Daniel 3:8, 28 At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. … … Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.
God’s Word in the Book of Daniel is especially relevant to us today (although this does not make it different from any other part of Scripture!). If we replace the terms ‘astrologers’ with ‘humanists’, and ‘Jews’ with ‘Christians’, we have in verse 8 a reference to exactly what is happening in our culture.
The ‘astrologers’ represent any system of thought or worldview that denies the existence and relevance of the One True Sovereign Creator God who still runs his Universe in every detail, and the ‘Jews’ represent God’s chosen Covenant People in every age, which, today, is Christ’s Body, the Church.
In our culture, the militant humanists are bent on destroying the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ by denouncing all who refuse to bow down to their ‘mother nature’, ‘evolution’ and ‘climate change’ gods. The Book of Daniel gives us some very helpful clues about how we are to live as God’s ‘exiled’ people in ‘Babylon’. We are also helped by Jeremiah’s inspired advice: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:5-7).
This isn’t always easy to do, but let us ask God to help us, in the strength he gives, to remain faithful to his Word, and to trust the One who rescued Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and Daniel from the consequences of their courageous obedience! The Apostle Peter may have had all this in mind when he wrote to the Early Christians facing intensifying opposition: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:9-12).
– Bruce Christian