Ex 20:3-4 Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image...
The 3 Hebrews that were confronted with bowing before King Nebuchadnezzar's image knew these commandments from their childhood. Their convictions were not simply words they had memorized in school but part of themselves, part of their lives. They could no more bow down to that idol than they could change their eye color. They had convictions that God had etched on their hearts.
Where is that kind of conviction today? In a world full of chaos from our homes to our churches; convictions are passe to us, but they are not passe to God.
What are convictions, you might ask? They are simply the beliefs that you live for... beliefs that you would die for. You see, these core beliefs that God has etched in your heart should become an integral part of who you are... an inseparable part of your character. Standing for what you believe (I'm hearing a veggie tale song in my head right now... :) ) in will make you the person that God wants you to be as well as someone that others can look to as an example of Christlikeness.
You do realize that our story doesn't end there... Those 3 guys stood for what they believed, and they were rewarded. Yes, that's right... they were rewarded by being thrown into a kiln-like furnace that was heated with fire seven times it's usual temperature, bound by cords, and sentenced to death. Yet, God did not let them go alone. The Son of God was there with grace to liberate them in the fire. Their cords were burnt but their clothes and flesh untouched.
Seeing this miracle old Nebuchadnezzar called them out. These men amazingly didn't even smell like the smoky furnace they just came out of. God had so honored their stand for Him that He protected them in the fire.
Thus the message for us in this modern day is to stand for what God has etched in your heart. Nothing on your heart? No real beliefs that you stand for? Oh, dear friend...Jesus has made it possible for us to stand for something - by paying our debt of sin by His sacrifice of Himself on the cross. We are full of sin and cannot stand before a HOLY GOD. He was perfect, yet became sin on the cross in our stead so that we might be washed clean of our wickedness and presented perfect through Christ in the eyes of God. Believe in Him dear friend... and He will fill your heart full of things that you will want to stand for. You'll want to stand for Him because He stood for you... Amazing love... and then when you stand for Him... He'll be right there standing with you!
"God has a way of showing His grace to the world by walking beside us through the trials that we endure." ~D. Dickerson
King James Version (KJV)
28Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
29Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.
30Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.
So, in the end they really did get rewarded!!