Summary: Daniel was a man of God and just like him, we have to draw a line of where we will allow this world to take us. we have be be people of integrity.
Draw a line in the sand
Daniel chapter 3
Turn in your bible to the OT Book of Daniel. Let me begin reading in chapter 3
Daniel 3:1-2, 4-6
The sermon this morning is entitled “Drawing a line in the sand”.
Where do you draw your line?
Where won’t you cross and what won’t you do?
If you have not drawn a line, you have done things that you did not intend to do.
This culture and society today will if you let them take you where you do not want to go.
How many of you began watching a movie and suddenly without warning, the movie takes you to a place of being uncomfortable? It was more than you wanted to see or more than you wanted to hear?
Do you now turn the movie off or wait and hope that it gets better?
Do you turn a blind eye to what you know is right?
Holy Spirit says this is not what you should be watching?
We have all been there! Just how many times have you crossed the line of being comfortable with being uncomfortable?
Let me set up this text-
Daniel was a man of God. The whole book of Daniel shows his godly character.
He had a heart for God and he was not going to let the overtaking of Jerusalem by the Babylonians change who he was.
King Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon) took as spoils some of the royal family, the smart, the elite, young good looking men and trained them to be Babylonian.
He taught them the language, taught them Babylonian culture.
They were treated well.
The catch was they had to serve the Babylonian King.
Daniel was offered a good life… if he followed the rules of the world and did as he was told.
Daniel could not eat the best of the best offered by the king because it was offered first to a foreign god and that did not set well with him.
It was okay for the world, but not by him.
He convinced the guard in charge of him that his God would keep him better without that sacrificed food.
Let me eat my food (vegetables) for 10 days and see if I am not stronger and healthier than the ones that ate the sacrificed food of idols.
Chapter 2, because of his faithfulness, he gets a chance to interrupt a dream that no one else could interpret for the king. (God’s anointing)
The king elevates Daniel to a high ruler in the province of Babylon.
The king for a moment also believes in his God. “Surely your God is the god of gods, and lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries.” (like those that receive a blessing from God and then soon forget God)
Daniel with his power elevates his friends Shadrac, Meshach, and Abednego who were also Jews selected for service to the king.
But how many know that following God is not for the faint of heart-
There will be road blocks and there will be haters that don’t like you because you don’t act like the world. You are different!
Here we go!
Are you going to bow down and worship a manmade idol or face the consequences for your actions?
That is the decision they had to make and one we make today also-
The time came for all to bow and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not bow. They had determined beforehand that no matter what the world was doing, they were not going to go against their God.
The haters showed up- 3:12 “But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon- who pay no attention to you. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”
King Nebuchadnezzar was furious that they would not bow down-
3:15-“Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold that I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
He liked them- he did not want to put them in the furnace, but the king was duped by his evil leaders and now he needs to stand on his decree which said bow or die.
They were ready to give an answer for what will happen to them.
3:17-18- “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the god we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”