Please, Remain Standing

    Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” Daniel 3:4-6
 

    One of the five pillars of Islam is salah (ritual prayer) done facing Mecca, five times a day.  The idea is to focus one’s mind on Allah, expressing worship and thankfulness to him.  It is a requirement (though, exceptions are allowed for certain circumstances).  There are reminders, called adhan (call to prayer) announced over loudspeakers in a lot of the Muslim countries, which originate from the local mosques.

    In reading the book of Daniel, we see king Nebuchadnezzar erecting an idol of gold to which he commands all of the people, when they hear the sound of the instruments playing, must fall down and worship the golden idol.  Interesting parallel when you look at this from the outside. 

    This is even more interesting when the “radical” Islamists’ actions toward Christians and Jews is considered.  These “radicals,” without mercy, kill those who will not accept Allah and the teachings of the Qur’an.  This is known as Jihad.  It is holy war, and they believe, when they are killing Christians, that they are performing the will of Allah for they think we represent the devil.  Since no Christian or Jew would accept Shariah Law, the teachings of the Qur’an, or Allah (because all of it contradicts the teachings of Moses and Jesus), we are the enemy. 

    Again, in Daniel, we see only certain Chaldeans accused the Jews who would not fall before the idol and worship it.  They accused Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and had gotten them brought before the king who commanded them to be burned in the fiery furnace.  But gloriously, and in dance and celebration, they were saved with God among them in the fire. (vs 8-25) 

    The parallels would seem to stop there, for as Christians and Jews are being killed today by “radical extremists,” there are seemingly no miraculous displays of the power of God to save them from their persecution and deaths.  But, be encouraged brethren!  For, as Christians, we already have life eternal and God is still among us.   Our eternal life has already begun, and though we may die once, we will never again, as we are raised again with Christ. 

    We know this to be true, but we see one last example to come, as predicted in the book of Revelations (11:3-13).  God’s two witnesses will preach the gospel and when their time is ended, Satan will kill them, and all who would not believe will rejoice over their bodies, much like they do this very day over our courageous brothers and sisters who are martyred today.  But after three days, God will raise them alive again, as though they were never harmed at all, having overcome death and persecution.  Then, as in the days of Daniel, men will fear at the glory of The Lord, and know that He is God.

    With all that is going on today regarding the Middle East, especially in Syria, we need to remember that Christ did all on the Cross and that, no matter how it may appear, God is still in control.  Salvation through Christ is still the only way to Heaven.  Therefore, we must live in His Grace and Peace, and fear not men.  We must love everyone, including the Muslims, and trust The Lord to reveal Himself through us as we speak Truth and live in it.  We must not do as the world does in persecuting them for their beliefs.  We must not adopt the ways of the world at all.  We must only speak the Truth and stand on it, as those three Hebrew children did.  God will work it out in the way that brings Him the greatest glory, and if that were to mean our deaths, so be it.  We are the Lord’s, bought with a price, and we have life eternal before us, fiery furnace or no.  Though there be golden idols, let us not fall down before them, but instead, trust Jesus, and allow the power of the Holy Spirit and the Love of God to flow through us.  Let go of the world and follow Jesus.

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