Summary: This is the 23rd sermon in the series "3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope".
Series: 3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope [#23]
THE HOPE THAT COMES FROM FAITHFULNESS
On this Father’s Day, our text comes from a very familiar story. Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue. It was 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide. He had it declared that when the music started playing, everyone was to fall down and worship the golden statue. If they did not, they were to be thrown in a fiery furnace. It was reported that there was 3 Hebrew young men that refused to bow down to the statue.
Daniel 3:13-18 (NIV)
“Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?" Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
There is hope in…
1. Devotion to God.
This is definitely something that is missing amongst most Christians today. To be devoted to someone means that you are willing to die before betraying them. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were willing to die before they would bow to anyone besides Jehovah God. They didn’t have any guarantees that God would save them; but they were still devoted to Him. They simply knew that God was able to save them and that’s all they needed. Are you willing to be devoted to God like that? Even if God may not give you what you want?
Daniel 3:19-23 (NIV)
“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 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 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, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.”
There is hope in…
2. Fiery situations.
Without any time to make a plan; the 3 young men were thrown into a blazing furnace that was heated up 7 times hotter to ensure their quick death. Sometimes, God allows us to go through situations that seem like they are going to kill you; but like the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.
Daniel 3:24-30 (NIV)
“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, O king." 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." 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, 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. Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way." Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.”