Truth versus Everything Discussion Essay Paper
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were Jewish men living in a culture that did not worship God or care about following His ways. They were ethnic and religious minorities. Not only were their values and beliefs different from the majority culture around them, but because of their belief in God, they also believed in Truth which got them into trouble. Notice in the story told in Daniel chapter 3 the situation that was developed for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. First, the government (in this case the dictator, King Nebuchadnezzar) created a law that was against the higher law and truth of God. This law, commanded all people to bow down and worship an idol and was clearly a violation of God’s command to worship no other god’s as declared in the Ten Commandments. Second, the government (King Nebuchadnezzar) required all people, regardless of nation, race or language to obey this law or face consequences (the fiery furnace). Personal religious convictions had no place, only King Nebuchadnezzar’s opinion and laws mattered and everyone was under extreme pressure to comply. Sadly, all other nations and races in the story obeyed this law and bowed down to the statue when commanded. They were unwilling to challenge the system and face the consequences of standing up for their beliefs.
So why did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego not bow down? After all, it was only a silly statue that they clearly believed was meaningless anyway. The answer is that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed in truth and the God of truth. In fact, they were so convinced of the truth that they did not even feel the need to defend themselves. The truth did not change just because others did not believe it or because a new law was passed. Instead, they declared boldly that they would never obey a human law that was not true to God’s law and trusted the results and their lives to Him. The results of this stance are predictable. The government authorities were not happy and proceeded to throw them into the furnace. Thankfully, God, miraculously intervened, showing the King and the entire culture that both He and His truth are greater than the laws of humans. Yet, even if He had not, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were prepared to stand by their commitment.
Truth makes a difference. Why do we fight for certain causes or advocate for certain issues? Not just because we don’t like it or think it is unfair. If those were the only reasons, we would likely bow down as the other nations did in the story. We stand up for issues and confront things because we believe they are ultimately untrue. Issues such as racism, sexism, abuse or oppression are not just unfair, they are fundamentally untrue and contradict God’s word which tells us that people are all created equally in His image and worthy of dignity and respect. We know it deep in our bones.
As Christians, we defend truth because it represents who God is and the fabric that He has woven into the universe. We obey and stand up for His truth because we know God knows best and that nothing in this world is worth sacrificing our relationship with Him for. What is good, right, moral and true can never be defined by human laws alone because these things are not grounded in what people think, feel, want, desire, demand or vote on. They are grounded in the truth which comes from who God is. When we understand this it drives us to seek God and His truth in everything. What I think or a government or culture thinks may not matter. Only God’s truth ultimately matters and will stand. As Christians and as social workers we will inevitably be called upon in our work to take a stand on certain issues that impact others both individually and socially. As we do may we humble ourselves, call upon God for guidance and faithfully study His word in scripture to make sure the stand we take is true.