WE’RE NOT READY Andy Hollifield 11-13-18
Daniel 3:15-16 (15) Now if ye be ready at what time ye hear the sound of the coronet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image I have made….(16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
This is a very familiar story to most of us but I noticed some words that I just kind of overlooked before. “Now if ye be ready”. Looking at the way the world is at a dead run away from the principles and precepts of God, this is something that a lot of us will have to face at some point. The time will come in most of our lives when we have to decide whether we are going to take a stand for the Lord and our beliefs or bow to the music and idolatry of the world. Not meaning music literally but whether we are going to get in lock-step with the modern culture. We hear stories with greater frequency of how someone has been jailed or lost their business or families have been threatened because they have stood on their principles.
It used to be called, “Drawing a line in the sand”. You would dare someone to cross your line and get in your space and if they did, you would retaliate swiftly and with all the force you could muster. As Christians, if we are going to live pleasing to the Lord, we are going to have to be ready to draw our line. A line that says that we will give no more and this spot is where we will make our stand. We have to have a place where we not only refuse to go along with the ideas of our modern culture and popular opinion, but where we will make a statement to back up our stand.
These Hebrew boys were slaves in Babylon but had by their character and Daniel’s recommendation, achieved a position of honor in charge of a lot of the kings affairs. There is always some coward that is jealous of a person’s position of honor that is willing to “rat out” someone of a different opinion. They are especially willing to do it if they think they will be viewed in a better light as being loyal to a cause or idea. This was the case with the Chaldeans that came to Nebuchadnezzar and told him about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego not bowing.
I find it interesting that the king told Daniel in chapter 2 verse 47 that “Your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret”. Then in chapter 3 verse 1 he erects an obelisk 90 feet tall by nine feet wide on each side, and demands that at the sound of his music, everyone immediately bow and worship it. That is kind of what society is doing to Christians today. If you have a differing opinion from them, they will vilify you at every turn and try to either force you to agree with them or ruin your life because you don’t. That is the same type of society that Daniel and these three were living in. If you march to the beat of a different drum, you are a target.
I love the stand that these three took. It still amazes me that right after telling Daniel how great God was in chapter 2, in verse 15 of chapter 3 he is found questioning the three Hebrews as to why they think their God will be able to deliver them. Their answer was one of both sincerity and defiance. They said in verse 16, “We are not careful to answer thee in this matter”. I like that spunk! In modern english they were saying, “We don’t even have to think about it”. They went on to say that God could deliver them if he wanted to but if he didn’t, they still wouldn’t ever serve or worship his gods. Verse 19 says that he was “Full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed”. We know how the story ends from there.
Now the question is “What about us?” What will we do in that situation? Will we cower down to the wicked or make a stand for the Lord? There is a gospel song that says, “I’ll dare to be different in a world of compromise”. That’s where we’re at and what we need to do. Paul said in Hebrews 12:4 “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin”. Are we ready to face that day? It may be just a conversation with a co-worker or a family member. When it is going to actually cost us something, how will we respond?
Nebuchadnezzar said, “Now if ye be ready.” Are we ready? Will we take the stand that Joshua took and say “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord?” (Joshua 24:15). My prayer is that I will have the Holy Ghost boldness to draw my line and let the world know, “This is as far as I go.” When the wicked come knocking will we go along to get along or stand up and say, “We’re not ready.” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!