By Robert Clements
Not only did he lead the team of 1983 to a World Cup victory, but he set hearts afire a few days ago as he led the same team to announce their complete support to the protesting wrestlers in Delhi: His whole World Cup team, except Roger Binny!
Hours after the announcement, Binny distanced himself from his team, mentioning he was not part of those who had lent their support to the protesting girls. One doesn’t have to look far to see why Roger did this; he’s been made the chief of the cricket board, and owes many his position, and doesn’t obviously want to ruffle any feathers.
Sometime back in a WhatsApp of religious men and women, I made a statement that got the group a bit rattled. After that many called me to either ask what I meant or to support what I’d said, but one erstwhile member in particular got my attention, “Bob,” he said, after he had heard me out, “I fully support you and what you’ve mentioned!”
“Then why don’t you write that on the group?” I asked.
“No, I can’t do that,” he said quickly, “I’m trying to do some business with a few members in the group and don’t want to antagonize them!”
I chuckled to myself as I finished the call, and thought of a chapter in my book, DARE, – ‘Dare to stand alone’.
Here, I’d mentioned different incidents of standing alone, but I’m not going to mention them here today, I’m going to go back in time when three friends, Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego, dared to stand up against the might of a powerful emperor.
The Emperor, thought no end of himself, and decided to build a tall golden idol and asked everybody to bow down and worship the statue. Here are the words direct from the Scriptures:
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So, the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.
Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
At this time some astrologers came forward. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “There are some Jews—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
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.
But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.
So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”
He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”
That my dear readers is the story of the 4th man in the fire; A God who will stand with you who dares to stand alone…!
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