• Trey Harper

Resolve

The following is a dramatization, not scripture. Azariah had made up his mind. The orders from the king were clear. When the music plays, we must bow. Not just bow; worship, bow and worship his gods. ‘Can I name all his gods?’ No matter, to ease that burden a statue has been erected just outside the city that will serve as a focal point to receive the praise. Worship the statue, the gods will get their due. This may be one of the most user-friendly worship services ever required: music reminds one to act, bow in place to the statue and mumble some words. No one will suspect a thing. How could one be accused of being a Jew if they just bow and mumble? Hear that? It sounds like a horn. Good thing Azariah has made up his mind!

Person after person kneels. The music is louder now, clearly playing one of the most popular worship songs- the one where the chorus repeats itself a lot. Everyone knows it. Surely, this song was chosen with the intention of people singing it in worship as they kneel. As if directed by a conductor the mumbling has become words. The chorus is ringing out through the entirety of the city. If it were possible, the statue would smile. Azariah looks around in disgust as the praise chorus continues. That impotent statue is getting a host of attention while his neighbors ignore Yahweh, God of hosts. Only now does he notice that he alone is standing. He wonders if Hananiah and Mishael are playing along with this band of infidels. It seems only yesterday they affirmed they would worship no other God, even if it cost them their lives. Smoke begins to rise from the plain of Dura.

There is ominous rapping at the door. Azariah is still angry from earlier when people he loves dearly abandoned the Most High to worship that shaped-up pile of gold. He opens the door to find a couple of magistrates and their guards. It would seem his refusal to bend the knee has been noticed. “Abednego”. Azariah interrupts, “My name is Azariah, I want nothing to do with being named for any other god but my own”. “Abednego”, repeats the magistrate, “You will see King Nebuchadnezzar, and then you and your friends will burn for your god. Your god cannot save you from the king’s furnace”. Azariah had made up his mind. (Daniel 3)