Summary: God will never leave us nor forsake us

A. Chapter 3 Outline

I. Daniel’s Friends Would Not Bow (3:1-7)

a. The King’s Pride (3:1)

b. The King’s Politicians (3:2-3)

c. The King’s Proclamation (3:4-5)

d. The King’s Penalty (3:6-7)

II. Daniel’s Friends Would Not Budge (3:8-23)

a. The Threat (3:8-15)

i. The Chaldean’s Report (3:8-12)

ii. The King’s Reasoning (3:13-15)

b. The Testimony (3:16-23)

i. The Hebrew’s Answer (3:16-18)

ii. The Kings Anger (3:19-23)

III. Daniel’s Friends Would Not Burn (3:24-30)

a. The Discovery (3:24-25)

b. The Deliverance (3:26-28)

c. The Decree (3:29-30)

B. Message

III. Daniel’s Friends Would Not Burn (3:24-30)

The three Hebrews are cast into the fire, but an amazing thing happens. Instead of dying in the flames, they are loosed from their bonds and are walking around in the flames. Nebuchadnezzar cannot believe his eyes and commands them to come out, which they do, totally unharmed by the violence of the flames. Notice how this amazing preservation took place.

a. The Discovery (3:24-25)

Verse 24

Something caught the king’s eye. Astonied means, alarmed, amazed, startled. It was a miracle; either that or the king no longer had the ability to count! He leaps to his feet, grabs his councillors again and says, I’m sure we threw three men in there and they were bound tight!!!” – they answered “Yes, true.”

Verse 25

When Shadrach. Meshach and Abednego were thrown in to the flames; they found that they were not alone. The God they had professed faith in earlier met them in the fire. Nebuchadnezzar and the others with him could not believe their eyes! They threw three men into the flames and now there are four men loose and walking around!

Here is a lesson for you and me. Even in a furnace in Babylon, God kept His promise to His people, Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

We have the same promise this evening, Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5. When the flames rise around you, open your eyes, for Jesus is right there with you! Notice what happened because the Lord met them in the fiery furnace.

All the fire did is burn away the things that had them bound. The Lord used the fire to loosen these men from the ropes that held them. When the fires of persecution and affliction come into your life, you need to remember this truth: The Lord is merely freeing you from some of the things that have had you bound in your life. As the flames burn away the ropes of besetting sins, bad attitudes, bad habits, etc, you will find that you are freer in the fire than you were outside the fire!

Often, persecution seems like the worse possible thing that can happen in our lives. But, it can prove to be the best thing we have ever experienced. Look at John Wesley, he wanted to preach in the pulpits in England, but his doctrine was so different and his message was so contrary to the establishment message that was being preached in the day, they would not let him preach in the pulpits. They wouldn’t let him stand in a church and preach. John Wesley was not allowed to preach in a pulpit in an established church. Well, he thought that was bad. When that happened he thought he was being deprived.

God knew something Wesley didn’t know. God knew that the people weren’t in those churches anyhow. God knew that the masses of the people weren’t even coming to those churches. The masses of the people were out there. So John Wesley, going through the fires of being excommunicated and deprived of the pulpits of the churches went out into the open air. John Wesley and his brother, Charles, and George Whitfield, three great fiery preachers for God, they began to preach out in the open air where the people were and thousands of people were won to Jesus Christ. The flames just simply loosed them from the ropes that bound them.”

The fire has the power to set you and me free from the things that bind us and hinder or walk with the Lord.

We are told that they “have no hurt.” The fire did not kill them, it didn’t even burn them! God allowed them to go through the fire, but He did not allow the fire to go through them. Again, there is a powerful truth here for those who might be walking through a fiery furnace. The furnace may be frightening, but you were not brought to it for destruction, but for growth. God did not allow it for your hurt, but for your good, Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

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