Welcome to The Cyber Church of Eufaula, Oklahoma Pastor, James West  -|- This Sermon Published May, 1998 


The Firey Furnace



There were four brothers: Han-a-ni'ah, Mish'a-el, Az-a-ri'ah and Daniel who were sons of Judah.

They were taken captive when Neb-u-chad-nez'zer invaded Jerusalem.

The four became vegetarians when they refused to eat the food provided by the Babylonians.

They had knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom.

And Daniel had understanding in dreams and visions.

They were ten times smarter than the king's magicians and astrologers.

Daniel was made ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief of the governors over all the king's wise men. BECAUSE he had given Nebuchadnezzar BOTH his dream AND it's interpretation.

Daniel was re-named Beltshazzar

Han-a-ni'ah, Mish'a-el and Az-a-ri'ah were re-named Shad'rach, Me'shach and A'bed-ne-go

Shadrach, meshach and Abednego were put over the affairs of Babylon directly under Daniel, who was directly under the king Nebuchadnezzar.

And the king made an image of gold and commanded that ALL the people must bow down to it and worship.

SHADRACH, MESHACH AND ABEDNEGO REFUSED!

And we have Daniel 3:13-28

The Arrest

Then Nebuchadnezzar in [his] rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

People in power get angry when someone challenges them. Someone said "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Remember these were his favorite servants! They had Nebuchadnezzar favor. They were ten times as smart as the others. Logic would say to keep them. They could be very beneficial to him. BUT he was overcome with rage! He was FURIOUS that they would DARE to defy him!

He WOULD HAVE HIS WAY NO MATTER WHAT IT COSTS!

Some men and women will destroy their home and marriage because of their "pride." they demand to have their "way" no matter if it's right or wrong - no matter what it costs.

They'll cut off their nose to spite their face!

The Charge: Blasphemy

Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, [Is it] true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

Nebuchadnezzar again makes his demands clear!

"You WILL serve MY gods! You WILL worship the golden image I have set up!" It is the big "I" that gets in the way!

God wants to be the great "I AM" but man wants to be "I Am" too!

The Argument

Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; [well]: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who [is] that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

We are preaching about "trust."

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had their life on the line just like the 850 false prophets and Elijah!

They could bow to the king's idols and live a long, very comfortable life!

OR they could REFUSE to bow to them and be thrown into the firey furnace!

Nebuchadnezzar asks "who [is] that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?"

This the same question Sen-nech'e-rib, king of Assyria, asked Hez-e-ki'ah. The answer was that Sen-nech'e-rib would hear rumors and go home to be murdered by his own sons!

The answer to that question is, "He is the God of Abraham! The God of Isaac! The God of Jacob and the God of David - The God who said 'You shall have no other god before ME, because I'm the GREAT I AM!'"

The "No Contest" Answer

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we [are] not careful to answer thee in this matter.

(It is not necessary to answer you!)

(We don't even have to think about it!)

These three had their lives on the line! We only have to worry about the groceries - or the rent - some amount of money! Sometimes we may worry about what the neighbors think! But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had to worry about their very LIVES!

Defense Statement and

If it be [so], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [us] out of thine hand, O king.

Civil Disobedience But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

And they didn't even seem totally SURE that God WOULD deliver them! But WHAT THEY DID KNOW was, SINK or SWIM, LIVE or DIE, they were COMMITTED to Jehovah God!

They Believed (TRUSTED) that God would be with them, NO MATTER WHAT!

If they were in the firey furnace alive HE WOULD BE WITH THEM!

If they were in the firey furnace DEAD HE WOULD BE WITH THEM!

Either way they were not about to bow to the strange gods!

It takes FAITH - it takes TRUST to come to a decision like that! Where the evidence is NOT SEEN! If you could actually SEE the outcome, it wouldn't take any faith at all!

They KNEW the king was not kidding! He would NOT change his mind!

There was ONLY ONE correct decision! Any other would have brought DISASTER! Separated them from their God!

And the time had come to "Fish or Cut Bait!"

The Verdict

Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: [therefore] he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

The Sentence

And he commanded the most mighty men that [were] in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, [and] to cast [them] into the burning fiery furnace.

The Execution

Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their [other] garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

(No Appeal - No Supreme Court!)


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