(Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said) "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from your majesty's hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Daniel 3:17-18
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down to the idol King Nebuchadnezzar had set up in the plain.
It would have been interesting to listen in on their conversation, as they discussed what to do about the king's order, in view of the fact they would die if they refused to obey it.
If they were like most people today, their thoughts might have been the same as ours, if we had been put in their position. Today somebody might suggest they just go through the motions of bowing down. "After all," they would have reasoned, "our minds and spirits aren't in the image worship. God will know our hearts are pure." The temptation to compromise or run away must have been very real.
In contrast to that opinion would be to do what God expected, even though that would mean they were putting their lives on the line.
Scripture records the three decided to obey God rather than men.
Soon after Shadrach and company had made their decision, the horns, flutes, harps and zithers began to play. Immediately, men, women and children fell to their knees like a field of wheat being mowed down at harvest time. In the middle of the field, the three Jews stood tall. Knowing they were doomed, they worshiped God.
Peer pressure is generally considered to be negative. But, it also has a positive side.
In the case of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, peer support helped them stand firm in a life-threatening situation.
Solomon pointed out in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 that it is good to have a friend, who will stand with you and help you up when you fall down. Since friends can be so helpful in giving us the backbone we need to make godly decisions, we should work very hard at selecting the very best people to be our companions.
The example of these three should be an encouragement to us. They should lead us to choose friends who will apply positive peer pressure rather than negative. We should select friends who will move us closer to the Savior, not further away from the Lord who gave His life, so we might have life.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us choose good friends who will encourage us to be faithful to our Redeemer. This we ask in our Savior's Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by a Lutheran Hour Ministries' colleague: Ashraf Fekry of Cairo, Egypt. Fekry is studying to be a dentist and counts working with computers as a gift to praise the Lord.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries