Summary: An idol is anything we place above Jesus Christ; so, let us constantly evaluate our calendars and our checkbooks.
What is the main point of the 2nd Commandment??
We find God’s 10 Commandments in Exodus 20 and Deutoronomy 5. The 2nd Commandment states, You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God!
The New Testament affirms this command in many passages. 1 John 5:21 simply states, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” In other words, we Christians are to stay away from idols! What’s an idol??
Webster’s Dictionary defines idol as a representation or symbol of an object of worship. This is a pretty good definition since God states in His 1st Commandment: You shall have no other gods before Me! And the greatest commandment is what??
Our only god should be the God of the Bible! And so, let me offer this definition: An idol is anything we place above Jesus Christ! Our passage today deals with idol worship. Please open your Bibles to Daniel Chapter 3. I’ve asked Peg Hamby to read for us today. As she comes forward, let us pray our commitment to God’s Word……….
Remember in Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar who enslaved the Israel had a dream (show picture)….
Look briefly with me at Daniel 2:37-38…. v47….
It sounded like the king of Babylon became a believer of God didn’t it? What happened in Daniel Chapter 3?
King Nebuchadnezzar built a statue of gold to be worshiped! (something like this picture) We read in v5-6, As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.
Now, we noted from Daniel Chapters 1-2, there were four godly men from Israel in Babylon. Did they stay godly?
Look again at v14-18…….
The godly men did not worship the idol, the false god!
And not only this, what was their attitude towards God??
Whether they were killed or saved, what mattered was their obedience to the One and Only God! The godly men obeyed God and left the results to God!
What were the results? Something great happened!
The godly men were thrown into a blazing fire!
How hot was the fire? – v22…..!
What did God do? God joined the godly men and protected them! How well did God protect them? – v27…..!
And what was the final result of the obedience of the godly men? God was praised and the obedient men were protected from public harm and were given honor!
Now, we noted that it didn’t matter to the godly men whether they got killed or not, what mattered was their obedience to the One and Only God! What do you think would have happened if they were killed in the fire??
Yes, Babylon and the King could have just laughed at the God of Israel. But then, there was still godly Daniel! God doesn’t tell us where Daniel was. God has other plans for Daniel as we will learn later; he wasn’t thrown in the den of fire, Daniel was thrown in a den of ….!
And isn’t it possible that the obedient faith of Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego would have led to martyrdom anyway? There were many people who witnessed what happened and God could have brought others to faith because of the testimony of the godly men even if they died! Yes, Believers of God are not to have other gods; but more importantly, godly people are to allow God to do whatever He desires. Believers are to simply obey what God says and leave the results to God!
Let us wrap up with applications for our lives today.
Can we Christians here in America be challenged to disobey God in public?? – Absolutely!
What public arenas in America can Christians be called to disobey God??
government, schools, work, society as a whole, other people, …….
Here’s one example which I shared with you in the past:
Our son Nathan wrote a paper while he was in Grade School. The Principal called Nathan in to her office and told him that the paper was the best in the school and would like him to read it to the entire school during an assembly.
But, the Principal told Nathan he would have to take the word Jesus out of his paper. God was at work that day; for young Nathan told the Principal he would like to talk to his parents first. And so we talked and we told Nathan that if he really believes that it is important to keep Jesus in his paper then that is what he should tell the Principal. Bless his heart, Nate kept Jesus in his paper and the Principal could not stop him from reading it to the entire school!