July 26
Daniel 3:12-18

Bow or die!

King Nebuchadnezzar instructed everyone to bow down to the golden statue he had set up. So, when the music started playing, everyone bowed down to the statue—everyone, except Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego!

The king was furious and thought that they had not understood his instruction, so he decided to give them another chance. He told them that they would be thrown into the fire if they did not bow down. But the three men said to the king, “Our God is able to rescue us from the blazing furnace; but even if He does not, we will not bow down to your golden statue!”

Will God keep me from being bullied for my faith?

When King Nebuchadnezzar threatened Daniel’s three friends with death, they knew that God would never leave them—in freedom or in slavery, in life or in death. They remembered the commandment: “You shall not have any other gods; and you shall not bow down to worship them” (Exodus 20:3-5).

In Psalm 91:14-15 it says, “God will save those who love Him and protect those who acknowledge Him as Lord. When they are in trouble and call on Him, He will answer them and rescue them.” This Psalm assures us that God will rescue us from trouble when we pray to Him.

Does that mean we will never be harmed in any way? Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, suffered many beatings for preaching about Jesus. He was stoned and put in prison, yet even he was able to say, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18). What Paul said helps us to realize that God will rescue us in times of trouble, even though we may be insulted or teased for loving Jesus; and with all the hardships and insults, comes a lasting reward in Heaven.

Verse for today

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10