When faced with a decision whether to worship the true God or a counterfeit god, Daniel’s friends stood firm in worship of the true God. Even when it looked like the counterfeit god would win, the real God showed up in the middle of their trial and protected them. God can do the same for those today who put their trust and faith in Him despite the most desperate of circumstances.
Find Jesus In Your Fiery Furnace: Daniel 3
Daniel 1 – 605 BC after 490 years rebellion God allows Babylon/Nebuchadnezzar, invades & enslaves, walk 700 mi (Iraq), eunuch, vegetarian, brainwash, name, teenager
- Spirit of Babylon (Rev. 14, 16,17,18) vs Spirit of God
- Kings dream, genocide order, Daniel & buddies pray save day, promotion
- Roughly 20 years in Babylon, 16-17 years since chapter 2
Counterfeit King and Kingdom
Daniel 3:1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 2 Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 3 Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
- Unite various people is easiest w/one state religion = total control
- Military state pageantry like N Korea/Iran – religious devotion
- Worship gold (? stolen from God/temple) statue – eternal
= proud/humble, insecure/secure, rules fear/not love, takes/not give
- Dreamt about history as a giant statue warrior change history all gold
- 90 ft high, 9 ft wide, likely on a base, on a plain
- Gen. 10-11 Nimrod warrior king founded Babel & Tower Babel/Babylon, 1500 yrs later Nebuchadnezzar same thing same place (Shinar Dan.1:2)
- Exodus 32 – God’s people made a golden calf, same spirit at work
= Only the real King knows and controls the future.
= everyone wants to be a king with a kingdom where they are worshipped
= People who don’t know God wind up worshipping people
Daniel 3:4 And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, 5 that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” 7 Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
- Counterfeit preacher “herald” “commanded”
- Counterfeit worship band/church service
- Counterfeit Jesus – peoples all nations/languages (Rev. 7:9)
- Counterfeit temptation – same thing Jesus faced from Satan
- Counterfeit evangelism – propose vs impose (Isis convert or die)
Daniel 3:8 Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. 9 They declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. 11 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”
- ?Daniel is away likely on state business? 2. removed by Nebuchadnezzar?
= test of good leadership is the conduct of the people when the leader absent
Counterfeit religious leaders
· Anti-semitic, 16 years after prophecy saved their lives, 19-20 years in Babylon
· Disrespect king (treason) 2. gods Babylon (terrorist) 3. Won’t bow (public protestor)
- Culture – teach & tolerate
- Dictators rule w/fear & w/o mercy). God rules w/love & mercy (men)
- Smelter for the gold?
- Like Nazi Germany concentration camp (Sachenhausen)
- “turn up the heat” – pressure you to conform – what’s your fiery furnace?
- Estimated 300 bow down, 3 stand up (other believers bowed!)
- Sometimes to be godly is to be lonely
- Respond to fear of spirit Babylon w/fruit of Spirit – Humility, respect, courage
- Real King has hotter fire – “our God is a consuming fire”
Jesus Lk. 12:4-5 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
Choosing Your King and Kingdom
Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.
Worship vs Idolatry
Exodus 20:1-5 God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God…“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God
- We don’t worship God to get the results we want, but to find His will.
- We don’t choose suffering. We choose God’s will.
- If your goal is comfort and ease, eventually you will deny your God.
- If your goal is to be faithful to Jesus & hear “well done good & faithful servant” then comfort or death are not your main concern
- Someone always shows up & demands that you bow down, but wait for Jesus
- God will deliver from death or through death
= The only thing that burned up were the ropes of Babylon
= The unbelievers burned up, the believers did not (closest to heaven/hell)
The Real King Shows Up
Daniel 3:24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.28 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
· Today 3 men criticized as a compromised sell out (separatism)
-Isaiah 43:2-3 when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
-Hebrews 11:34 “quenched the power of fire”
· Theophany “God show” – walk Adam & Eve garden, Abraham (Gen 18 3 men & 1 JC), OT build altar, Jacob wrestled all night w/a man, the angel of the Lord
1.Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar fall during Daniel’s lifetime
2.Bow Down: Spirit of Babylon showed up Jesus temptation (Lk 4)
3.Prophecy: Matt 13: 41-43 (quotes Dan. 3:6) The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
4. Your Fiery Furnace: “not my will, but yours be done” (Lk 22:42)
- Today we are being tested like the 3 men
- Spirit of Babylon shows up in the end Rev. 13:11-15, 19-20
- King Jesus shows up to fulfil His prophecy of His Kingdom