Summary: Standing for truth when it is not popular
Title: “Our Fiery Furnace”
Text: Daniel 3
King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden statue 90 feet high & 9 feet wide. He set it up on the Plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
Then he sent messages to all of the Satraps, Administrators, Governors, Counselors, Treasures, Judges the Magistrates & all of the officials of the Land to come to the dedication of his Statue.
The king has gotten all of his Leaders together. And then a herald cries out in a loud voice, “This is the kings command. When you hear the Band begin to play, you are to fall on your face & worship the Image of Gold which the king has set up.”
“Whoever doesn’t fall down & begin to worship the Statue shall be cast immediately into a Burning Fiery Furnace.” When the music began to play, there was at least 3 men who refused to bow to the Statue.”
I. When Men Refuse To Bow.......Daniel 3:8-12
It was at this time that certain Chaldeans came to the king & said, “O king live forever. But we’ve got to tell you that you have a few Jewish Men who are refusing to Bow to your Statue!
1. Why were these men doing this?
-They were Jealous.
-They wanted to see Daniel & his 3 friends destroyed.
-They wanted to look good in the Eyes of the king.
-They wanted to make a name for themselves.
They said, “O king, you have made a decree that when the Music begins to play that everyone in the kingdom is to fall down & worship the golden image.”
King, you said, “that whoever doesn’t fall down & worship the golden Image would be cast into the midst of a Burning Fiery Furnace.” We’re here to tell you that there are Three Men who aren’t doing what you told us to do!
2. Putting Pressure on the king.
These men knew exactly what they were doing! They knew that if the king didn’t back up his word that he would look weak!
Can you see them as they approach the king with their plan?
-king, they aren’t listening to you.
-They aren’t serving your gods.
-They have refused to bow to the Image.
-By the way, we have their names for you.
-Their names are Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego.
Remember that Nebuchadnezzar is the king of the mightiest nation in the World. What is it going to look like, if word gets out that Three Hebrew Boys aren’t obeying the king?
3. A king who couldn’t handle Peer-Pressure.
Have you ever had anyone challenge your Authority or a Decision that you made? They were basically saying to the king, “You made this decision, are you going to stick to it?”
The king feels like he is backed into a corner. He knows what he has said & if he backs down from his decision, what is everyone in the kingdom going to say!”
-The king is Weak.
-The king is a Push Over.
-The king doesn’t do what he Says.
-The king’s Bark is worse than his Bite.
-You don’t have to Listen to the king.
-They are applying Peer-Pressure to the king.
There is another king in the Bible who couldn’t handle peer-pressure. This story is found in Mark 6. The king’s name was Herod.
John the Baptist told this king that he was living in Sin & his wife hated John the Baptist. It was Herod’s Birthday & he asked Herodias’ daughter to dance for him.
He said, “If you dance for me, I’ll give you up to half of my Kingdom.” When she was finished dancing, she said, “I want the Head of John the Baptist on a Platter.”
He felt like he was backed into a corner.
Mark 6: 26
“And the king was exceedingly sorry, yet, because of the oaths & because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her.”
Herod was afraid of what people might think of him, so he let another man die. King Nebuchadnezzar is feeling the same pressure.
Daniel 3: 13
“Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage & fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, & Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king.”
II. When Anger Is Out Of Control.
Please hear me. When you are Angry, it is not the best time to make good sound Decisions. You will be sorry if you do! The king knew & loved these three men.
Nebuchadnezzar spoke to these three men & said, “Is it true, “Shadrach”, Meshach” & “Abed-Nego” that you are refusing to bow to the golden image that I have set up? Are you refusing to bow to my gods?
We learned from the last chapter when Daniel interpreted the king’s dream that this same king said to Daniel, “Truly your God is the God of all gods.”