Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

Friendship – Day 17

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – three friends of faith

Bible text(s)

12There are some Jews whom you put in charge of the province of Babylon — Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego — who are disobeying Your Majesty's orders. They do not worship your god or bow down to the statue you set up.”

Daniel 3:12GNBOpen in Bible reader

Peer pressure. Conformity. We often think of these as things teenagers have to face, but how often have you gone along with everyone else, so that you do not upset the apple cart? All the Babylonian king wanted, from these three friends, was that they kneel and worship a golden statue. Couldn’t they at least go through the motions? Surely, all their fellow Jews would know they did not really mean it.

The exiled Jews living in Babylonia had three choices. They could give up their faith entirely, embracing the Babylonian religion. They could compromise, not turning their backs on God entirely, but making whatever changes were needed to get along with their new “masters”. Alternatively, they could stay defiant. They could choose the path of most resistance and remain committed to the LORD. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego chose the latter. In their bonds of friendship and faith, they found the strength to withstand the pressure to conform. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are always mentioned together. There is not a single instance in which any of them do or say anything without each other.

All of us want to be accepted, to fit in. In and of itself, this is not a bad thing. The question is with whom do we want to fit in? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego made their choice. They were part of God’s community and there they would stay, even if it meant being tossed into a furnace to be burned alive.

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