Suffering and Deliverance (Part 31) - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Part B)


F. Nebuchadnezzar inquired of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to find out if the accusation against them was true (Dan 3:14). i. In this the king was showing prudence. ii. God's law doesn't allow for men to be punished before they can answer for themselves (Joh 7:51), and neither should the laws of civil government. G. Before he gave them a chance to answer, he gave them a chance to recant and worship his idol without facing death for their prior refusal (Dan 3:15a). i. If they would not worship the image, they would be burned alive in the fiery furnace (Dan 3:15b). ii. The king proudly taunts the three men, mocking God's ability to deliver them (Dan 3:15c). H. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king firmly, but respectfully (Dan 3:16). i. They were not worried, troubled, anxious, or concerned about standing before the king and declaring to him that they would not worship his idol. ii. Careful adj. - 1. Full of grief; mournful, sorrowful; also (of cries, etc.), expressing sorrow. Obs. 2. Full of care, trouble, anxiety, or concern; anxious, troubled, solicitous, concerned. I. They declared that God was able to deliver them, and He would if He chose to; but if not, they would not serve his gods nor worship his golden image (Dan 3:17-18). i. The Lord will deliver the righteous in time if trouble if they trust in Him, if it is His will to do so (Psa 37:39-40). ii. But regardless whether God delivers us or not, we must obey Him rather than men (Act 5:29). iii. If we perish, we perish (Est 4:16). J. Nebuchadnezzar was furious and commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than normal (Dan 3:19). K. If there is one thing which tyrants hate, it's faithful children of God who are not afraid of them and who will not compromise their faith by obeying them rather than God. L. He commanded his most mighty soldiers to bind them and cast them into the furnace, which they did (Dan 3:20-21). M. The fire was so hot that it killed the soldiers who threw the three men into it (Dan 3:22). i. Men will reap what they sow (Gal 6:7). ii. The wicked will fall by their own wickedness (Pro 11:5). iii. "I was just doing my job" is not an excuse that works with God. iv. Police officers, soldiers, and all individuals who enforce mask wearing, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, etc. had best remember this. N. After the men went down into the furnace, Nebuchadnezzar was astonished when he saw them walking in the midst of the furnace unharmed by it (Dan 3:23-25). i. There was an angel (Dan 3:28), whom the king mistook for the Son of God (Dan 3:25), who was in the furnace with them protecting them. ii. The Lord sometimes uses His angels to protect us from danger (Psa 91:11-12). O. Nebuchadnezzar called them out of the fire and they came out in the presence of all completely unharmed by it (Dan 3:26-27). i. Not a single hair of their head was singed, nor were their clothes burned, nor even was the smell of fire on them (Dan 3:27). ii. The Lord promises us that we will not be burned when we walk through the fire of affliction (Isa 43:2). P. Nebuchadnezzar then blessed the true God (Dan 3:28). i. He had confessed a short while before this that the Jews' God was a God of gods (Dan 2:47), but he apparently soon forgot. ii. The "conversion" of men in powerful places is often not genuine. Q. The king then made a decree that anyone in his entire realm who spoke against the true God would be cut in pieces and their houses would be made a dunghill (Dan 3:29). i. The king recognized that no God can deliver His people like the true God (Dan 3:29). ii. The Lord is known for His mighty deliverances of His people and for His judgments (Psa 106:8; Eze 38:23; Psa 9:16). R. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were then promoted in the government of Babylon (Dan 3:30). i. When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him (Pro 16:7). ii. The Lord will not only deliver us from persecution, but He will also promote those who trust in Him to a higher position than they had before they were persecuted (Psa 75:6-7). S. There are some lessons we can learn from this. i. To whom much is given, much shall be required (Luk 12:47-48). a. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were given much wisdom and were made officials in the Babylonian government, and therefore they were given a major test of faith. b. If you have been given much faith and understanding, then expect to that God will require more from you. ii. Peer pressure is a powerful force which we must learn to stand up against if we are to be the servants of God. iii. The devil will use our emotions and our fears to try to tempt us to disobey God. iv. Those who do not go along with the crowd should expect to be the target of busybodies who will try to destroy them. v. Those in authority over us who are friendly toward us will often turn on us when we take a stand because of our faith. vi. We must never compromise on our convictions even when the stakes are high. vii. We must make sure to answer respectfully but firmly when answering to authorities concerning our faith and convictions. viii. We must always remember that God is able to deliver us, but we must be resolved to hold fast to our beliefs and convictions even if He doesn't deliver us. ix. We must never be afraid of men who have the power to harm us. x. God is still able to deliver His people by miraculous means. xi. God can bring us through a very perilous trial unscathed. xii. If we hold fast to the faith during persecution, we can be a witness for God to our persecutors. xiii. God can turn our persecution into a blessing for us in the long run. xiv. If we humbly serve God and hold fast to our faith, God will exalt us in due time (1Pe 5:6-7).
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