Sermons

Summary: Can we ever do so much for people that we seal their loyalty or guarantee their fidelity?

Intro:

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

their fidelity?

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

demand....

(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

legs--iron

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

2400

Degrees F)....thrown in....

6. From a distance, Nebuchadnezzar sees a 4th man....

--- 3:25

---men allowed to come out, then 3:28....

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

their fidelity?

IV. People Can Be Very Fickle...

1.Proverbs 20:6 Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a

faithful man who can find?

2. A man and woman get married, and then zap, unfaithfulness--

sometimes during their first year of marriage...

3. A Christian businessman proves himself a crook....on and on and

on....

4. Other people are faithful....Paul, Timothy:

2 Timothy 1:15-18

15. You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me,

including Phygelus and Hermogenes.

16. May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because

he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains.

17. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me

until he found me.

18. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that

day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.

5. Daniel was faithful to them, perhaps the other Jews were, too---it is

worse when your own kind desert you...but Nebuchadnezzar & the

astrologers had forgotten....

6. Most people seem to remember two weeks....

7. God is Faithful Even Though He Is Unpredictable....

(1.) He delivered the men...

(2.) But they had their doubts...Daniel 3:18

V. What Can We Learn from this Experience?

1. Certain truths are not negotiable

2. There is a price tag when we stand for truth

3. None of us can be sure about the future of our earthly lives...

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