Summary: We're going to look at the trying of the faith of the 3 Hebrew “worthies” and see how some parts of the narrative are indicative of trials in general, how trials are really beneficial to us.
"NO SMELL OF FIRE"
A. HUMOR: OLD AGE DOUBLE TROUBLE
1. "Man, it’s tough getting old," said Sam to his friend Frank. "If it’s not one problem, then it’s another. As soon as I awoke this morning, I had two shocks, one after the other."
2. "So what happened, Sam?" asked Frank. "When I woke up," replied Sam, "I thought my water bed had broken." "Well had it?" asked Frank. "No, it hadn’t," replied Sam.
3. "Well that was alright then," said Frank. "So what was your second shock?" "I remembered that I didn’t have a water bed," Sam replied.
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[a] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. 24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Daniel 3:16-27 NIV.
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, I Pet. 1:6-8.
1. Tonight we’re going to look at the trying of the faith of the 3 Hebrew “worthies” and see how some parts of the narrative are indicative of trials in general.
2. We will look at four aspects:
a. The self-destruction of the enemy;
b. The Loosing of bonds;
c. Closer fellowship with the Lord, and
d. The taste of Total Victory.
3. The title of this message is “Nor smell of smoke.”
I. SELF-DESTRUCTION OF THE ENEMY
A. NOT CONCERNED HOW TO ANSWER
1. How wonderfully above the situation these three men were! With the prospect of the trial, with the threat over their heads, how utterly careless about answering the king! "We have no need to answer in this matter."
2. One version said, “we don’t need to explain to you/ answer you, O King!” Wow! The MSG version says, “Your threat means nothing to us!” Wow!!!
3. There was a settled confidence of heart, the outcome of an integrity of life and walk before God. Their chief concern wasn’t their danger, but that they shouldn’t in any way be found to compromise their relationship to the Most High God.
B. 1ST EFFECT OF OBED.: ENEMIES CONSUMED
1. The first effect of the bringing of these men into that trial justified their confidence, because the soldiers responsible for throwing them into the fire were themselves killed by that fire! What was intended for them actually was reversed!
2. If our lives are in great danger because of our serving the Lord, we don’t need to fear the fire. We’d be wise not to invite the fire; but if the fire comes, we won’t fear it.
3. This is also a solemn warning about creating fiery conditions for the saints: if you do, you yourself may be consumed by it!