Daniel 3:9-12 (CEB)
9They said to King Nebuchadnezzar:
"Long live the king! 10Your Majesty, you gave a command that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, zither, lyre, harp, flute, and every kind of instrument should bow down and worship the gold statue. 11Anyone who wouldn't bow and worship would be thrown into a furnace of flaming fire. 12Now there are some Jews, ones you appointed to administer the province of Babylon—specifically, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—who have ignored your command. They don't serve your gods, and they don't worship the gold statue you've set up."
The Jews had been taken from Jerusalem, enslaved by Nebuchadnezzar, and were being forced, under threat of death, to worship a golden idol. The king was a violent man; he wasn't bluffing.
Most people went along with Nebuchadnezzar's demand, but there were three, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who didn't. They took a stand.
They were in the same situation as everybody else—enslaved in a foreign country. Most people felt betrayed and abandoned by God, but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not about to turn their backs on God. They knew the risks and accepted the consequences, and they took a stand.
We are often called to take a stand. Maybe it's coming to the defense of the kids who's being picked on. Maybe it's saying "no" to using drugs or confronting a friend who has said "yes." There are times when we have to take a stand.
There are usually risks and consequences involved. Often it's loss of popularity or having to endure ridicule or anger. It's isn't often easy, but sometimes we have to take a stand.
Is there an area in which you feel that God is calling you to take a stand? Spend some time in prayer about that, and perhaps discuss it with your youth group leader so the two of you can pray about it together.
If today's devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.