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Worship or Die (Part 2)
Dan. 3: 13- 30
Introduction
The three friends of Daniel were accused of three crimes. They have not regarded him, they serve not his gods, and they do not worship the golden image which Nebuchadnezzar hast set up. Here in this chapter, we can see the pride and arrogance of the king and how he was humbled by the faith shown by the three Jewish captives and of course by the Christ’s protection.
I. The king’s offer Dan. 3:14)
A. The first asked the three if the accusation against them were true.
B. He did not passed judgment to them immediately. The king, who had appointed these men to their high positions, probably valued their service.
C. Realizing his reputation was at stake, he gave them, before all present, a second chance.
D. He would instruct the orchestra to play once more, and if they bowed down, the matter would be forgotten.
E. He emphasized also that if they worship not, they shall be cast in the midst of a burning fiery furnace;
F. The question in v. 15 “and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”. Shows the arrogance of Nebuchadnezzar as he even places himself above the Babylonian gods.
II. The Saint’s Stand (Dan. 3:16-18)
A. Their Defence
1. “We are not careful to answer thee…” means their minds are already made up
2. This is what real conviction is all about. (Rev. 12:11). They are fully convinced that the Lord will deliver them from the fiery furnace and from the king.
3. The greatest words in their reply to the king are found in v. 18. “But if not…” means regardless of the outcome they will not disobey the commandment of the God of Israel.
III. The Protection of the Lord (Dan. 3:19-27).
A. The Fiery Furnace –A man full of fury is full of folly.
1. The Command- heat the furnace 7 x
2. The Consuming Fire – killed the mighty man.
3. Note: Higher critics say this story is a myth, citing the lack of evidence for such furnaces in Babylon. However, death by fire is a Babylonian practice. (Jer. 29:22)
B. The Fourth Figure (Dan. 3: 25)
1. This was God’s promise (Isa. 43:1-5)
2. God is always faithful (1 Cor. 10:13, Heb. 13:5).
Beware of the modern version…a son of the gods —-NIV
The Furnace of Affliction – (1 Pet. 1:7, Job 23:10).
C. The true identity of the 4th person
1. Either Christ Himself or a mighty angel
2. Theophanies in the Old Testament
a. A theophany is a visible manifestation of God during the OT.
b. Jesus Christ (who has always existed) would appear at times prior to His birth as the “angel of the Lord” (Jos. 5:13-15). Note: Whenever His children are in the fiery furnace of trials for His name’s sake, He is there. Christ never sends forth His sheep unless He goes on before them. (Charles L. Feinberg)
3. Nebuchadnezzar commanded the three to come out of the furnace. Have you ever wondered where the fourth man went, or what could have happened in case the fourth man came out also?
D. He called the three also “servants of the Most High God”. In a distinct change of mood, he acknowledges that they were God’s servants, not his.
E. The name the Most High occurs 12 times in Daniel (3:26; 4:17, 24-25, 32, 34; 5:18, 21; 7:18, 22, 25, 27). Clearly, Daniel puts God above any other god and shows that others acknowledge Him as well.
F. The complete Deliverance (Dan. 3: 27)
1. Not a hair was singed (Heb. 7:25)
2. Nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
3. Whose bodies the fire had no power
4. Neither were their coats changed
5. The only thing they lost in those flames were the ropes which bound them.
Illustration/Application:
Our Mission in life is not simply to tell others that we worship Jesus: we should also emphasize that He alone should be worshipped. It is not OK to worship Jesus and also worship any other god or even ancestors. Mary as well as angel worship and veneration of the dead is unscriptural.
All believers will enter trial by fire.
God allows trial to enter our lives because he wants to separate the genuine from the phony. It separates chaff from wheat. Trial always destroys our self-sufficiency. When this happens, we live in the power and strength of God.
IV. The Testimony of the moved Monarch (Dan. 3:28)
A. The Confession (v. 28) – He was moved by the greatness of the miracle to praise God, but his heart was not touched. And here we see that miracles are not sufficient to convert men to God.
B. Note: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, yielded their bodies so as not to serve false gods. (Rom. 12:1, 1 Cor. 6:19-20)
Illustration/Application:
God is free in His sovereignty to decide as He pleases, and He is under no obligation to prove that to anyone. Whether He chooses to demonstrate that or not, our role is to be obedient.
Acts 12- James was slain, whereas Peter was freed.
God does allow His Children to die for their faith.
Our part is to obey God and leave the results to Him.
Part of the Christian life is giving up our right to life (Acts 20:22-24)
V. The Command of the Convinced King (Dan. 3:29-30)
A. The True Faith becomes a Protected Religion (v. 29).
B. The Bible Teaches:
1. Soul Competency – every man can read the Bible and interpret it for themselves (Jn. 5:39, Rom. 14:12).
2. Soul Liberty – every man can worship God freely. (Acts. 4:18-20; 5:29, 1 Tim. 2:5)
3. Separation of Church and State (Mk. 12:17)
C. The Hebrews Vindicated (v.30)
1. Nebuchadnezzar made a public decree to uphold the God of the three Hebrew young men and their God. The penalty would be, they, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill:
2. The king promoted the trio to position of greater power in the kingdom.
3. It always pays to serve the Lord faithfully. Note that these men are listed In Christian Hall of Faith in Heb. 11:34
VI. Prophetic Pictures
A. Daniel was not present! Why? The Bible does not say where he was at this time.
1. He may have been away on the King’s business.
2. He may have been exempted from the ritual because of the very high esteem in which he was held by the king (Dan. 2:48).
3. He may even have refused to bow down along with the three but the Chaldeans were too afraid to accuse him before the King.
B. The prophetic significance of his absence is seen when we consider the fact that present day Christians will not be present during the fiery trials of Daniel’s 70 week (1 Thess. 5:9).
C. Nebuchadnezzar was a dictator. He foreshadows the Antichrist.
D. During the Great Tribulation, all the peoples of the earth will be commanded to worship the image of the beast (Rev. 13:8, 13-18).
E. The true God is defied by man. This will take place under the reign of Antichrist (Rev. 13:6, 2 Thess. 2:3-4).
F. The fiery furnace foreshadows the Great Tribulation thru which the Jews will pass (Matt. 24:21,22; Jer. 30:6, Ezek. 2217-22).
G. The three Hebrews pictures the faithful Jewish remnant – (Rev. 7:3, 14:1-5).
H. The Son of God in the furnace foreshadows the Lord’s great deliverance of Israel out of the most hopeless situations.
VII. Conclusion:
Who we worship is one of the fundamental questions of history. Jesus Christ alone is worthy of our worship, and he is very jealous on this matter (Ex. 20:3-5a; 34:14). Satan’s ultimate strategy is to turn us away from worshipping God, and to get our worship for himself (Mt. 4:8-10, Rev. 13:4, 14:7).
Is there anything which hinders you from worshipping the Lord? Will you commit yourself to worship the Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit and in truth from now on no matter what the cost?

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