“8 At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon — Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego — who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:8 - 12 NIV)
Upon getting into your car one morning, turning the key in the ignition, and finding that the engine doesn’t start, you wouldn’t think to yourself, “Gotta make sure I give Dr. Walton, DDS a call so she can take a look at the car!”
It simply wouldn’t make sense to go to the dentist office to get your car fixed.
Likewise, if you were to post on your Facebook or Instagram page a frustrated status about your car breaking down, you would probably be pretty confused and even annoyed by someone replying to your post with florist recommendations.
“Head over to Flowerama in Whitehall — they’ll get you back on the road in no time!”
Of course you wouldn’t go to Flowerama for an oil change. The local florist and the best dentist in town have something in common: they don’t have what you need when it comes to fixing cars.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were no strangers to this intuitive sense of who to trust for what we need. When King Nebuchadnezzar decreed that all people bow down and worship the golden image representing the Babylonian empire and its pantheon of gods, these three Jewish friends likely responded as if they had heard nonsense.
King Nebuchadnezzar’s decree implied that the Babylonian empire and its gods were the bountiful resource for all the Babylonians’ deepest, cosmic and physical needs: food, justice, fertility, etc.. Yet Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had a lifetime of relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — the faithful God of Sarah, Rebekah and Leah — which made Nebuchadnezzar’s decree nonsensical.