Summary: A dearth of godly conviction condemns the professing Christian to a life of defeat. The advance of the Faith and the certainty of our victory is based upon our convictions.
“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. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the herald proclaimed aloud, ‘You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.’ Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
“Therefore, at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.’
“Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So, they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, ‘Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?’
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 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.’”
ike has taken an unpopular stand, but it is a necessary stand.” The speaker was a close friend who was challenging another man with whom he had been speaking. “He will be attacked; and when he is attacked, you will have to choose where you stand.” It sounded quite brave. However, within less than a year, the man who was speaking so bravely would leave the church; he would create what he referred to as a church of one. Reflecting on his bold statements, it became apparent that he had few convictions, other than a determination to have his own way.
Convictions are a wonderful thing. Convictions are easy to voice and difficult to embrace. The thing about convictions is that they can be—and usually prove to be—costly. However, without convictions, people are reduced to spineless creatures that twist and turn whichever way necessary to find an exit from the difficult situations. Without doubt, one of the finest examples of convictions is revealed in a place where we might least expect to find them.
The young men were sons of the nobility, perhaps even members of the royal household. When the nation was conquered, they were taken captive and transported to a foreign land. Whether they had witnessed the death of their own parents and siblings, they had undoubtedly seen many of the people of the land killed before their eyes. The indignities heaped on their young lives was only beginning. Each young man was castrated, made a eunuch and forced into training to serve the king of the nation that had conquered them. They would receive an advanced degree, eating only the richest foods available; then, after training, they would live out their lives in the service of the conquering king.