Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Daniel chapter three is one of the classic passages we use, especially in children's Sunday school programs. Here, three Jewish men, who we assume to be relatively young because the Babylonians were interested in young prisoners they could influence, refused to worship the king. This was their ticket into a furnace intended to kill them.
The men refused the king's decree, saying if God wanted them alive he would protect them. This angered the king, who tried harder to kill them. They were not even touched by the fire or smoke.
I sure hope nobody reading this blog will ever be faced with the choice of worship to a king or death by burning. Yet in a small way, these conflicts do happen regularly. At heart is the question of our willingness to take an unpopular stand that is in accord with biblical teaching. There may well be penalties. Some are larger. Many are small.
Whether it is a matter of the disrespect of certain people, even friends, or a change to options available in career, place of residence, advancement in the work force, or access to certain goods or services, Christians need to be willing to take a stand on theological grounds. It is quite possible this will become more difficult as our culture becomes more secularized and less tolerant of diversity. But we stand anyway.
Our God will take care of us. Like the Jewish men, the Christian can trust God. He will take care of us.
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