Kim Davis’ story reminds me of the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; the three Hebrew captives who were drafted into service in the Babylonian government (Daniel 3). Along with Daniel, these three Hebrew men were among the top leaders in Nebuchadnezzar’s administration. When asked to violate their religious beliefs by bowing down to an idolatrous statue of gold, they drew the line and refused to comply. Instead of bowing, they stood for what was right.
To stand for what is right requires convictions. The saying is true, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything!” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego stood on their God-given convictions and refused to do anything that would be in violation of those standards.
To stand for what is right also requires character. How easy it is to compromise. Satan could have pressured the three Hebrews saying, “You don’t have to bow all the way. Just lean a little.” But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego refused to compromise because they were men of character and integrity.
To stand for what is right requires courage. Kim Davis is faced with an indefinite jail sentence. The three Hebrews were faced with the fiery furnace. A fiery furnace is no one’s idea of a good time, yet Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego stood strong and faithful in spite of the very real threat of death in the furnace.
Finally, to stand for what is right requires commitment. The three Hebrews refused to bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s image because of their commitment to God. The command to bow was a test of allegiance. Because of their commitment to God, they would bow to none other than Jehovah Himself!
Martin Niemoller, a WW1 hero in Germany who later became an anti-Nazi theologian, was imprisoned for eight years by Hitler. He spent time in prisons and concentration camps, including the dreaded Dachau, where thousands were executed in the gas chambers.
Hitler realized that if Niemoller could be persuaded to join his cause then much of the opposition would collapse overnight. So he sent a former friend of Niemoller’s to visit him ( a friend who had sold out to the Nazis). Seeing Niemoller wasting away in his cell, the former friend said, “Martin, Martin! Why are you here?” Niemoller held his onetime friend in his gaze for a moment then replied, “My friend, why are you not here?”
Sadly, many cave when the pressure is on. May we be among those heroes and heroines of the faith who in the face of great opposition, stand for what is right!
Pastor Todd Weston