Fight Or Flight
Daniel 3 Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego refused to bow down…thrown in fiery furnace…four men walked in fire…three came out alive…Nebuchadnezzar issued degree that no one could speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego….he promoted Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego.
Daniel 4 Nebuchadnezzar had a dream…Daniel interpreted his dream…Nebuchadnezzar would life like an animal for 7 seasons…then he would be restored to his position when he learns that God rules over all the world. All of this then happened.
Psalm 81:5-12 God said He removed the burden from their shoulders, set their hands free, answered them when they cried, tested them, He warned them to have no other gods, He said he if they opened their mouths He would fill them, but the people didn’t listen, so He gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. V. 13-16: If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him , and their punishment would last forever. But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.
As I finish my scripture reading for the day, I find myself pondering how these scriptures apply to us today.
Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego refused to follow the law because the law would break one of the Ten Commandments. Hmmmm. Rebels. I wrote about rebelling earlier. Perhaps I shall revisit it.
Is it appropriate for Christians to disobey the law? When I think about Christians and the law I tend to think about the scripture that says “render unto Caesar what is due” (paraphrased) and even though I know this scripture is a reference to money and taxes, I apply it to following Caesar’s laws since I live in Caesar’s country. I think God would expect us to follow government issued laws.
But what about when those laws go against scripture? Do we have to follow the law because we live in the country or do we knowingly and purposefully break the laws regardless of the consequences?
Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego refused to bow down to a false god even when faced with punishment of being burnt alive in a furnace. God showed up, though, and the three were NOT burnt in the fire. They walked out in the same state they went in…only different…because now people believed in God.
The Israelites didn’t listen to God’s instructions. Instead they followed the things they wanted to follow. So, instead of being on top of the world, they went to the bottom. What did they do wrong? They chose their way, which we can assume might have seemed “easier” to them, instead of following God’s way.
Who do I want to be like? Three men who faced the fire with calm assurance or the Israelites who chose the path of least resistance that wound up being the longest, hardest path of their lives?
It seems like it would be an easy choice. Of course I want to be like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I want to look the government straight in the eye and say, “I will not follow any law you create that goes against what my God has instructed me to do.”
In certain areas there are “rules” that tell us in what situations we can’t pray out loud, locations that we can’t hold religious events, locations that religious statements can’t be posted, and times you can’t admit to being Christian.
Do I have to follow those laws? I believe that I have religious freedoms, not religious regulations. However, if I don’t follow the religious regulations I will lose my job, I will lose family, I will lose respect of others, I will lose my ability to be a part of this world.
Yep. I said it. If I choose to be like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego I will be choosing to accept total separation from this world, even to the extent of a cruel and unusual death, for God.
I mentioned Romans 12:2 earlier…I am called to live in this world but not to be OF this world. In all truth, so are you. So why, dear Christians, do we sit back, go with the flow, and refuse to rebel?
Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13 both tell us that no one can serve two masters and yet that is what I find myself trying to do. I know that it is impossible to serve both God and man, and yet the war to choose still rages. If I continue to follow this path, I will be like the Israelites wandering around in circles for 40 years….
I’d rather be victorious than chasing my tail…