Last week’s letter was about how impressed I am with Daniel and his three friends, who when faced with captivity, did not flaunt their religion in the faces of those captors.  Lest you get the impression they ‘sold out’ let me remind you of two incidents:


            Chapter 3, Nebuchadnezzar builds his golden image and forces the people to bow down to it when they hear the music playing.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse – on the grounds that even the appearance of doing so would be an affront to God.


            Chapter 6, Darius passes a law that prohibited anyone from praying to anyone other than the king for the next 30 days.  Upon hearing this, the Bible says, Daniel went to his home where his upper windows faced Jerusalem and he continued to pray to God three times a day.


There will come a day when Christians will be forced to disobey the government in order to continue serving God.  This is nothing to take lightly; more than once the Bible tells us to obey the government and its laws.  It’s a fine line we walk, however that day will come.  When it does, there are a few things we need to remember from our friends:


1)    The government will still attempt to coerce your compliance.

2)    Failing that, you will be punished.  You may be killed.

3)    God will be with you.


I love what the three told the king when he gave them one last chance to bow down to the image:  16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 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. 18 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.” Daniel 3:16-18 (ESV)

“…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us…but if not, be it known to you, O king we will not serve your Gods…”


God did save them, and history is packed with examples of others He saved. Possibly an equal number of those He did not save.  Listed along with all those Spiritual Gifts we love (prophesy, miracles, tongues) is one that stands out as one I hope I never need, but if I am called, I pray I will receive – martyrdom.  I don’t want to let God down when it matters the most.