12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up. (Daniel 3)
In such a situation, I really doubt whether or not I could refrain from bowing. The request was simple. All one had to do was bow down to avoid being thrown into the fiery furnace. Didn't these three even stop to try to justify it? Couldn't they have considered that just by bowing down they could continue their ministry? Their lives would help others, truly, so what good would it be them to die in the fiery furnace?
However, the act of bowing down was a demonstration of a lack of faith, a rejection of God's sovereignty, and simply, a compromise...
There are fiery furnaces in my life. Sometimes it seems so easy just to bow down, to perform the simple request, to compromise in order to escape these furnaces, but what would happen if I stood up for what I believe in? How different would life be for those who would witness my declaration of faith?