Summary: When our faith is under fire, we must stand!
FIRE PROOFING OUR CHILDREN
DANIEL 3: 13-30
JUNE 26, 2005
INTRODUCTION: A Jewish businessman in Chicago sent his son to Israel for a year to absorb the culture. When the son returned, he said, "Papa, I had a
great time in Israel. By the way, I converted to Christianity." "Oy vey," said the father, "what have I done?" He took his problem to his best friend. "Ike," he said, "I sent my son to Israel, and he came home a Christian. What can I do?" "Funny you should ask," said Ike. "I, too, sent my son to Israel, and he also came home a
Christian. Perhaps we should go see the Rabbi." They explained their problem to the rabbi. "Funny you should ask," said the Rabbi. "I, too sent my son to Israel, and he also came home a Christian. What is happening to our young people?" Then they prayed, telling God about their sons, and asked Him what they should do. As they finished their prayers, a voice came booming from the heavens... "Funny you should ask,"said the voice. "I, too, sent my son to Israel...”
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Many of you sent your children to VBS this week. Let me say on behalf of the whole VBS staff again, “THANK YOU!” This funny little story is somewhat of a reminder that we have great influence on our children’s lives, even if it is only where we send them. Hopefully, we match the sending with the living?
Our text for today speaks to us about being prepared for the fire. My thought for us is that it is not just us who has to be prepared for the battle of Faith. The Question really is are we preparing the next generation, our own children, biologically or not, for the fire of faith that is coming!
TRANSITION THOUGHT: When our faith is under fire, we must stand!
LET’S GET CAUGHT UP: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego found themselves in a very hot situation. Here is an overview…
The children of Israel have been taken captive by the mighty power of Babylon.
They are now a people of exile/ punishment for sin has arrived
The brightest and best are now subjects to the King
The King now demands the loyalty of these new subjects who had been accustomed to pledging their loyalty to “God Alone?”
SO, WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS TEXT TO HELP US AND THE GENERATION THAT FOLLOWS TO STAND UP IN THE TESTING BY FIRE OF OUR FAITH?
I. THEY WOULD NOT BOW VV. 1-13
A. THE IMAGE REVEALED – VV. 1-3
1. 90 X 9 FT. The equivalent of a nine story building?
2. The golden image (Temple/ Cathedrals in Russia)
3. The image itself: and who do you think the image looked like?
B. THE WORSHIP REQUIRED – VV. 4-7
1. This is what you are commanded to do… Bow down and worship the image! 2. If you do not, you will be thrown into a blazing furnace!
3. Thousands of spectators have arrived to “worship/ Party” with the King. 4. The music starts, the crowd bows in worship, but three still stand!
C. THE ORDER REFUSED – VV. 8-13C
1. They could have easily said…
• We will fall down but not actually worship it.
• We will do this one time, but not become idol worshippers and then ask for God’s forgiveness
• The king has power over us, we must obey.
• The King appointed us, we owe him.
• This is a foreign land and when in Babylon, do as the Babylonians! God will forgive!
• We’re not hurting anyone!
• Hey, our fathers set up idols and worshipped them. It’s not so bad!
2. What would we do?? What do we do? Do we say what they could have said, or do we respond as the Three Hebrews did?
3. The difference in the faith of these men is they cultivated their faith. Faith is not something to be taken for granted. Faith must be enlarged as we enlarge our view of who God is (BEGINNING POINT) and what He will do (ENDING POINT). If faith is a game to you, you will lose every time. Had these men not had a beginning point to their faith there would have been no ending point!
4. Some astrologer came forward and denounced the Jews: “They did not bow down!” **** Notice the text tells us The Three did not toot their won horn and say look at us, but there is always some one who feels it is their job to point the finger!!! BUT…
II. THEY WOULD NOT BUDGE VV. 14-18
A. Given another chance, they would not budge!
1. They would not bow in spite of the fury they faced!