Summary: As these three men face the fire will they allow God to reign or will they allow an enemy to reign?
Confidence in God’s reign Dan 3; Series: Confidence in God
Questions to begin the message:
1. How many years do we know Daniel had to remain in Exile?
2. What kind of unnerving things did he face that would have a tendency to ‘SHAKE HIS CONFIDENCE’ in God? Separated from his family, physically abused (castrated), change, served under six pagan kings, demands put upon him constantly that challenged what he believed; threaten with death in the lion’s den, and many more that we have not even thought of. Some of the challenges he faced were humanly insurmountable. As far as we know he never lost his confidence in God.
3. We saw early on where he had confidence in God’s righteousness and then two weeks ago as he faced an angry king, confidence in God’s revelation. This week we see his three friends face a sever challenge. The issue for them? Will they allow an enemy to reign over them or would they maintain their confidence in God’s reign? There are four things that I see as these men face the challenge of who will reign over them.
1. The incident that brought the challenge; 3:1-15; an proud king is determined to be worshiped; he manipulates everyone except these two with threats; and then in his pride he gets very angry; he tells them your life is in my hand; I reign over you and if you do not believe that I will show you; and since he thinks he reigns he tell them their have a choice, either let me reign or die in the fire;
2. The Issue at stake for these three men; who will reign over us this king or God? V16-18; it was a no brainier for them; God is able, and HE WILL DELIVER US OUT OF YOUR HAND; you do not reign over us, God does, and we will let Him do what pleases Him, but we will not let you reign over us. An application: Neb. could represent our emotions, lies, unresolved anger, our past, our present, or even our future. This is always the issue who are what will reign when we face the fire?
3. The Inconceivable happens: 19-23; They fall into the fiery furnace still tied up; They let God reign and not only do they have to go into the fire it is seven times hotter than it was before they had to decide; this seems almost inconceivable unless you are living under legalism, which is a system of blessing or cursing; If I turn to God here he will ‘bless me’ and I will not be going through the fire. It sees inconceivable to most believers that any of us would fall into the fire. But these men did. We are not living under the old covenant. We have confidence in God because it is the right thing to do not for the reward of doing it. We trust God because he is trustworthy, not because He will ‘bless’ us. He has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Jesus. Do you think having confidence in God will prevent the fire? Then you are under the law and not operating under grace.
4. Then the IMPORTANT thing happens. V24-30; God honored their confidence; He always does; No matter what you are facing God will honor our confidence, He will never let us down; they were freed in the fire, and then they were freed from the fire; What a way to honor our confidence; Just to be freed by the fire is great, but sometimes God frees us from the fire; They were much different coming out than going in. They fell in they walked out. They went in bound they came out free. They went in as three they encountered Jesus and came out as witnesses. The important thing happened in the fire. Confidence in God’s reign is what it boiled down to.
The same issue is for us in the circumstances of our lives, WHO OR WHAT WILL REIGN OVER US? WILL WE HAVE CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S REIGN OR IN OUR REIGN?