When to Say No

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : Daniel 3:8-18

These three young men had passed the first test with flying colors, that of not eating the king’s rich food. Then, with Daniel’s leadership, these despised slaves had been promoted over the heads of the native young men and been given positions of authority. It’s like a young seminary graduate suddenly thrust into a pastoral position of authority over people who have been around for years. The possibilities for trouble are enormous.

In 1 Peter 4:2 Peter instructs us not to be surprised at the “fiery ordeal” that awaits us. When you have anticipated trouble and taken time and energy to plan a response, you will handle it better than if you are caught by surprise. Don’t you love the calm, fearless response of these three young believers to Nebuchadnezzar’s bluster? In essence they said, “We are expecting a miracle but, if there is none, we will still trust in Yahweh, our God. In no way will we knuckle under to your demands, O King.” This is what the Bible calls FAITH.

What are you going to say when the gun is pointed at your head?


Thank you, Lord, for the fearless stand of these young men some 2600 years ago and for Jesus who faced up to evil and conquered it. By his Spirit, help us to do the same. Amen.