Daniel 3:17 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. 18 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.
Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon built an idol to himself of pure gold. All the people under his rule were called to the dedication ceremony of the image and anyone who would not fall down and worship would be thrown into a fiery furnace. The three Hebrew children who were exiled from their land and forced to be conformed to the Babylonian culture refused to come. When Nebuchadnezzar found out he was furious and threatened them that if they would not bow and worship the idol they’d be thrown into the fiery furnace while at the same time mocking their God saying, “… Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
They could have taken the easy way out and compromised. “We know what we really believe in our heart so lets just keep it private and go along with the king, after all, he is our boss” “What difference does it make, everyone else is doing it.” “Why risk all that we have, we can bow like everyone else, God knows our heart.”
There always comes a time when what we say we believe is put to a test. When things aren’t clearly defined by Bible truth, in things of minor importance, and things unessential to our salvation we can make concessions. We must never compromise with what our God has clearly stated and commanded.
Compromise always involves a lowering of a standard or an adapting down of a standard defined by God’s truth, the Word of God. It is an accommodation, a settling for less, making concessions. On essential things we must stand for truth. Compromise is always at the expense of standing for truth. There is a lot of compromise among Christians in our day and it might be helpful to know how it develops among God’s children:
Anatomy of Compromise
1. It starts with a small concession or adapting down of ones standards.
2. The danger doesn’t seem great.
3. The cost of obedience seems too high and demanding.
4. There is a source of personal benefit.
5. There is an entry point into a wrong relationship/relating, activity, or involvement.
6. There is a failure to deal firmly and definitely with the initial offer to compromise.
7. There is a toleration of certain things you formerly did not tolerate.
8. The self life (unyielded will) is usually the basis or breeding ground.
I love the response of the three Hebrew children to the kings mocking of their God. They said our God is able to deliver us but if not we still won’t bow to worship your god. We may burn but we will not bow. The good news is that they did not bow and did not burn. The fourth man, one like in the form of the Son of God, appeared in the furnace with them. God took the burn element out of the fire and delivered them so that there was no hurt upon them (v. 25) and no singed hair or smell of smoke upon them (27).