Introduction: This question is a retrospective look into our Christian resolve and commitment. This question ask us to look into the nature of our relationship with God, as we call upon our faith.
This question also suggest to me several additional questions:
Just where do I stand when confronted by the Nebuchadnezzar’s of the world?
How should I react to the actions of the Chaldeans that I meet along life’s way?
Finally, what will I do when confronted by the burning fiery furnace?
HOW BOLD SHALL WE BE?
Let me introduce you to Nebuchadnezzar. He was the greatest of the Babylonian kings he ruled during the golden age of Babylon. His armies marched across the then known world unstoppable they seemed to be. His accomplishments were so numerous that he was beside himself with power and pride.
Are you aware of the saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!
It is to this estate that we find Nebuchadnezzar; scripture has it that he made an image of gold and set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then he made a decree that at the sound of all kinds of music the people were to bow down and worship the golden image he had set up! Those who did not bow down and worship would be cast into a burning fiery furnace.
Therefore, in conjunction with what I have read, the next question that crosses my mind is who are the Nebuchadnezzar’s of this world? What kinds of demands do they make on your life? The first one that comes to mind are the Nebuchadnezzar’s of silver and gold, those bosses we answer to in the work place!
Sometimes they force us to do those things we do not want to do. We do them to keep our job. You know like working on Sunday, they ask us to do this by saying it is so very important, it just cannot wait until Monday. I want you to know God understands if your profession is healthcare, people get sick and require care around the clock seven days a week.
Most of us have jobs that do not have to be done while it is your time to serve the Lord.
The problem comes when they ask you to do it once and you do not make a fuss, you do not take a stance or refuse to bow down to the Nebuchadnezzar why because he has just discovered that you really worship an idol god the one known as silver and gold.
Satan understands that you would rather make double time than worship the creator.
Satan knows all you really needed was an excuse that you could believe in order to miss worship services of your Lord and King, that’s right blame it on I had to work, I must feed my family.
I would guess the second most important aspect of my life outside of me is my family life! They can influence you to change who you really are if you let them.
Sometimes our drive to do for them, our love for them often confuses us into thinking we can compromise our commitment to Christ and the Church for their general good.
What I am talking about which of you has ever had a spouse that for no reason today decided he or she did not want to attend service so today you also stayed home? Or told you the tithe you pay in church is more than the personal budget of the family would allow therefore you couldn’t pay your ten percent anymore?
Satan, Church has you bowed down before the idol god of family. Do not misunderstand what I am saying; let me be clear here I am not telling you to leave your husband or wife, nor am I telling you not to provide for the welfare of your family; we would be a miss if you did not protect your family and care after your family for Christ wants us to do these things and commands us to love our families.
What I am saying is when you begin to compromise your position and commitment to Christ because your husband does not want you to go today so you do not go, you don’t make a fuss or take a stand; I want you to know it get easier and easier to stay at home!
You can become a visitor in your own Church, you know the ones the preacher walks up to and says I am so glad you are here today, what is your name?
Remember, if you do not resist, if you do not take a stance, if you roll over and give in Satan has won, for if you have for gotten it is only what you do for Christ that will last.
Let’s move the story on a little further, the Chaldeans; were people the people of southern Babylon. The word says that certain ones went to the king to accuse Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego.
The concept or issue here is that of jealousy, for these three had been placed over the affairs of Babylon. These Chaldeans wanted the positions of these three Hebrew boys.
They wanted their jobs so they waited and plotted and schemed against them.
As, we travel about we too shall run across some Chaldeans in our life.
Those people who plot our destruction. Those who wish us harm. Those who will lie on you. Those who will wait till they find that fault that they can lift it up and run with it.
There are several schools of though in answer to how we should deal with them from turning the other cheek to strapping on your sword. I will suggest a cross between humbleness of the lamb coupled with the wisdom of the serpent. I submit praying for those who despitefully use you.
So as the story proclaims, they ran to the king and said O king those three boys you set up over the affairs of Babylon king they have forgotten who you are! O king they do not respect you! They will not bow down and worship you! They forgot it was you that gave them their position O king!
These are the instigators, as a child I can remember them in my life, they were the child who did not want to fight but they wanted to see a fight. They were the ones who would push the two combatants’ together.
We shall always have the instigators of life in the house of God. They are the one’s who keep things stirred up, for us people who do not want to fight in the battle we are waging but they place road blocks in our way.
Church, know now that Satan has instigators all about us trying to create confusion within our ranks, trying to stir-up fights between husband and wife, trying to halt the progress of the Church by instilling conflicts which disable and cripple our efforts. Today, I say to you be strong in your resolve, be firm in your commitment to Christ and God will make ways for you.
So hear now as the story advances, the arrogance of this king within the earth. He had the three brought to him and told them if they would bow down and worship all would be well. If on the other hand they chose to defy him then they would be cast into the burning fiery furnace! Then he went to far in his arrogance for scriptures reveal the words “ and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”
How Bold Shall You Be!
These three young men, Shadrack, Meshach and A bed Nego, set the example of boldness. They realized that when faced with certain death they needed now more than ever to trust in the power of they faith and God!
I can’t help but believe that during those defining moments they remembered the teachings of their youth they remembered that God had brought them this far; they must have remembered that they served a God of power.
For they served a God, who with a hand of power brought them a mighty long way. He did not forget them for in spite of the fact that they lost the war and became captives, God hear their cries and spared their lives and by keeping the faith elevated them.
Now in spit of the fact the end is close at hand, listen to what they had to say.
“ O king we are not going to be careful to answer you in this matter; for we are well aware that you have a burning fiery furnace, we know that at your word other men will bund you and do as you bid, but tonight O king we do not fear one who can only destroy the body!”
“O King we fear the One who has all power in his hands. We fear Him that spoke and the sun rose in the sky. We fear Him, who by his word brought my people out of the land of bondage, we fear God the Lord who with His hand scooped out the oceans and created the dry lands.”
“O King the one we fear is the Almighty God, the everlasting Father who has bared His Holy arm and defended His people and it is He o king that we believe is able to save us out of your hands but if He does not save us in this life O king know this He shall save us unto himself.”
Church, work with me see in your minds eye the king full of rage, hear him as his response might have been Your God is able to save you? Then where was he when my army and I marched over your land of promise? Where was he when we surrounded your holy city Jerusalem and tore apart her walls and ransacked her sacred temple? Call my people about me and prepare to bind and burn these men, young men prepare to die!
I can see in my minds eye these three young men as they went to their God in prayer, As they began to thank Him for all the good things He has done. This prayer confused the king and all about them of instead of begging their God for Life they were thanking Him for the life they had. Church God inhabits the praises of his people. That’s what the king did not know for the Great God of Glory, who sits upon His high throne, looked down to see the witness presented by His faithful children before an unbelieving king and people.
Because of such faith sent from glory protection, to cool the flames within the furnace.
The king cast them into the fire but instead of hearing the sounds of pain from men being burned alive instead of sounds of suffering.
Nebuchadnezzar heard the sounds of a new kind of music coming from the belly of the furnace.
He heard the sound of Joy escaping above the crackling wood. He heard the sounds of rejoicing in the power of a mighty God a God who is able. I can Imange he heard the words of a song my grandparents use to sing:
What a mighty God we serve, what a mighty God we serve,
Angels all adore him and nations fall before, what a mighty God we serve.
The word says:
24. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellers, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
25. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
26. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
When they came forth; no smell of fire nor flame upon them the king realized that they served the true and living God. Church, if you realize that God is able He will make a way for you if you can only believe!
How Bold Shall We be?
Bold enough to realize that men might think they are in control because of their positions, but God has the whole world in the hollow of His hand.