Hey AYM Family!
Last night we welcomed some new sixth graders to the family as we talked about Standing When Others Bow and Bowing When Others Stand.
First, we looked at the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3. These three friends faced an incredibly difficult situation of temptation: bow down to the image of gold made by the king or be thrown into the fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had incredible faith and devotion to God, stood firm in their faith, and refused to bow down before the idol. They chose to STAND WHEN OTHERS BOWED. Couldn’t they have just bowed and asked for forgiveness? They could have, but that would have shown a faith that was less authentic than they had chosen to live by. If you read Daniel 3, you know that these three world changers respectfully explained to the king why they could not obey his command and he had them thrown into the furnace as a result. To the king’s surprise, there were four people walking around in the furnace when he looked in. Jesus was in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
When we face temptations that seem like they are impossible to overcome, we need to remember that Jesus walks right along us as we trust in him.
Daniel faced a similar situation in Daniel 6. He was in line for a huge promotion in the nation of Babylon, and some others became jealous and devised a plan to trap Daniel. They knew Daniel was extremely devoted to God, and his faith was the only thing that they could use to trap him and prevent him from getting the promotion.The jealous men tricked the king into making a decree that anyone who bowed down to any person or god for thirty days other than the king would be thrown into the lion’s den because they knew that Daniel faithfully prayed at his window three times a day.
Daniel had a choice to make. Couldn’t he just pray in another part of his room so everyone thought he was obeying the king? He could have, but what kind of example would that have set before those who knew Daniel and the faith that he professed? Daniel continued to God at his window just as he had before. He bowed before God when everyone else was standing for themselves. The jealous officials saw Daniel and reported him to the king. Daniel was then thrown into the lion’s den, but God sent an angel to shut the mouths of the lions and protect Daniel!
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were able to overcome the temptations they faced because they made their decision of how they would live their lives long before they were ever faced with these situations of temptation.
What about you? Have you decided how you will respond when your friends ask you to do something that goes against your faith and the word of God? Just like God was with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, he will be with you and give you the strength you need to withstand and overcome the temptation you face.
Be bold and ask God to give you the strength to STAND WHEN OTHERS BOW AND BOW WHEN OTHERS STAND.
Be Blessed and have a great week!