Daniel 3:1 tells us, “King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.” . This is the kind of thing most people would probably think of when they hear the word “idol”, and it certainly was an idol. However, many other things are idols as well. The first of the Ten Commandments states that “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). The term god refers to anything of great importance. In this case with Nebuchadnezzar, greater importance than God.
There will always be things people around you will want you to place greater importance on than God, such as a coach wanting you to practice longer or play games on Sundays or your boss at work wanting you to put in more hours. We cannot avoid these things, but we can choose how to respond to them.
In the book of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego show just how opposed we should be to idols, even if they aren’t made of gold. Listen to how they respond when threatened with being burned in a fiery furnace in Daniel 3:17-18, “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
This is an excellent example of faith. Even when they did not know God would deliver them, they still trusted that He was good. Faith does not always mean knowing with absolute surety that God will provide in the way we would desire, though this is sometimes the case, but often faith is trusting that God will still be as loving and as powerful even if He does not grant our hope.
Another great lesson can be learned from the response of king Nebuchadnezzar after the three were delivered from the fire unharmed. Nebuchadnezzar immediately repents of his mistake and praises God for His great act and praises Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego for defying his own command. He goes even further and bestows a terrible punishment on anyone who would even speak offensively against their God.
And through all this, what do we learn? We learn that true faith overcomes all obstacles, and that those obstacles may not always be what we would expect them to be, and they may not always be overcome in the way we expect.
- What idols do you have in your life?
- Are you willing to trust God even when He doesn’t guarantee your desired outcome?
This week’s devotional was written by Darrel Current. Darrel is a strong believer in Christ, striving to live in God’s will in every part of his life. He is homeschooled and enjoys running, music, and spending time outdoors.