Summary: Making a commitment to serve the Lord no matter what.
Daniel 3:16-19 KJV Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.  But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.  Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
I. INTRODUCTION—THE BENEFIT OF STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD
-I have to confess to you that this thought developed several weeks ago when I was working on the Little Foxes series and began to work with the concept of the spirit of fear.
-Over the years, I have again and again been drawn to the value of what takes place when we study the Word of God. It is literally the food for the soul. In a day when we are so experience driven, the Word of God speaks to us with the clarity.
-There is nothing else that can speak so clearly to us when we need to hear it the most. That is because the Word of God has some characteristics about it that no other book has.
• It is infallible (Psalm 19:7). This means it is perfect.
• It is inerrant (Prov. 30:5-6). This means that there are no errors in it.
• It is complete (Rev. 22:18-19). This means that we do not need anything else—extra revelation, another book, and so forth.
• It is authoritative (Psalm 119:89). This means that the Word is final.
• It is sufficient (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
-So when you read it systematically, devotionally, topically, and in corporate places of worship, there are great things that are added to the soul. Anytime that I look to God’s Word there are things He adds to my soul.
II. DANIEL 3
-This text that we read is perhaps one of the most familiar texts of the entire Bible. It tells the story of Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, when they refused to bow down to the image that Nebuchadnezzar had put up.
-There was something that had gotten into these young men’s hearts that attributed such an action to idolatry.
A. The Background
-This chapter comes on the heels of Daniel’s warning to Nebuchadnezzar. He had been warned that Jehovah would judge and destroy his empire but apparently he forgot that very quickly. So he built this statue covered with gold so that his subjects could bow down and worship it.
-His kingdom was well organized and well structured as we note in Daniel 3:3:
Daniel 3:3 KJV Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
-In an effort to add to it a sense of decorum of worship, Nebuchadnezzar also added a great company of music. There are six different instruments noted in Daniel 3:5 but there were many beyond it because of the addition of “all kinds of music.”
-Nearby was already the roar of the furnace for those who refused to bow.
-Just a brief rabbit trail that I want to mention to you. There are some parallels between Daniel 3 and Revelation 13:11-18. The final Babylonian dictator, the anti-christ, will attempt to enforce idolatrous worship on all, imposing a death penalty for those who refuse to give him their allegiance. He will use the number six in connection with that worship.
-You will notice a call to the tribulation saints to resist the idolatrous worship and even risk death to be delivered from eternal death (Rev. 14:9-11).
Revelation 13:11-18 KJV And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.