PREACHER: REV. DR. WILLY MUTISO.
TEXT: DANIEL 3 : 1 – 30.
Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego were willing to stick to their convictions regardless of the punishment. The punishment was death. Our convictions and values should come from the Bible. Emperor and idol worship had become legislation in Babylon. They defied the king. Civil disobedience is allowed for a child of God if the king or the leader does not take his or her position under God.
Jesus Christ told us to count the cost when seeking to follow Him. We must be willing to carry the cross and follow Christ. The cross is that which stands between you and doing the will of God. Let us see what God will do to reveal Himself in the midst of the fire.
The crisis (Daniel 3: 1-6).
Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego found themselves in a crisis situation.
The king decided to build a monument to his kingdom.
The image was a tremendous undertaking and the result was phenomenal.
Nebuchadnezzar was an absolute ruler and had the resources to build a golden image (v.1-2).
The golden image was 90 feet high, 9 feet wide.
It was set up in the plain of Dura in Babylon.
He summoned all the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers and treasurers, magistrates and judges.
All the provincial administration was there; present for the dedication service and celebrations.
After the dedication, a law was passed: everyone must bow at the hearing of the musical instruments. No exception (v.4-6).
Anyone who does not bow down and worship must suffer death in the blazing furnace.
The cost (v.7-13).
If you don’t bow, then death was the sentence.
Archeologists have since found the plain and the pedestal.
Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego are again called upon to compromise their faith and values.
The cost has gone up since the diet issue.
Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego unfortunately are meant to break the Law of God: “Thou shall not worship idols” (Ex. 20:3).
Any time you may be required to compromise the first commandment.
The choice (v.13-17): bow down or burn up.
These young men had real enemies.
The astrologers went to the king; they told him Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego won’t bow.
The king was “furious with rage.”
The king gave them a clear choice (v.13-15).
Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful man on the face of the earth. The whole world was his empire.
Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego were defying the most powerful man on earth!
The confidence (v.16-19).
The young Hebrews told the king that their God was greater and bigger than his punishment.
They were unwilling to compromise their faith even in the face of death.
They had unyielding confidence that God would deliver them no matter what (v.17).
The companion (v.25).
The men who threw Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego in the fire were consumed by the same fire.
The only thing that got burned by the fire were the ropes that tied them.
They did not smell of fire or smoke!
A fourth man was in the fire with them!
Christ, the Son of God, was in the fire with them.
The commitment (v.29).
Nebuchadnezzar bows down.
The trio are promoted.
How would you meet the fire?
Do you have a commitment now that will carry you later? It begins with experiencing the risen Christ in your own life today.
Would you commit your life to Christ today?