Drop files to upload.
Faithlife Corporation

Shadrach Meshah And Abednego

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 14 views
Notes & Transcripts

SHADRACH, MESHACH AND ABEDNEGO

 

3     King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet  wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 3 So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

7 Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

8 At this time some astrologers  came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You have issued a decree, O king, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 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? 15 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?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 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. 18 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.”

19 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 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 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, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 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.”

25 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.”

26 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, 27 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.

28 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. 29 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.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

INTRO.

The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the burning, fiery furnace is a favourite in the Old Testament and it has enjoyed its popularity since the earliest days in the Christian church when the first generation of Christians in Rome were being persecuted for their faith.

The story was painted in the catacombs by believers persecuted by the Romans and has been an inspiration to all who have been oppressed. It is a story of rugged faith and uncompromising faithfulness to God.

We first meet Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in chapter 1 where as colleagues of Daniel they refused to defile themselves with the tainted royal food and wine, and now their commitment was again to be challenged. Perhaps this tells us that one spiritual victory is not the end

I.  THE CHALLENGE THEY FACED
I THINK THAT THIS HUGE STATUE WAS INSPIRED BY THE DREAM THAT KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR HAD IN CHAPTER 2.

THE SAME DREAM THAT DANIEL HAD INTERPRETED FOR HIM.

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY DANIEL WASN'T STANDING THERE WITH SHADRACH MESHACH AND ABEDNEGO?

THE BIBLE DOESN'T TELL US WHERE HE WAS, BUT I'M VERY SURE THAT HE WASN'T IN TOWN WHEN ALL THIS TOOK PLACE.

SO THIS WAS A CHALLENGE THAT THE THREE WOULD HAVE TO FACE ALL ON THEIR OWN.

WELL THEY WERN'T EXACTLY ON THEIR OWN.  GOD WAS THERE WITH THEM.

THEY HAD A CHOICE TO MAKE AND THEY CHOSE TO FACE DEATH RATHER THAN TURN THEIR BACKS ON GOD.

A poet (James Russell Lowell) put it like this:

"Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide;

Some great cause, God’s new Messiah,

offering each the bloom or blight;

Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right;

And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light."

SHADRACH, MESHACH AND ABEDNEGO REFUSED TO BOW DOWN.

THEY REFUSED TO RENOUNCE GOD AND HIS COMMANDS.

THEY REFUSED TO FOLLOW THE CROWD

THEY WERE DETERMINED TO STAND AGAINST THIS EVIL THING AND BE FAITHFUL TO GOD AT ANY COST.

THEY WERE READY TO FACE A FEARFUL DEATH RATHER THAN DISHONOR THEIR GOD.

THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT NEBCHADNEZZAR EVEN GAVE THEM A SECOND CHANCE TO SAVE THEIR LIVES.

 

II.  THE COMPROMISE THEY REFUSED

NEBUCHADNEZZAR ORDERED THESE REBELS TO BE BROUGHT BEFORE HIM.

HE PROBABLY RECOGNIZED THEM AS THE JEWS THAT HE HAD RECENTLY HONORED AND SO HE GAVE THEM ANOTHER CHANCE TO BOW DOWN TO THIS HUGE IMAGE.

WHAT A TEMPTATION THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN.

THIS WAS A MULTIFAITH SOCIETY AND WHY NOT JUST HUMOR THE KING AND GO ALONG WITH IT.

ALL IT WOULD TAKE WAS A LITTLE BENDING OF THE KNEES.

I CAN ALMOST HEAR THE TEMPTER WHISPERING IN THEIR EARS,

"YOU'RE A LONG WAY FROM JERUSALEM.  WHO'S GONNA KNOW?

WHO REALLY CARES ANYWAY?  JUST GO AHEAD AND DO WHAT THE KING IS ASKING. 

AFTER ALL, HE'S ORDERING YOU DO IT

SO THE RESPONSIBILITY IS HIS, NOT YOURS."

IF YOU KEEP THIS UP YOU'RE GOING TO LOOK UNGRATEFUL.

IT WAS SPURGEON THAT SAID, "CHARACTER IS WHAT YOU DO IN THE DARK."

 

IT'S WHAT YOU DO WHEN NO ONE WILL KNOW THAT TELLS YOU WHAT KIND OF PERSON YOU REALLY ARE.

IT'S EASY TO COMPROMISE YOUR MORALITY, YOUR HONESTY, YOUR FAITHFULNESS TO THE BIBLE.

IT'S EASY TO CUT A FEW CORNERS, BUT SHADRACH, MESHACH AND ABEDNEGO WOULD HAVE NONE OF IT.

WITH GREAT COURAGE AND DIGNITY THEY TOLD THE KING THAT THEY WERE NOT GOING TO ARGUE WITH HIM.

THEY WERE PREPARED TO DEFY THE KING RATHER THAN OFFEND THEIR GOD.

IT TOOK COURAGE TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD.

PEOPLE USUALLY JUST WANT TO MELT INTO THE SAFETY OF THE CROWD.

NORMALLY WE ARE NOT CALLED TO BE MARYTERS, BUT THERE MAY COME A DAY WHEN WE MUST TAKE A STAND.  AND IF THAT DAY COMES I PRAY THAT WE WILL EACH ONE BE READY TO DIE FOR OUR LORD AND OUR GOD.



 

III.  THE CONFIDENCE THEY POSSESSED

WELL NOW THE GLOVES WERE OFF.

NEBUCHNEZZAR SAID

"WHO IS THE GOD THAT SHALL DELIVER YOU OUT OF MY HANDS?

AND THIS IS THE REPLY THAT HE RECEIVED

VERSE 16

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 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. 18 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.”

THE FAITH OF THESE THREE YOUNG MEN WAS 100%

THEY KNEW THAT THEIR GOD WAS ALL POWERFUL.

THEY KNEW THAT HE COULD DELIVER THEM THAT JUST LIKE HE HAD DELIVERED THEIR ANCESTERS FROM EGYPT.

THEY KNEW THAT GOD COULD PROVIDE FOR THEM JUST LIKE HE HAD DONE FOR ELIJAH DURING THE TIME OF FAMINE AND DROUGHT.

I REALLY LIKE VERSE 18

BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT, WE WANT YOU TO KNOW, O KING, THAT WE WILL NOT SERVE YOUR GODS OR WORSHIP YOUR IMAGE OF GOLD.

THEY HAD MADE UP THEIR MIND.  THEIR WILL WAS IN PLAY AND NOW EVERYONE KNEW IT.

IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM TO LOSE AS LONG AS THEY STAYED TRUE TO GOD.

IF GOD DELIVERED THEM THEN THEY WERE VICTORIOUS.

AND IF THEY DIED THEN THEY WOULD GO TO BE WITH GOD THAT VERY DAY.

AND WE CAN'T LOSE EITHER AS LONG AS WE STAY TRUE TO GOD OURSELVES.

One of the bishops in the century following the church of New Testament times had a similar experience. Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna was brought before the Roman authorities and told to curse Christ and he would be released. He replied, "Eighty-six years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong: how then can I blaspheme my king who saved me?" The Roman officer replied, "Unless you change your mind, I will have you burnt." But Polycarp said, "You threaten a fire that burns for an hour, and after a while is quenched; for you are ignorant of the judgement to come and of everlasting punishment reserved for the ungodly. Do what you wish."

A SMALL TIME IN THE FIRE HERE

BEATS AN ETERNITY IN THE FIRE ANY TIME.

REFUSING TO CONFORM TO THIS WORLD'S PATTERN MAY BRING US TROUBLE AND LOSS.

BUT HOW MUCH BETTER IT IS TO ACCEPT THE NARROW WAY THT LEADS TO ETERNITY WITH GOD THAN TO FOLLOW THE WAY OF THE WORLD THAT LEADS TO THE FIRE OF HELL.

JOB SAID IN CHAPTER 13 VERSE 15;  "THOUGH HE SLAY ME, YET WILL I TRUST HIM."

IV.  THE COMPANIONSHIP THEY ENJOYED

THE THREE YOUNG MEN WERE IN THE FIRE, BUT THEY WERE NOT ALONE.

THE LORD WAS THERE WITH THEM.

AND NEBUCHADNEZZAR WAS FILLED WITH AMAZEMENT.

THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCENERATED WITHIN SECONDS BUT THERE THEY WERE, WALKING AROUND IN THE FLAMES ALONG WITH A FOURTH PERSON.

(Rom 8:35,38)

The apostle Paul expressed it magnificently when he wrote, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or danger or sword? ... (Nothing) will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord".

THE LAST WORDS THAT JESUS SAID TO HIS DISCIPLES WAS "I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS"  MATTHEW 28:20

V.  THE CONFESSION THEY WITNESSED

WELL, NOW NEBUCHADNEZZAR IS READY TO OPENLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE THREE YOUNG JEWS WERE SERVANTS OF THE MOST HIGH GOD. AND HE CALLED THEM OUT OF THE FIRE

VERSE 28

28 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. 29 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.”

 

 

SO WHAT WAS A KING TO DO BUT...

VERSE 30

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

 

RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
Get this media plus thousands more when you start a free trial.
Get started for FREE
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →