“Commitment” is defined as “the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.” The word “commitment” is not used in the English Bible very often with the idea of “dedication.” But certainly, the idea of dedication, commitment, or loyalty is presented frequently in the Bible.
The account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s loyalty in Daniel 3 ought to inspire us to greater heights of courage, conviction, commitment, and loyalty. Let’s observe the three things to which these men were committed (vss. 16-18) and it will help us stay committed in our uncommitted world. They were committed to:
The Word of God (vs. 16)
This tells me that God had already spoken on the matter. If God has spoken, there is nothing else to say. Psalm 119:89 says, “Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.” John 10:35 says, “The Scripture cannot be broken.” The immutability of the Word of God cannot be changed or set aside. Some 80 times in the Scriptures the phrase “it is written” is found (16 times in Old Testament). In particular, in the New Testament, the verb is in the perfect tense, carrying the idea that it is “presently and permanently written.”
The nature of God (vs. 17)
First, they mentioned God’s power. “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might!” (Ephesians 6:10). One other aspect of the nature of God which encouraged these men to remain committed to the God of heaven was His goodness. They continued, “He will deliver us out of your hand, O King.” This reflects God’s good will (cf. Romans 8:28). God is good. He will never do anything that is not in our best interests if we are His children. Anything that happens to us, God will see to it that it comes out for our betterment, our improvement, and growth into the image and likeness of Christ.
Their convictions (vs. 18)
These men remained true to their convictions. “But even if He does not,” that is, they recognized that God did not exist to serve them. He was not a puppet on a string; He was not in their back pocket to pull out when they needed Him. God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).
“But if not, we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” That’s integrity! Integrity is staying true to your convictions. It comes from the same word as “integer,” which means a “whole number.” So, integrity means being “whole.” It means that your outward behavior reflects your inner convictions. Integrity is the opposite of hypocrisy.
Be committed to God’s Word, to God’s nature, and to your integrity. The rewards are out of this world.
Copyright © 2014 by Paul Holland, in Droplets of Living Water, October 1.