Summary: The Protection of our God for His Children
HEBREWS MEN IN FIERY FURNACE
Introduction: The revelation of Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter two made an egotist of him. It should have humbled him. So in this chapter, he had made a great golden image on the plains of Dura. When it is completed, he ordered all his officials to come to its dedication. He had special band with six instruments. He commands that all these officials to fall down and worship it at the sound of the music.
`As you know about this account that this did not happen. When the music sounded, three men refused to bow. One preacher said recently that he did not believe that these men were not standing together. He felt that the men stood in separate areas. Wherever they stood, we know that by the authority of the Word of God that they did not bow, bend and shortly they would not burn. Why? God honored His Word when He said that He would never leave us nor forsake us. Jesus got into the furnace with them. When they came out, the king issued a decree that the death sentence should apportioned to any saying anything amiss of the God of Heaven, the Only True God.
Today as we look through this chapter, we want to note some important lessons that can be gathered around this miracle.
I. POSITIONS TAKEN GOING INTO THE FURNACE
A. Positions they could have taken
“Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”
Nebuchadnezzar gave his decree. The failure to do it was very plain. There was only one punishment. It was a sentence of death. Here is what they could have said:
1. "It is perfectly useless to resist. They king has the authority and the power to enforce this decree. Let us peacefully submit." This sounds reasonable. We do have some commands in the Bible in regards to those who are in charge. Romans 13:1-2
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”
But there is no command that any congress, king or government can give us that should ever cause us to violate God’s Word. If there is one given, Peter has given us the words that must be part of our mind set in the Book of Acts. Acts 5:28-29
“Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”
2. "We are in a strange land. Its customs are not the same as in our homeland. While in Babylon, let us do as the Babylonians do." David gives us the answer to this. Psalm 139:7-12
“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”
No matter where we are, we are children of the KING. Let us act like it.
3. "We hold responsible offices. The government is corrupt already. A little deviation on our part will not matter. Paul and Peter give us these answers to this.
“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?”
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”