Examples of Fearing God, Not Man

May 20, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Queen Esther and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego have something in common. There are many commonalities in these narratives, but I will focus on two of them in this brief article.

  1. all individuals chose to obey God rather than man, and
  2. none of them knew whether they would live or die by obeying God

Roughly 600 years before Jesus, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon led his armies into Jerusalem. There he took captives of many Jews, including Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

The wise men of Babylon hated it when Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel ruler over all the wise men and they tried to come up with ways to have Jewish people executed. They pushed Nebuchadnezzar to create a law that required people to bow in worship of the golden image he had made when certain music was played, (cf. Daniel 3). Anyone who refused would be tossed into the fiery furnace.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship and were brought before Nebuchadnezzar. He gave the young men one final opportunity to obey his command. Their response?

“O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe and all kinds of music, is to fall down and worship the golden image. But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”

How can you not appreciate that? Please notice that though the men obviously tried to be respectful, they were ultimately telling Nebuchadnezzar that he was not nearly as important as the God they worshiped and they would not worship the king. If they died, so be it. They knew they were doing the right thing.

Then we have Esther. In this particular book by the same name in the Hebrew Bible, we learn of a Jewish woman who ultimately becomes queen to King Ahasuerus (also known as Xerxes). In her position, she learned of a plot by Haman to destroy the Jews. Mordecai, who had raised Esther as if his own daughter and after she became queen, was able to talk to her about the importance of gaining the king’s ear in the matter of Haman’s plan to destroy all Jewish people.

We arrive to the part of the story where Esther tells Mordecai that she will go and talk to the king. She did not know if she would live or die by doing so, but she knew what she must do, regardless of the danger to her own life of going to the king without invitation. Anyone who approached him without his consent could die. If he did not invite them into his throne room, that person would be executed, even the queen.

This was the chance that Queen Esther was willing to take if it meant saving her people. She stood outside the king’s throne room and waited for him to notice her. “When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight; and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter which was in his hand. So Esther came near and touched the top of the scepter,” (Esther 5:2).

Because she was able to approach the king, she was also able to tell him of Haman’s plot. The king saved the Jews and executed Haman.

The truth is that there are many biblical examples of people obeying God by doing what is right. What is right is God’s definition by the way, not man’s. God’s absolute truths are just that, absolute. They do not change because God does not change.

Earlier I wrote about the DOJ Pride guide for managers in the workplace in order to become more effective and inclusive where gays are concerned. One of the main points was that by not actively approving the gay lifestyle though remaining silent, this is a form of disapproval. Yet, to approve certain actions and lifestyles that God does not is to take sides against Him.

Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego, and Esther could have done that, but they refused. They walked away from political correctness regardless of what that could have meant for them. They preferred to obey God even if it meant hatred, rejection, and death from man’s hands.

Folks, the battle lines are being defined. As a Christian, how will you walk?

Entry filed under: Judaism, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Religious - Christian - Theology. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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