Then a herald shouted out, “People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king’s command! When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments, bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue. Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” So at the sound of the musical instruments, all the people, whatever their race or nation or language, bowed to the ground and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
(Daniel 3:4-7 NLT)
We might read the story of King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue and shake our heads at the irrational decree of the king and the conformity of the terrified crowd, but don’t we face a similar situation in the world today? Many people are quick to succumb to the world’s expectations out of fear of rejection and ridicule. And like the people of Daniel’s day, we have a choice to either bow down like everyone else in order to avoid criticism, or stand up for what we believe in like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and bring glory to God. The three Jews stood out from the rest of the crowd when they chose to obey God, and we won’t stand out until we do the same. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
To stand out, stand up for what you believe in.