Our students live in a modern-day Babylon. Everyone is bowing down to something other than the one true God. In such an environment, our teens don’t have to be All-Americans to get attention; they don’t have to be prom queens or star football players to have influence. In Daniel 3, what made Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stick out was not the fact that they were impressive in appearance or stature. The truth is, it’s not hard to look impressive when you’re standing up and everyone else is bowing down!
Daniel 3:13 tells us that Nebuchadnezzar became “furious with rage” at the three Israelites. Sometimes simply standing for something is all it takes to cause others to become belligerent and angry! Our students need to understand this. But the king’s anger didn’t move Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They stayed faithful, opening the door for Nebuchadnezzar to ask questions about their faith and giving them a golden opportunity to tell the king about their God.
The same opportunities will come to our students. Their faithfulness will eventually be questioned. It will also be tested. Nebuchadnezzar tested the three young men by throwing them in a fiery furnace. Our students can expect to face their own “fiery furnaces” as their unbelieving friends test them too.
All because they stand while everyone else is bowing down!
From Max Q, by Andy Stanley and Stuart Hall (Howard Books, 2004).