Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego were friends of Daniel. Slaves taken from Jerusalem, they earned King Nebuchadnezzar’s admiration and favor for their seriousness, dedication and discipline.
Jealous courtiers led to their being condemned to a most cruel death for refusing to renounce the true God and offer sacrifice to the Babylonian idol. “We are loyal to the king but even more to our God Who will save us. Even if He doesn’t, we will remain faithful to our God.” The three were saved from the burning furnace. Nebuchadnezzar decreed that the true God be respected in all his realm.
Fast forward to 2021: Many are forced to renounce the true God in favor of promise for better life, for secure jobs, continued education, freedom of movement, immunity from disease. Just get injected and one is marked among the elite and assured of longer earthly life, even immortality. Conscientious objectors are stigmatized, treated as danger to the majority, disease carrier, new version of biblical lepers. Following St. Thomas More, they declare, “We are loyal subjects of the King, but of God first.” Remaining dedicated to the One Who alone saves, they say “If God does not rescue us now we still steadfastly stand by His side.” Daniel is proven right even in 2021.