Heat Of the Moment Theology Won’t Do

by Kevin Burton

    The Christian recording act Phillips, Craig and Dean has a song I like called “Made Up Mind.” 

   That song will help us on Page 7 today as we look at the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego from the book of Daniel. They had a decision to make and they didn’t have time to summon a focus group or commission a study. As we will see, they didn’t need to do either.

   Phillips, Craig and Dean put it this way:  “You’ve got to be faithful to the truth, God is gonna move through a soul with a made up mind.”

   Contrast that with another song, “Heat of the Moment.” by Asia. Part of the chorus:  “It was the heat of the moment, telling me what my heart meant. The heat of the moment showed in your eyes.”

   The Bible says there will be trials and temptations in life, moments of heat if you will. Having a made up mind comes from a personal relationship with God, from hours of consistent Bible study and prayer; from faithful pursuit of truth, not a haphazard skimming of verses. 

    In Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden image in Babylon and required that people worship it, or else.

   His instructions: “That at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre,trigon, psaltery, bagpipe, and all kinds of musical instruments, you are to fall down and worship the golden statue….But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be thrown into the middle of a furnace of blazing fire.” (Dan. 3:5-6 KJV).

   Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were exiled Jews taken to Babylon along with Daniel. These three had made-up minds to worship God only.  Everybody knew that. It didn’t take long for some of the locals, who were jealous of their influence, to report to Nebuchadnezzar that these Jews were disregarding his edict regarding the golden image.

   The king “in rage and anger” ordered that the three be brought before him. But he gave them a second chance, saying, “Now if you are ready…to fall down and worship the statue that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can rescue you from my hands?”

   Talk about heat of the moment!

   Great question that, “What God is there?”  God’s three servants were happy to supply the answer.

   “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego replied to the king, ‘Nebuchadnezzar, we are not in need of an answer to give you concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will rescue us from 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 nor worship the golden statue that you have set up” (Dan. 16-18 NASB).

   The king in his fury had the furnace heated to seven times its usual temperature. The three were thrown in, fully clothed and tied up for good measure. 

   The king was in for a shock. He said to his men, “‘Was it not three men that we threw bound into the middle of the fire?…Look! I see four men untied and walking about in the middle of the fire unharmed, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!’” (Dan 3: 24-25 NASB).

   The fire had no effect on the three. None. They didn’t even smell like smoke!

   God may not save you and me in that same way, or at all, in our moment of heat. Remember, the three said God was able to save, “But even if he does not…we are not going to serve your gods.”

   May God help us and bolster our imperfect faith, to stand firm in the face of evil to the very end, even when the heat is hottest.

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