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Daniel 3 You'll Never Stand Alone

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Stand for the Only God Who Can Stand for You!

Dear Congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ,
Dear Congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ,
There are times when we must press on with our faith without compromising and without making a fuss. Other times we must step forward and not only witness for the God who is the revealer of mysteries, but we must invite others in their confusion to experience God as their revealer of mysteries! Such was the case that saved his colleagues from certain death, and proclaimed the truth of Christ’s eternal kingdom in the heart of Babylon’s crisis! But there are still other times when it’s time to stand in the place where you work, in your home, in the church -times when you must make a fuss and stand for God. The spirit of Babylon presses in on us and our world in all those settings and when that happens you must know when and how to stand, and most importantly why to stand!
Key Truth: When we stand for the LORD, we can count on Him to stand by us.
When must you stand for the LORD?
A. Make a stand when man-centered, self-glorification threatens God-centered worship
What is the chief end of man? Most glroified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. John Piper. What life is about. But in the Fall this world puts it all backwards - live by independence from God, don’t trust Him, worship, try to negoitatie and manipulate with Man in the cnetre, man in control. Someone last week understood this - we don’t pray command ing Go dto do our will. We have seen already in ch 1 this is the the Spirit of this place, Babylon, reference to Plain of Shinar - let us make a name for ourselves!
What is the chief end of man? Most glroified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. John Piper. What life is about. But in the Fall this world puts it all backwards - live by independence from God, don’t trust Him, worship, try to negoitatie and manipulate with Man in the cnetre, man in control. Someone last week understood this - we don’t pray command ing Go dto do our will. We have seen already in ch 1 this is the the Spirit of this place, Babylon, reference to Plain of Shinar - let us make a name for ourselves!
Do you know anyone who has done that? Pastor’s runners, families good workers, wealthy, artists - all trying to have a good name. Minus the pride that is a good thing, we are to protect each other good name and reputation. But when that name becomes the end all and be all of our existence - when it is about living independent from God - not for God and others - It is truly the Spirit of Anti-Christ.
Sometime after that dream that revealed Neb fragile temporary shaky throne, he forgot about the true God who gave him that dream and the Kingdom of the Rock - and became fixated on how insecure his kingdom was. So he swept in military conquest, conquering nation after nation, exalting that dream didn’t go far enough, golden head…now thought he had a golden kingdom - disunified? Hpmh he’d show every one.
Daniel 3:2 ESV
Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Daniel
All these officials from and governing over conquered lands, united together to recognize the miltiary power and glory Babylon. Image to honour -deified that popwoer - new religion , ritual of dedication that all claim this new god, this new power - give allengiance to it. Do you see them there in all there military regalia. And look at the next list:
Daniel 3:4–5 ESV
And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.
Again listed here are a couple instruments from the surrounding lands - for the new worship symbolized in this obelisk, psosibliy with base. Collus of Rhodes.
And from v.1 how big is it - why don’t translate it into our number 90’x9’. 60 (three score cubits) by 6 cubits - hard not to see sy bolic number of the beast of Revelation - the Spirit of Anti-Christ 666. Anyone who doens’t bow - made war!
Interesting that in Revelation the Anti-Christ, the Beast, the Whore of Babylon - totalizing world philoosphy , but not only that luxary that brought oppression, can commerce covered the world - can’t trade or buy without that number! Can’t you see all the flags and regalia and bands and pomp circumstance - this worship but without Living God - Man-centred - in the end it can only be accomplshed by porimses of advancement in this world or coercion, Just look at that furance - been others later Antiochus Epiphances burnign all day to punish those sold food at high prices. Can’t you hear well meaning friends - just bow in your obdy not your soul, all will be well! Your God is just one among others - tolerates rivals, and who knows maybe all gods the same, yours defeated, cups still in their temple… keep it to yourself. Gods won’t mind!
The world erects its golden images today.. Heats up blazing furnaces to intimidate those who refuse to how to them - public oopinon poolls , pooled majorities, vocal minorities, money, fame, all these put pressure on tgods' servants. .. Make them conform to sinful behaviour. = modern day Chaldeans who delight in reporting when Christians refuse to bow = encourage all of us not to bend the kneee - our God does not want you to buckle when faced with the fiery furnace of criticism , ostracism or perpreviaation… even in denominations become like us poil correct or throw you into the fire…
Everyone falls down on that plain to worship. Only three are left standing, stick out like a soar thumb. Christians, every believer in this world - while not facing out right persecution all the time, will experience this sticking out if they are true to God and His rpinciples. Not to be worshipped like other gods, and no other gods before me - can’t take an image of created and use it towrtship… Takes courage to stand out to the world like that, but even mnore when the king of that world summons you. Don’t think we don’t face this - when living among those worship p $$, whose god is their belly - worshipping - want you to live like them
It is time to stand, not only resist the compromise but to stand for true worship of the LORD. Don’t think this is a thing of the past, or just in persecuted lands. Listen: One day a second Neb. Will set up his great statue and prepare a huge fiery furance for the church in case she should refuse to honour his gods… Like these three, and Christains in Persecuted lands - whatever suffering permited to suffer for Christ, greater destinty ahed and day of salvation is dawning… Spirit of anti-Christ alreadyin the world and you and I must know the ture worship of God and be prepared to stand!
It is time to stand, not only resist the compromise but to stand for true worship of the LORD. Don’t think this is a thing of the past, or just in persecuted lands. Listen: One day a second Neb. Will set up his great statue and prepare a huge fiery furance for the church in case she should refuse to honour his gods… Like these three, and Christains in Persecuted lands - whatever suffering permited to suffer for Christ, greater destinty ahed and day of salvation is dawning… Spirit of anti-Christ alreadyin the world and you and I must know the ture worship of God and be prepared to stand!
But the second point of chapter 3 is to teach God’s people how to stand!
B. Confess the God of Grace in the face of the Incarnation of the Spirit of Babylon (8-19)
Watch what happens now because it may happen in your life this way too.
The children of this world who have swallowed the cool-aid laced with poison, those on the treadmill enslaved to moving up the despot’s ladder, think of themselves like Neb, house roof with one side better and better - they are jealous of those who march to a different drummer, especially when they have been promoted - suffering must be endured!
But look what the king in a sympathy designed to win them over does:
Daniel 3:14 ESV
Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up?
Daniel
I put you in your great positions, won’t you treat me as great. Look I am asking kindly now! Is it ture. Look how reasonalbe I am and what I give you - I know you are Jews worship only one God - but just bend the knee, so you can carry on! And Neb’s loud worship teams start a second ceremony just for the three - pressures on - do it or your fired, prssures on and I am watching - do our rituals or I will break up with you, ridicule - why so narrow - jsut do it!
Okay I’ll just start replacing work for worship, I’ll not hnoour God with my body - give him my lips service but just live as Babylonians!?!
NO! Listen to their reply in
NO! Listen to their reply in
Daniel 3:16 ESV
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
This is not disrespect - simply guilty as charged, you know we only worship one true God who showed himself to you, - we have no argument - no excuses - and what you do to us can’t subtract from God’s glory which we stand for in your presence! Not a God who coerces - ture God and he delivers - two ways - from the furnaces if that in HI sprovidence will glroify his name and further his kingdom - he is able in his power - but according to his wisdom ,holiness and righteousness - we make no claim on that -
Daniel 3:17–18 ESV
If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Daniel 3:17-18
Daniel 3:18 ESV
But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Interersting prayer of Azariah LXX Apocraphya - confess sin of nation and judtice of God’s judgment in Babylon on his people - but still cry for delivereance …
Not a God who coerces - ture God and he delivers - two ways - from the furnaces if that in HI sprovidence will glroify his name and further his kingdom - he is able in his power - but according to his wisdom ,holiness and righteousness - we make no claim on that - Interersting prayer of Azariah LXX Apocraphya - confess sin of nation and judtice of God’s judgment in Babylon on his people - but still cry for delivereance …
Interersting prayer of Azariah & song of three youths LXX Apocraphya - confess sin of nation and judtice of God’s judgment in Babylon on his people - but still cry for delivereance …
Not a God who coerces - ture God and he delivers - two ways - from the furnaces if that in HI sprovidence will glroify his name and further his kingdom - he is able in his power - but according to his wisdom ,holiness and righteousness - we make no claim on that - Interersting prayer of Azariah LXX Apocraphya - confess sin of nation and judtice of God’s judgment in Babylon on his people - but still cry for delivereance …
But do you see the other deliverance - and this will be the key for the whole passage - our God, 17b. “he will deliver us out of your hand, O King.” whether in this life, are in the life hereafter - your power can’t win, and He will always deliver ultimately, spiritually, and finally in body and in soul - His poeople
v.18 Our testminoy our stand, will show your gods, your image, the power and psorit of Byblon not ultimate and failures, and we stand for true God! Pray for opportunities to make this known in our culture when told to worship gods of our age!
Well will God speak? He already is as Neb goes into a rage - in comic proportions, see Neb has made this great image for himself - now in his rage, of self-glorification being opposed - his real image, the expression of his face is changed!
Daniel 3:19 ESV
Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated.
Daniel
Got to picture - smeagol -turning into Gollum, or Hobbit “it’s mine - true colours of those who will not worship God -eventually shine through - Dr. Jekyl -turns into Mr Hyde permanently! We become like what we worship - ultimately if not God - hauntiing ugly and terrible! miser, luster, actor after crowds leave…empty...
But will God show up?
Watch what happens - The kiln-furance is heated seven times hotter… he is goingn to send him in with clothes which burn immeaditely , he binds them - shows who is control - God is speaking already - that such rage, such gods only bring death - as guards burned up by his anger! And before we get to the conclusion what should be ringing in our ears is the king’s question at the end of v.15
Watch what happens - The furance is heated seven times hotter… he is goingn to send him in with clothes which burn immeaditely , he binds them - shows who is ocntorl - God is speaking already - that such rage, such gods only bring death - as guards burned up by his anger! And before we get to the conclusion what should be ringing in our ears is the king’s question at the end of v.15
Daniel 3:15 ESV
Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”
Can God do miracles, will he deliver, does the money, the power of the kings of this world, false gods determine all - what a direct dare to the LIVING God!
Do understand that these 3 are ready for power encounters with the rulers and philosophies of this world - with their God and His Ways! Like St. Boniface…
Initially, Boniface did not have much success in turning people from their pagan religions to faith in Jesus. Even those who expressed some interest seemed reluctant to completely move away from their tribal religion. Finally, Boniface felt led to do something extraordinary.
One day Boniface announced he was going to cut down a sacred oak tree near Geismar. That tree had been dedicated to Thor, the god of thunder and of war. Such sacred trees can be found even today where people follow ancient animistic religions. The audacious act of cutting down a tree consecrated to Thor might demonstrate the god’s powerlessness.
On the announced day, a crowd of pagans gathered at the tree, confident that Thor would show his power. Perhaps they thought that Thor would strike down this brash foreigner. At any rate, Boniface began chopping at the tree with his ax and wood chips began to fly. The pagans waited for Thor to do something, but nothing happened. Nothing. Then, they watched as the tree came crashing down.
Legend has it that Boniface used wood from the tree to build a chapel. We don’t know if that part of Boniface’s story is true. We do know, however, that this power encounter marked a significant turning point in the evangelization of the Germanic peoples.
Many truth encounters would follow across Germany
Are you prepared when the Biblical principle of following God vs. following any human way that breaks His law - to o him? What will happen if you do? No guarantee that be delivered from consequences in this world. In fact part of the message does save them, but not from the furnace, rather he saves them in and through the furnace and fire! Revealing the truth of Christ - that when we stand for God - he in most gracious incredible way will stand with us!
C. Commune with Christ in Your Troubles
In the three of them go… pop, pop, pop through the kiln’s top hatch… but unlinke those gaurds - no popping as life is combusted - no screams - no rage - Neb gets up to look perhaps through a side window - not like creamation of sam megee -
Sure no clothes burned - sure comfortable - but listen a miracle the fire has burned up their bounds - mentioned serveral times -
Like matryr burned = you may …but we are free What a message the world is enslaved .. we are free. But even better - not just free - now the source of teh miracles and deliverance is revealed = fourth like the son of the gods = supernatural being - angel or son of God in carnate
Daniel 3:25 ESV
He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”
v.25
With you in affliction; either way pointing to Christ in our suffering, but remember Azariah’s prayer another prefiguring prophesy here - this son of God - who saved them, didn’t just enter therir suffering, to deliver, he entered their sin and stayed in the fiery furnace - the hell of forsaknenes son the Cross - he it is who delivered them - in ulitmate way and whetehr or not made it out alive - because of what he did 2000 years ago - and for us …
With you in affliction; either way pointing to Christ in our suffering, but remember Azariah’s prayer another prefiguring prophesy here - this son of God - who saved them, didn’t just enter therir suffering, to deliver, he entered their sin and stayed in the fiery furnace - the hell of forsaknenes son the Cross - he it is who delivered them - in ulitmate way and whetehr or not made it out alive - because of what he did 2000 years ago - and for us …
- faith extinguished power ofo the flame = stopped wrath of king of this world
=what you and I are promised by faith…
However, Mary was unwilling to believe that the submission was sincere, and he was ordered to be burned at Oxford on 21 March 1556. At the very end, he repudiated his final letter of submission, and announced that he died a Protestant. He said, "I have sinned, in that I signed with my hand what I did not believe with my heart. When the flames are lit, this hand shall be the first to burn." And when the fire was lit around his feet, he leaned forward and held his right hand in the fire until it was charred to a stump. Aside from this, he did not speak or move, except that once he raised his left hand to wipe the sweat from his forehead.
However, Mary was unwilling to believe that the submission was sincere, and he was ordered to be burned at Oxford on 21 March 1556. At the very end, he repudiated his final letter of submission, and announced that he died a Protestant. He said, "I have sinned, in that I signed with my hand what I did not believe with my heart. When the flames are lit, this hand shall be the first to burn." And when the fire was lit around his feet, he leaned forward and held his right hand in the fire until it was charred to a stump. Aside from this, he did not speak or move, except that once he raised his left hand to wipe the sweat from his forehead.
Latimer Play the Man - stand up for the Lord! be of good cheer Master Ridley. and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England, as I trust shall never be put out.
Play the Man - stand up for the Lord!
2 Corinthians 4:18 ESV
as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Play the Man - stand up for the Lord!
2 Timothy 4:18 ESV
The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Even if a created angel, his presence was still a revealation of God's communion in the Christ with our life and suffering! = when in Babylon not only find God as revealer, live by wisdom from above,get divine perspective act on your identity in heavenly kingdom; BUT experience power of God's grace in Christ - rely on that!
Prophesy of the Incarnation of the Word = bbecause of their communion with theChrist, three men were not in distress - in that Prayer of Azariah and Song of Three = felt as if a cool wind from a dew-covered morning was blowing around them!!!
Power of Grace is revealed in Babylon
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Isaiah 43:1–3 ESV
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
One day Boniface announced he was going to cut down a sacred oak tree near Geismar. That tree had been dedicated to Thor, the god of thunder and of war. Such sacred trees can be found even today where people follow ancient animistic religions. The audacious act of cutting down a tree consecrated to Thor might demonstrate the god’s powerlessness.
On the announced day, a crowd of pagans gathered at the tree, confident that Thor would show his power. Perhaps they thought that Thor would strike down this brash foreigner. At any rate, Boniface began chopping at the tree with his ax and wood chips began to fly. The pagans waited for Thor to do something, but nothing happened. Nothing. Then, they watched as the tree came crashing down.
Legend has it that Boniface used wood from the tree to build a chapel. We don’t know if that part of Boniface’s story is true. We do know, however, that this power encounter marked a significant turning point in the evangelization of the Germanic peoples.
Many truth encounters would follow across Germany
Weaker days of WWII, Hitler's army trapped a weaker British force near seaside town of Dunkirk. Escape seemed imopssible . Nazi's paused for a few days before delivering final blow. In that desperate hour, a Biritsh officer sent a message to his homeland. BUT IF NOT… fired up British citizens poluace recognized those owrds… stil would not bow to dictator;s idol even if fire… perhaps God rescue - . Inspired by that message, thousands of British boar owners crossed dangerous water, braved nazi firepoiwer, and rescued more than 350,000 troops. Historians call it the miracle of Dunkirk." but beyond victory of faith… deliverance by angel who prefigures Christ … could have done it that way, but chose iin the fire!
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