Summary: It really takes a godly man, a godly woman to say no when the pressure is on.
1. CONFIDENCE. We left off last week with 3 men who stood their ground before the leader of the known world!
a. It wasn’t new. Their confidence began early in their youth, continued through the teenage years, and now tested again!
b. Before the king, they stood with, answered in, ASSURANCE.
c. It’s the type of trust believers of all time share.
d. Men and women who love God, trust Him more & more.
e. I believe Job said it best!
Job 13.15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
WHEN YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT IT…
• HOW EASY it would have been to compromise.
• There were a lot of options they could’ve chosen.
• They could’ve given in, just a little.
• I mean, who would know? Who would care?
• What’s ONE BOW to this dumb statue. At least we’d live.
• And if we stay alive, well then we can tell others about God!
• We’re living in Babylon now, why worship like we did in Israel?
• IT doesn’t matter anymore. Things have changed!
• They faced the same RATIONALIZATIONS that come to us!
YET we find them calm/cool/confident before the king.
• They were ready, and refused to negotiate!
• Our God will deliver us! Even if he doesn’t we won’t bow.
• As we saw last time, they did not COMPROMISE!
NOTE: IT really takes a GODLY MAN, A GODLY WOMAN to say NO when the pressure is on.
• To have in their heart an attitude of, “I don’t care if they laugh at me. I don’t care if I’m not invited to the next party.”
• “I won’t, I can’t, disobey my Jesus!”
• And even though they didn’t know the passage yet, they certainly lived it. Let’s look at Romans 12:1-2
• They were not CONFORMED to this world, but transformed.
• A TRANSFORMED LIFE then begins to TRANSFORM those around him… and things really begin to change!
WELL, their decision came with a consequence.
• This morning, Nebuchadnezzar responds to their commitment to God and reacts and responds very violently (NO SURPRISE)
I. (3.19-23) Prompt Judgment
1. (19) Into the Fiery Furnace.
a. Nebuchadnezzar is enraged, out of control, angry!
b. He’s not used to anyone rebelling or refusing his commands.
c. Notice, you could see it on his face. No more chances!
d. Can you imagine being in his presence and seeing him blow his stack like this?!
e. Heat it up 7 times hotter than normal! What?
f. The pressure on these 3 young men was hotter and stronger than ever… but they don’t back down.
2. (20-23) Throw them in!
a. They are taken and thrown into this pit!
NOTE: It’s easy at this point to wonder a little. How tragic!
• Here are these guys that trust God with all their heart and they get thrown in the fire anyway!
• That’s not fair! It’s just not right! What’s going on?!
• And yet, what else is there at this point? They made the decision and were ready to take the consequences!
1 Peter 4.12-13 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
THE TRUE STORY is told of an early church father, Polycarp the overseer of the churches in Smyrna. Polycarp was a personal friend and student of John the Apostele. In 156AD, when he was age 86, he was urged by the Roman proconsul to reproach Christ and be set free. “Eighty and six years have I served Him and He never did me any injury. How then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?” The proconsul said: “I have respect for your age. Simply say, “Away with the Atheists” and be set free.” SO Polycarp solemnly said, “Away with the Atheists”—pointing to the pagan crowd that he was passing. He joyfully went to the stake, thanking God for counting him worthy to be numbered among the martyrs.
• And so too are these young men: they’re steadfast as they are thrown into the furnace!
DID YOU NOTICE in v20, the mighty men of valor, the armed guards are destroyed as they take the young men to the pit?
Romans 12.19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
• When the mighty men of valor climbed up and threw Daniel’s friends into that furnace, the flames got them.