Gotta Serve Somebody
Imagine, you come home from work, you're exhausted and all you want to do is grab a bite to eat and plop yourself down in front of the television set for the rest of the evening. Too tired to prepare anything to eat, you place a frozen TV dinner in the microwave and while it warms-up you pour yourself something to drink. You pick up the television remote and find your favorite channel but you notice something different . . .Credit: morguefile.com
"Beeeeep," the sound of the microwave timer startles you. It signals your TV dinner is hot and ready to consume, but curiosity has overtaken your hunger pangs and you turn your attention back to the television. You watch as a news caption continuously scrolls across the bottom of the screen in bright red letters, the words seem to scream at you; "Breaking News . . . Breaking News . . . Breaking News . . ."
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego
Credit: morguefile.comDuring the time of the occupation of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, Nebuchadnezzar, who was known as the "wicked one," besieged Jerusalem and became the King of Babylon in 604 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar was a merciless tyrant. He ordered thousands of youths to be slaughtered simply because their beauty inflamed the passion of the Babylonian women (a passion which did not diminish until the corpses were mutilated). He also had the eyes of a king gouged out after slaying the king’s sons, and upon conquering Egypt, he had King Hiram put to a painful death.
Nebuchadnezzar's godlessness was commensurate with his power and he was given to pederasty, among other vices. His arrogance so enormous he had the hubris to consider himself to be a god and spoke of making a cloud in order to enthrone himself like God on high. He made an image of gold ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon, and he required that all the people worship it. His herald loudly proclaimed: "To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men of every language, that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire."
Credit: morguefile.comImagine Nebuchadnezzar's fury when he heard that some men from the tribe of Judah would not obey his command. "These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up" was the information he received. Nebuchadnezzar ordered for the arrest of the young men whose names were originally Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, but changed to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, after being appointed by Nebuchadnezzar to the administration of the province of Babylon.
When the young men were brought before Nebuchadnezzar, he furiously challenged them and said "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?" But the three would not acquiesce and replied "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."
Credit: Morguefile.comFilled with wrath, to the point that his facial expression was altered, Nebuchadnezzar gave orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. He then commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego be tied-up and thrown into the furnace of blazing fire. The flames were blistering hot and they slew the men who carried up the three and the young men fell into the furnace, still tied up.
But something astonishing happened; Nebuchadnezzar was astounded and stood up in haste, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing and he said to his high officials "Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?" and they replied "Certainly, O king." "Look!" said Nebuchadnezzar, "I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!" Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire and said "Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!" Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire and everyone saw that these men had no effects of the fire on their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed or their trousers damaged. The smell of fire did not even come upon them!
What Would You Do?
What if the next time you turned your television on you heard the following; "We have breaking news. Effective immediately, every person shall obey the following regulation or be sentenced to death. Everyone must pledge their allegiance to the government by showing their alliance in this way; at sundown there will be sirens alerting all people, and at that time everyone must bow down to worship and give allegiance to our World Leader." What would you do?
The Fourth Person in the Furnace
Credit: Calvary Chapel Costa MesaAfter throwing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego into the fiery furnace, Nebuchadnezzar saw a fourth person and said he was like a "son of the gods." Jesus, the Son of God, is our great high priest and He went through the fire for us.
"Security is not the absence of danger, but the presence of God" ~ Author Unknown~
Gotta Serve Somebody
60's rocker Bob Dylan wrote and performed the song "Gotta Serve Somebody," where he proclaimed "You're gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody. . . ."
Who do you serve? Is it the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego?
To read more, see the following;
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