The Nonnegotiables of Life - Daniel 3
Each person has values; Each person has values that come from their essential beliefs.
In the book of Daniel, chapter 3, we read the story of three youth - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The story points out their spiritual values.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew the Bible, and in Exodus Chapter 20, there is a list of the 10 commandments of God. The first two commandments are as follows:
1. “You shall have no other gods before me.”
2.“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Vv. 3-6)
Obeying these first two commandments was “nonnegotiable” for these young men. They believed in no other god besides Jehovah God. And they decided to never serve or worship any other god besides Jehovah God. Obedience to these first two commandments was an essential belief for these young men and part of their spiritual values.
In Daniel chapter 3, King Nebuchadnezzar makes a golden statue and sends an edict to all to bow down and worship the king's golden statue. And he threatens the people by saying, “Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” (Daniel 3:6)
The Bible says that all the people, every race, nation, and tongue, except for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, bowed face to the ground and worshipped the golden statue raised by King Nebuchadnezzar.
The king gave these teens a second opportunity to bow down to the golden statue (Daniel 3:15). However, this is what they answered him (vv. 16-18):
“King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 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.”
We see Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s spiritual values guiding their actions. These were nonnegotiable values for these young men. They had faith that God was able to rescue them, but even if God didn’t, they were willing to die for these values.
The king went into a rage and put up the temperature of the oven seven times hotter. He even tied-up the three young men before he had them thrown into the fiery oven.
That was not the end of the story.
In verses 24-25 we read:
“Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”
They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”
He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
This is God’s miracle. The king shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” (v. 26)
“…The fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.” (v. 27)
Then the values of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were recognized by the king! Another edict was made, this time saying, “Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego will be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” (v. 29)
Spiritual values are pillars for us. We do not need to defend ourselves because of our convictions. God is capable of defending us before any type of threat, be it rejection, mockery or even death itself.
We learn from these three young men that we can live out our values daily, no matter what we are faced with in the work place, home, school, town or country. They lived by their spiritual values, and we can, too. Our essential values are nonnegotiable in our lives.
Filed Under: Communicator Published: 01/25/2021