When Shadrach, Meshach
and Abednego were called before the king and faced charges of refusing
to worship the golden image he had erected, Nebuchadnezzar asked, "Who
is that god that shall deliver you out of my hands?" Things looked
But they replied, "We
have no need to answer thee in this matter" (AS). The King James version
reads, "We are not careful to answer thee in this matter"
thought seems to be, we will not choose our words carefully — concerned
lest we offend; we will not try to "talk our way out of" this situation.
And they added, "Our God is able to deliver us" (if it suits His
purposes to do so) "but if not, be it known unto thee, 0 king, that we
will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast
Several years back a
preacher said John (the Immerser) "lost his head" because he "lost his
head" — he was not tactful in his criticism of Herod. John had said, of
Herod's marriage to his brother Philip's wife, "It is not lawful for
thee to have her"
John was not "careful to
answer," someone might say. Well, he certainly was not trying to "butter
up" the king. On the other hand, John and the captive Jews of
3, were very
careful to maintain their faith in God and to court
His approval. John
lost his head, and the three Hebrews were thrown into the fiery furnace,
but each gained more than he lost. We "have no need" for
any man's approval
as we have need for God's approval.
Jesus said, "Fear 'not
those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. but rather
fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell"
not advocating crudeness! Daniel's brethren were respectful to the king;
and love for souls will forbid our becoming a bully with the truth.
Shouting, stomping pronouncements of Damnation are often signs of
weakness, while genuine strength is accompanied by humility. But genuine
strength speaks truthfully, directly and clearly,
of temporal consequences — and
of inevitable eternal consequences.
Man Called David
Men Act When They Repent
Would you like
others to read this article?