Being steadfast for the Kingdom
I want to look at the lives of four extraordinary men who were steadfast for G-d and never compromised - Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.
Daniel and his friends lived exemplary steadfast lives for Almighty G-d, and we read in Daniel 1:8 that Daniel and his friends would not compromise G-d by defiling themselves with “the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which they drank” even though they were commanded to eat the “king’s delicacies.”
This would be like a junior clerk, despite the consequences, refusing to do what the CEO of the company tells him or her to do because it is against G-d’s word and Biblical principles.
However the situation was far worse for Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego as they were captives and they could have been put to death.
In Daniel 3 we read the account of when King Nebuchadnezzar erected a golden image and declared that whoever would not fall down and worship the golden image would immediately be cast into a fiery furnace.
We read that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego would not compromise their G-d and they would not worship the golden image.
In Daniel 3:13-15 we read that King Nebuchadnezzar commanded that they be thrown into the fiery furnace, and in verses 16-18, we read that they answered and said to the king: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
We then read that they were thrown into the fiery furnace which was heated up to such an extent that it killed those who were preparing to throw them into the furnace.
However, the fire did not touch Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego and they emerged from the fiery furnace unscathed.
By Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego being steadfast and uncompromising, a king was ‘saved’, as this incident completely changed king Nebuchadnezzar’s heart - Daniel 3:28-29: “Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.””
Daniel, too, was steadfast and uncompromising, and in Daniel 6 we read that king Darius, persuaded by the governors and satraps who were jealous of Daniel, signed an idolatrous decree that whoever petitioned any god or man, except king Darius, for thirty days would be thrown into the lion’s den.
Daniel 6:9-10 tells us: “Therefore King Darius signed the written decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”
Even though Daniel knew he faced certain death, he would not compromise, but continued to serve, pray and worship G-d.
King Darius took note of Daniel’s faithfulness - Daniel 6:16: “So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.””
Already King Darius was being influenced by Daniel’s unwavering faithfulness to his G-d.
We then read that the lions did not touch Daniel as G-d kept him safe, and that King Darius then wrote in Daniel 6:25-27: “To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego’s faithfulness and steadfastness as well as the fact that they would not compromise by worshipping any god except their true G-d, knowing that the penalty for defying King Nebuchadnezzer was death, changed the King’s heart and he recognised the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the only true G-d.
Daniel’s faithfulness and the fact that he uncompromisingly served G-d, despite persecution by the governors and satraps; despite the fact that he knew that he was defying King Darius - and the penalty for that was death, changed King Darius’ heart as he, too, recognised the G-d of Daniel.
Three Babylonian kings, Nebuchadnezzar, Darius and Cyrus were ‘saved’ because of the uncompromising steadfastness of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.
As believers in Yeshua, we are closely watched by the unsaved, especially unsaved family, friends and people in our spheres of influence.
If we are to reach the lost, Jews and Gentiles, we must live steadfast, exemplary lives that bring honour to G-d.
And as believers, we have to be steadfast and uncompromising for Yeshua.
We cannot allow people to blaspheme the name of G-d and say nothing. We must never agree when those of the world speak negatively and gossip; we must never remain silent when racism rears its ugly head, and we must never remain silent when anti-Semitism rears its ugly head.
We must never remain silent when anti-Israel remarks are made, and we must take every opportunity to share the gospel with people, both Jews and Gentiles.
And even if you face being ‘thrown into the Lion’s den’ or ‘into the fire’, you have to be faithful to G-d, have faith in G-d, live steadfastly for G-d, and never, ever compromise your stand for Yeshua.
You see, integrity may incite some people to jealousy, but hypocrisy incites them to scorn and unbelief.
Yeshua gave mankind a final command before He ascended into Heaven known as the ‘Great Commission’, a command to take the gospel to all nations beginning with the Jewish people.
Are you fulfilling the ‘Great Commission’? And as opportunities present themselves, are you steadfastly taking the gospel to the Jewish people and Gentiles or do you compromise fulfilling the ‘Great Commission’ for fear of rejection or retaliation?
Kingdom effectiveness comes by living steadfast, uncompromising lives for Almighty G-d, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
So let us be effective for the Kingdom by always living steadfast, uncompromising lives for Almighty G-d and like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego who changed the hearts of three kings, let us, through our lifestyle, draw people to the only true G-d, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
And as believers in Yeshua, let us be effective for the Kingdom by always living steadfast, uncompromising lives for Yeshua and like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego who changed the eternal destinies of three kings, let us through our lifestyle, change the eternal destinies of people by drawing them to the Jewish Messiah and Saviour of mankind, Yeshua.