God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. -Psalm 46:1-2 (NIV)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew the law. To disobey would mean death in the fiery furnace. They also knew their God. They knew he could protect them. They trusted God, but they knew he might choose not to save them. Regardless, they would not serve any other gods. God was their strength and their refuge in times of trouble.
Their trust was absolute. Faced with being burned alive, they chose that fate rather than deny their God. What choice would we make?
Thousands of Christians around the world make that choice every day. They, too, choose death rather than deny their God. For many of them, the result is not the kind of promotion on earth that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego received, but a promotion to the rank of Christian martyr.
The question remains: what choice will we make?
O God, please be with your people around the world who face persecution this day. Give them courage. Remind them that you are their strength and their refuge. Protect them as you protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In Jesusí name we pray. Amen.