This season, more than others, I have had a heightened awareness of my own need to defend myself. No matter the situation, when I find myself in self-defense mode with those around me, it never leads to the resolution or peace that I think it will bring. Instead, I find it more often bringing division and isolation in my relationships. I’m convicted by the statement made by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego above: “we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.” Their convictions were grounded in a way that couldn’t shake their obedience; how much they could explain or defend wasn’t a factor for the peace they had already received. As we live as people currently in exile from our forever home, let’s take their example to be grounded in our convictions and allow God to be our defender. He alone justifies us and makes us right before Him, even while the outside world around us doesn’t understand our convictions or His ways.
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.”