Daniel Fast Day 22
Reading: Daniel 3:1-18
Our God is able to deliver us. “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.” (v 18)
Daniel’s three expat friends are facing another dangerous crisis. They are expected to worship a 30 meter golden statue, probably of the god Nabu, whose name is the first part of King Nebuchadnezzar’s name. When they refuse to worship the image of Nabu, some members of the royal court report them to the king.
The king is upset. But he’s willing to give them a second chance. The band will play one more time. Bow the knee, and you won’t be thrown into a blazing furnace.
They don’t hesitate. “Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up” (vs 17-18 msg).
Sometimes it’s a matter of culture. We need to be flexible. But sometimes we need to stand for values that transcend culture. In those moments we reflect in word, action and attitude our allegiance to the great King, or else we show our loyalty to lesser gods.
God, I admire the courage of the three young expats in Babylon. Give me a discerning spirit to know when to show cross-cultural sensitivity, and when I must refuse to say or do those things that would dishonor you.
© 2014 Nate Showalter