Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. (Daniel 3:16-17 NIV) Nebuchadnezzar was out of control. His fury at being disobeyed was causing him to react irrationally to the situation, ordering three of his best men thrown into a furnace to be burned to death. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego could easily have done what the king ordered, and made excuses for their behavior. They could have said, "We'll just fall down in front of the idol, but we won't actually worship it." Or they could have said, "We'll just worship it this one time. We won't actually become idol worshipers. We'll just do it this one time, and then ask God for forgiveness." Is this starting to sound familiar? How about, "God will understand. The king has absolute power in this land. We have to obey him." Or, "The king appointed us to our high positions. We owe him a lot. We owe him this much, at least." Another good one is, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do! We're in a foreign country. God will excuse us for following the customs of this country." And, "This isn't half as bad as what our ancestors did! Remember? They set up idols in God's temple!" And finally, most logical of all is, "If we get ourselves killed, the king's liable to put some pagans in our jobs, and then who will keep God's influence on the people?" What would have happened if these three men had used any of these excuses? Two things. First of all, they would have broken the first - and most important - commandment of God - "You shall have no other gods before Me." Excuse or no excuse, it would have been blatant disobedience to God's law. Second, they would have destroyed their witness forever. Never again would they be able to talk about God's power or omnipotence, because never again would they be believed. Are you making excuses in your daily walk with Jesus? Think about it. From Dogwood Ministries, Inc. J-R-and-Bonnie@dogwoodministries.org Used with Permission