12 There are certain Jews [Yehudim] whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image [tzelem] which thou hast set up.

Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil (Ex 23:2)

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar [Nevuchadnetzar] in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

14 Nebuchadnezzar [Nevuchadnetzar ] spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image [tzelem] which I have set up?

Faithful me 'dig in their heels' steadfast and immoveable when Yahweh's honour is questioned - 'We ought to obey God rather than men'.

These examples of individual courage and faith shine forth during some of Israel's darkest years. Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel, his three companions, Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah. Out of the deep shadow of the captivity period, these names appear as scattered beacons of faithful endurance.

For the most part, these men worked out their course alone, surrounded by bitter hostility. The support and comfort of companionship was denied them.

Bro Growcott - The Hand of Our God Is Upon Us

17 If it be so, our Elahh whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

The world is full of things and principles, and men will try to pressure us to conform and, in a sense, to worship them.

Let us remember the inspiring example of Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael. Our God is able to deliver us, even though it be not His will at this time to work a miracle on our behalf. *

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image [ tzelem] which thou hast set up.

What a calm and noble example of courage in the face of eminent peril! Again, the power of God was manifested to the confusion of the heathen and to the salvation of God's people. That power will always be manifested eventually for His people, if they are faithful, though God's purpose may require their present suffering and martyrdom. The final results will always be the same as here-salvation and deliverance. *

*Daniel, The Man Greatly Beloved

An inspiring record of men who chose the narrow way and who were prepared to follow it wherever it led - men who went forward from strength to strength, building for the future with purpose and determination upon a firm basis of light and reality.

Nebuchadnezzar, the personification of human pride and power, sets up an image of gold that all are commanded to worship. All through history it has been the same image in various forms, and it is the same today.

It is the image of man-sixty cubits high and six wide. Six is the number of man and the measure of his dominion on earth.

And, from time to time, man has demanded that the children of God worship his image. In early Christian times, all that was required to secure a believer's release from death was to throw a little incense into the sacred fires of Jupiter. A small, harmless concession, it might seem, easy to do with mental reservations, but the whole vital principal of allegiance to God or man was involved.

We are repeatedly faced with the same subtle and fatal choice in many ways today.

Bro Growcott - The Hand of Our God Is Upon Us