"If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us our of your hand, O King. Bur 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 3:17-18 ESV
With Israel taken captive by Babylon, Daniel and three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, are chosen from Israel's nobility to be in service to King Nebuchadnezzar. They demonstrate great intellect and easily learn the language of the Babylonians. When Nebuchadnezzar creates a huge golden idol, the edict follows that all must worship it. In chapter 3 we read the account of Daniel's three friends and their refusal to worship this false god. Their punishment would place them in a fiery furnace with temperatures "seven times hotter than usual". Steadfast in their faithfulness to God, Scripture reveals their uncompromising commitment to God.
In this story we find some characteristics of faith that stand the test. Believing that God is Sovereign, these young men proclaim that He is "able to deliver" them from the fire. Trusting God to provide for their needs, their commitment to God does not waiver when faced with unimaginable circumstances. Also, their witness stands true! Without any doubt, they acknowledge that if God chooses not to save them from death, never would they worship the idol. In Crazy Love, Overwhelmed by a Relentless God Francis Chan writes, "True faith means holding nothing back. It means putting every hope in God's fidelity to His Promises." Our faith can be tested when the outcome of a situation or an answer to prayer collides with our heart's hope. True faith, uncompromising commitment to God, calls us to hold nothing back while always trusting God. ~dho