Summary: II Timothy 1:7 tells us that God does not give us a spirit of fear. How can we keep from fear and anxiety? Three teenagers show us in Daniel chapter 3...
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but a spirit of power, of love, and of self discipline"
- Described as "young men" in verse 4. Probably 15-20 years old.
- From wealthy, influential families. From stable, noble backgrounds.
- Good looking, intelligent.
But they had been kidnapped, taken from their homes and families, ripped from the culture and their heritage. Even something as fundamental as their names were changed to reflect their captors heathen concepts....
1- Hananiah - "The Lord shows grace"
Shadrach - "Command of Aku" (a Sumerian moon god)
2 - Mishael - "Who is what God is?"
Meshach - "Who is what Aku is?"
3 - Azariah - "The Lord helps"
Abednigo - "Servant of Nebo" (another false god)
These young men were very young, totally isolated, but they display courage and faith that has gone down through history.
Read Daniel 3:1-15
Neb. built a 90 foot tall ( about 8 stories) idol, probably after the false god he was named after, Nebo. He lets everyone know they have to bow down to it when they hear the music. Refusal will result in death by incineration.
Around verse 12, word gets to the king that there are three Jews who will not obey. He confronts them, he gives them another chance. After all, these are three of the ones he had hand picked in chapter 1, so he says, "Let’s do this again, and this time, just bow".
Just think about it...three powerless youths, trapped in hostile, foreign territory were being confronted by the most powerful man on earth and threatened with a horrible, fiery death unless they performed the simple act of bowing to this statue. What would you have done?
1) They could have rationalized..."We know this is just a pile of rock and metal and it isn’t a real God, so how is bowing to it to save our lives such a bad thing?’ That makes sense, doesn’t it?
If they had done that, their testimonies and all they claimed to stand for would be gone.
2) They could have compromised..."OK, we’ll do this to save our lives, then we’ll work even harder and pray even longer to our real God to make up for it".
Then what about the next time the music started? Compromise to sin always leads to more compromise and more sin. Sin takes you farther than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay and costs you more than you want to pay.
So you think these guys would be at least nervous? Their response to the king in Daniel 3:16-18 is one of the greatest examples of faith and courage found in scripture. (READ THIS).
What made them stand up for God like that? In their place, honestly ask yourself what you would have done. So how did they do it? Here’s 4 reasons....
1. They Had God’s Word
They were familiar with the law of Moses. They had godly parents who had instilled in them a love of God’s word and a love of doing right and obeying God. We have more than they did. We have the completed, perfect word of God, old and new testament, including all the teachings and examples of our Lord Jesus Christ. No circumstance can arise in your life that a biblical principle does not exist to guide you. But you have to study; make an effort; want to learn.