March 15, 2019

“Lessons from Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego”; Men’s class.

Preacher:
Passage: Daniel 3
Service Type:

 

“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, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” “Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.” (Daniel 3:1-7 NIV11)
  • The temptation for people of God to ‘fit in’ with society’s standards is strong.
  • It was then, it is today.
  • What tempts us to compromise so that we can fit in and not become unpopular amongst our peers?
  • What gave Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego the motivation to disobey the King?
  • ““You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”" (Exodus 20:3–6 NIV11)
  • Convictions grow under testing conditions.
  • The king’s power did not sway them.
  • The scriptures gave them courage.
  • We need to know the scriptures well.
  • How is out Bible study going at the moment?
“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?”” (Daniel 3:15 NIV11)
  • They stood firm despite a second opportunity to compromise.
  • Sometimes a gap of time and a second experience of pressure can cause us to weaken.
  • They did not rationalise nor weaken.
  • We have the Spirit of Christ to help us!
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:6–7 NIV11)
  • The strength of our faith is in direct proportion to the depth of our relationship with God.
  • Are we investing in our times with God?
  • We will be tested. Will we be ready?
    “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.”” (Daniel 3:16–18 NIV11)
  • Their faith was not dependant on things going well for them.
  • Even if things got worse they were not to be moved.
  • Is our faith conditional on God answering our prayers and life being sweet?
“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. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.” (Daniel 3:24–30 NIV11)
  • There is a reward for those who persevere in faith.
  • God is ready to prove himself if we hold on to our faith.
  • God is sovereign - He just needs us to provide him with an opportunity to prove it!
Thank you for listening to this podcast. You can find more episodes in our feed. Our web site is http://www.tvcoc.org.
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Thanks again for listening. Have a super day.
God bless,
Malcolm

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