from my power?” Daniel 3:15b HCSB
What would you do or say if you were asked the same question as asked of Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego by King Nebuchadnezzar? Would you fall down and worship the idols and ask God for forgiveness? Would you bow down but only pretend to worship the idols? Would you perhaps rationalize that you must obey the king or that you were in a foreign land and God would understand your requirement to worship other gods? Would you rationalize that your ancestors actually set up idols in God’s temple and that just bowing down to the idol would not cause harm? Would you conclude that worshiping idols was not offensive? Or would you believe that if you were killed you would not be able to have an influence in the culture and help the others who were exiled?
We all make excuses and rationalize why we sin and disobey God, but the bottom line is that God has provided us with guidelines on how to live and bring honor to Him and for us to have an abundant life. When we choose to disobey God and go against His laws, we are sinning and bringing dishonor to God. Our sins separate us from a Holy God. Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego could have rationalized why they should bow down and worship the idols, but they decided they would not violate God’s command in Exodus 20:3, “Do not worship any other gods besides me.”
Challenge: What excuses or rationales do you use when faced with a hard decision to follow God’s ways instead of the world’s ways? Pray for strength and wisdom as you take a stand for God and do what is right. Trust God to take care of you.