“Courage to Stand” Pt 7:
Yesterday you were reminded of the “Courage to Stand” illustrated by the three Hebrews (Daniel 3) as they refused to bow in worship of a golden statue. They did this knowing their punishment could be a painful death when Babylonian soldiers would throw them into a fiery furnace as ordered by King Nebuchadnezzar. I say “Could be painful death,” as they told the king, “We do not need to defend ourselves, for our God will rescue us, and if He doesn’t, you can be sure we will never serve your gods or worship your golden statue” (3:16-18). Of course God protected and saved them without a single hair on their head being singed.
Do you have the “Courage to Stand,” in faithfulness and loyalty to the God you claim to love and serve in our day of anger and hostility? Do you have the “Courage to Stand” in a day when our religious and spiritual liberties are being threatened? If we don’t stand for God, holiness and doing the right things, what will our children and grandchildren have to deal with in days to come? The Bible says, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT). Daniel was such a man. He’s a spiritual role model teaching us the value of not surrendering to the evil tactics or threats of wrong doers. Let’s grab a thought from Daniel chapter six today and continue with more tomorrow.
The Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar has died, his successor Belshazzar, was killed and replaced by Darius the Mede (5:30). At this time Daniel had become the third highest ruler in the kingdom. We mustn’t forget that he was a young teenager taken hostage when Nebuchadnezzar and his armies defeated Jerusalem years before. Daniel was one of the young people taught and trained to forsake all his Jewish traditions and lifestyle to become a true Babylonian. Raised in a nation that worshipped many false gods, the king and Babylonian leaders believed in time Daniel would forget, or at least denounce faith in his personal God. Darius divided the kingdom into 120 provinces with 3 administrators supervising them. Daniel, now 80 years of age, was one of the administrators. How could a Godly man, raised in a non-Christian land, working for a non-Christian king receive such an honor? Without compromising his convictions, Daniel became a leader because “He possessed an extraordinary spirit,” (verse 3a – emphasis added). In other words, Daniel was a man of INTEGRITY! When faced with adversity and temptation, do you have the “Courage to Stand” and do the right thing? God always BLESSES righteousness. God always HATES wrong.