Daniel (5)

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The Image 3:1-7

Not the first time a tall tower had been erected in this vicinity. Gen 11:2 Nebuchadnezzar's pride is a common theme in this book. Just like the pride of those seeking to build a tower to God … babel.
3:5 the main problem of idol worship See Exodus 20:3-6 , National idolatry was the reason they had been given into Nebuchadnezzar's hand. Now, would they bow down and incur more guilt?
See Romans 1:21-23 for description of idolatry. God created us to worship, and at the root of our sin we have worshiped created things rather than God. We have sought to be satisfied with things other than God.
Christians are living in a land of exile. This is not our permanent land of promise. This world, this nation, is not our final dwelling place. We are temporarily living as sojourners, or pilgrims, waiting to be with the Lord forever. While we remain, we are sure to be faced with the temptation, and even coercion to worship idols. Our idols may not stand stand 90 feet tall, but they do call out for our allegiance. . No, they are in the form of power, prestige, electronic devices, credit cards, 401-k’s, sporting events, education, children, freedom, equality, and the list can go on and on.. All the things that are matters of stewardship, that we have responsibilities to care for, can all very easily become idols.
Transition: As we continue in verse 8, these three boys did not bow down!

The Accused 3:8-12

Chaldeans intention was to do harm to the Jews. “maliciously”
Jealousy and Envy. Because these Jewish exiles had better jobs, and because they had moral conviction. They would not bow down, so those who did bow down vindictively told on them.
It should be no surprise to us that these kinds of evil tactics are still going on today. In our own Babylon, there are Christians who have good jobs, but because they will not support or fall in with an idolatrous agenda, they get black balled and even fired under the foolish guise of hate speech or some other unconstitutional stupidity. For example: according the the February issue of Christian law Association’s ; Legal Alert. (See printed prayer guide.)
Transition: Church, we must remember the words of Jesus in His introduction to the sermon on the Mount.. Matthew 5:10-12

The Threat 3:13-15

Make observations about Nebuchadnezzar's furious rage. His “generous” 2nd chance and “warning”. His question at the end of verse 15 is the key to understanding Nebuchadnezzar. His pride made him ignorant to the sovereign power of God. Almost verbatim, Nebuchadnezzar is saying the exact opposite of Daniel 1:2 A terrible misuse of authority, of which he will suffer the consequence, recorded in chapter 4.
This scenario is almost identical to a later time in a desert place between Satan and the Lord Jesus. See text of Jesus temptation: Matt 4:8-10 “If you will just fall down and worship me.”
Church, we must beware of the temptation of brutal threats. If you don’t accept this immorality, I’ll fire you. If you don't accept our agenda, we will kick your kids out of school. You either bow down to the image of woke-ism, transgender ism, or moral pluralism or we will throw you in prison.
Christians, we have always lived under this threat… and we’ve always had an answer for the hope that is in us! For example: during the protestant reformation when a young lady by the name of Anne Askew was threatened with death.
By the mid 1500’s the protestant teachings had spread throughout Europe and made quite an uproar, even in England. One of the people helping to propel these teachings was Anne Askew was a devout protestant. She was often found spreading the gospel throughout London. She was convicted as a heretic during the reign of King Henry the VIII. At one point during her imprisonment in the tower of London, Anne was placed on the rack and stretched until her joints dislodged.
After being questioned by Roman Catholic priests and the Bishop of London himself Anne would not recant her protestant beliefs. In turn about a month after being put on the rack Anne was taken to Smithfield London to be burned at the stake. Before her execution with three other protestant martyrs that day she was set before a priest to endure a sermon trying to convince her of her wrong. It’s said of her that whatever she heard as scriptural in the sermon she gave hearty agreement with, but when the preacher veered from the Bible she spoke up and said, “There he misseth and speaketh without the Book.” Anne was 25 years old when she suffered the flames of death.
She had an answer for her accusers…
Transition: Notice the answer of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.…

The Answer 3:16-18

Point: These 3 guys believed that… God is able= has the power, means. God is both willing and able. He will deliver out of the hands of evil. It may not be through sparing their lives, but He will deliver them
I need a little help to get to the heart of this point. Involve the kids someway. Come forward and ask, What is God able to do?
Christians, this great truth should remind us of the same faith and confidence of the apostle Paul when He speaks of the resurrection in, “1 Cor. 15:53-57
1 Corinthians 15:53–57 ESV
For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Fury 3:19-23

Nothing new. Hes seems to always be infuriated. BTW.. bursts of anger are a showing of pride.
He also seems to also be in a constant hurry. vs. 22 (2:15) Again, impatience is another showing of pride. Others died because of his petulance. Shows how much disregard for life Nebuchadnezzar had. He thought himself to be god.
He was true to his warning. They didn’t bow down and worship so he had them thrown into the fiery furnace.
Be reminded church of the words of Jesus… in Matthew 10:28
Matthew 10:28 ESV
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

The Rescue 3:24-30

The fourth man? Some say this was an angel, like Daniel was visited by. The word in Aramaic, that Nebuchadnezzar uses to describe the fourth man means a divine being, or a supernatural deity. However, the most usual interpretation from a Christian perspective is that this was a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus. Similar to His appearance to Abraham in Genesis 18.
At very least, we know that God sent a rescuer to save these boys from the fire. Which immediately points us to Jesus. As those who belong to Christ, we were once in a situation we couldn’t get ourselves out of. Our slavery to sin. By nature, children of wrath. But God showed us mercy and loved us. By His grace we were set free and made alive together in Christ. This was because Jesus was sent to rescue us!!!
Notice the parallels of what king N. was attempting to accomplish and what King Jesus actually accomplished. Lifting up an image that all nations would worship. Jesus was lifted up and will draw all men to Himself from every tribe, and language. others.. King N. wanted to be worshiped, which shows his linage and identity with the devil. Jesus is worshiped which shows His linage and identity as the Son of God.
These boys, came out of the fire not even smelling like smoke!! Like Daniel, were promoted by the king. What began with a threat ends with a promotion.
Be cautions of little king accolades and promotions. (Like tax breaks) Be more concerned with the promotion of King Jesus.
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