Summary: Can we ever do so much for people that we seal their loyalty or guarantee their fidelity?
1. One of the roughest things about family, housework, repairs, red tape,
and the serving the Lord is: You are never done.
2. Some things you do once in life: many of us saw Haley’s comet years
back; we’re done. But some things are not this way.
3. People can often be like Peter: one day saying they would die for you,
the next day denying you.
Question: Do we ever get to a point in this life where we have so much
credibility that others will firmly stand behind us no matter what? Can
we ever do so much for people that we seal their loyalty or guarantee
I. The City of Bablyon...
1. one of ancient wonders of the world....hanging gardens...
2. Also the "blue city"---tiles/pottery with blue glaze (elements in soil)
----lots of pottery kilns (fiery furnaces)
3. The home to many Jews during the Babylonian captivity....first set of
captives were the wealthy, smart, upper crust of Jerusalem, including
the young men Daniel, Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego....
---trained to be Chaldeans...advisors, wisemen, and interpretters of
dreams.....like Christians in a secular university,they did not approve of
or agree with all they learned...they had no choice...
II. King Nebuchadnezzar Has A Dream....
1. He wants to know its REAL meaning, so he makes an unusual
(1) wise men must tell him dream AND its interpretation....
(2) all declined.....Nebuchanezzar: death promised to the whole
class of "Chaldeans"
2. Daniel steps to his and their rescue....
(1) he gets Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego to pray for God to
reveal all the information to Daniel in a dream....God answers
(2)Daniel approaches Nebuchadnezzar---not my own wisdom, but
the God of Heaven...
3. He reveals dream
(1) Giant image: head---gold
arms and chest---silver
belly and thighs--bronze
feet--iron mixed w/clay
(2) A stone is cut...used like a bowling ball...crashes/destroys
image, grows into a mountain, fills whole earth...
4. Nebuchadnezzar’s response: Surely your God is the God of gods!
Presents, bows down before him, made him ruler of Babylon...
-----Daniel appoints Shadrach, Meshech, & Abednego as administrators
5. Daniel had earned Nebuchadnezzar’s respect and saved the lives of all
the wise men and advisors...Daniel’s God respected by the King...
III. Nebuchadnezzar’s Idol
1. Nebuchadnezzar had not been converted to faith in the true God,
Yahweh, merely DIVERTED....some of the biggest enemies of the Gospel
are those who at one time claimed to believe it then turned away...
2. He builds an idol 90 feet tall....
(1) demands that at the time music was played, all had to bow
down and worship
(2) anyone who refused would be thrown in a large pottery kiln...
3. The music played, and Shadrach, Meshech, & Abednego would not
conform....who informs the King, but some of the men Daniel had saved
(astrologers)--time had gone by
4. Note the dialogue of 3:13-18
------They had to do what was right, no matter what the consequences...
5. This pottery kiln: heated 7 times hotter (Marylu’s kiln goes up to
Degrees F)....thrown in....