“I See Four Men”
This is the story of three of God’s children who refused to serve false gods, and how, under very unusual circumstances, a fourth man joined them. It took place thousands of years ago in the nation of Babylon. You can read the entire story in the third chapter of the book of Daniel, but we will focus on just a portion of it today.
There was a king in those days who ruled the entire world and his name was Nebuchadnezzar. He had built a huge image of gold and had commanded all people to worship it. We read of this in the verses below:
“Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”
It is noteworthy that music was used in this ceremony. Music affects our spirits. Music can influence us (for good or for bad). Music is used in the military to encourage people to patriotism and acts of courage. Godly music can turn our hearts toward Christ and his word. Music is used in stores to encourage people to buy. Music was used greatly to change the thinking and behavior of my entire generation. King Nebuchadnezzar used music in his ceremony to move the people to comply with his wishes.
Now God plainly commands that we are to worship him and only him:
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:….”
So, you see there were two kings. One spoke from earth, the other from heaven. There were also two commandments: the one to dishonor God, he other to worship him. If you were living in that day, you could not have served and obeyed both kings; you could not have served two masters.
Most of the crowd chose to obey the king who spoke from earth, but there were three men who chose to obey the God who made earth and who spoke from heaven:
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”
Here was the consequence of their choice:
“And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Perhaps few, if any, of the people who read this message
will go through a life-and-death trial like this one,
but all of God’s children are tested.
Which master will you serve?
If your master is not Christ, he can be today.
Ask someone who knows him to show you how from the Bible.