Man born of woman, is short of days and full of trouble. - Job 14:1 HCSB

The three Hebrew youth, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, knew this lesson all too well. They faced the hottest, fiery trial possible, that of being cast into a fiery furnace because they were not willing to compromise with the world, or go back on their belief in God. They were steadfast and unmovable[1], even in the middle of the flames.

I like their answer to King Nebuchadnezzar when he commanded them to bow or burn.

· Daniel 3:16-18, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

They could have easily caved in under pressure. No one would have blamed them. No one would have probably cared, except God!

How often do we fail to stand the test and cave in when the going gets hot? God never promised us escape from the trials and tests of life[2], only deliverance through them and from them if we remain steadfast and unmovable[3].

Consider Peter and John who faced down the persecution and threats of the Jewish High Priest and his council. These two disciples were daily ministering and teaching in the temple. Then one day, as they entered in, a miracle was performed and the lame man was healed. Afterward, Peter and John taught God’s Word and preached salvation through Jesus Christ as the only way to Heaven.

This inflamed the Jewish leaders. They didn’t mind the miracle so long as it wasn’t ascribed to Jesus! They brought Peter and John to court to force them to stop preaching. Not the miracles – just the preaching. Isn’t that like the world? They love the benefits of Christianity, but try to say that Jesus is the only way and watch out! I love the steadfastness of Peter and John as they answered the council.

· Acts 4:19-20, But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."

They were steadfast and unmovable in the preaching of the gospel. They counted their freedom as nothing compared to obeying the Lord. They counted their lives as nothing in comparison to the life to come and they continued to preach even to the death.

This is emunah (faith-fulness). If we want d’vekut (communion) with God we must be faithful, regardless of the consequences.

[1] 1 Corinthians 15:58

[2] Matthew 7:15; 10:16-23; Acts 20:29; Romans 8:36 cp Psalm 44:2

[3] 1 Corinthians 10:13