Summary: A message inspired by Bishop Tim Hill on how to live in times when our faith is challenged.
Note: message inspired by Bishop Tim Hill
How do you live when the heat is turned up?
Daniel 3:1-30 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. (90ft high x 9ft wide) He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. (16 miles from Babylon, probably a place large enough to gather a crowd) (2) And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. (notice who was invited, these were the leaders of society, the influencers) (3) So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. (4) Then (as if a next event, or telling a surprise story) a herald cried aloud: "To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, (5) that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; (6) and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace."
So there was first a dedication of them image. Then it became an idol to worship. Why did King Nebuchadnezzar decide to do this? Probably to unite the kingdom together around one image and man.
And this is what they did. When they heard the music they began to bow down. This great crowd of people fell prostrate before this idol. That is except three men. You could look across the crowd and notice that there were three standing. Just in case Nebuchadnezzar missed the Chaldeans stepped up and pointed it out to the king.
Vs. (12) There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up."
- They do not serve your gods
- Or worship the gold image you set up.
This send the king into a rage. He called them forth. Interesting enough is the fact that King Nebuchadnezzar gives them another chance. Even though the command was they were to be thrown immediately into the fire. Why? My theory that it was either because of his closeness to them or because of his respect for Daniel (who was probably on a trip some where)
Let us move to 16 and read their answer.
(16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. (17) If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. (18) But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."
That is a powerful statement. Deliverance or not they were determined to follow their convictions.
King Nebuchadnezzar was one of the first ones to try this “cancel culture”.
He wanted to
Cancel their faith – belief in God
Cancel their Posture – what they were “standing” for
Cancel their purpose – why they lived
What was Nebuchadnezzar’s response: Make it 7 times hotter
(19) Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. (20) And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and
Which brings us to our first question of the story: How do we live when the heat is turned up?
I believe the Heat is being turned up: covid-19, racial strife, division, political season
How do we live when the heat is turned up?
I. Remain convinced & do not compromise
- I am persuaded
This is the first key. This begins before the heat is turned up. We are convinced of who our God is. We will not compromise our belief. No matter how shiny the object looks.
Paul said it best:
- (2 Timothy 1:12) For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.