Sermon notes from previous weeks are available by calling the Church Office
Sunday September 17th
The Book of Daniel 3
Welcome Journey travelers. I'm Pastor Paris of the Journey Church.
In week three I need to keep my comments to a minimum and let the power of God’s word speak directly to you. Remember that king Nebuchadnezzar was about to explode because some of his subjects were rejecting his commands to adhere to his law of pagan worship. So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were called on the carpet. Let’s read this for ourselves.
Daniel 3:13–15 (NIV) 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, pipe 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?”
This king knew his leadership was being challenged by a few teenagers and their faith commitments. He was now forced to show power or be seen as weak. After all he is the king of the land and ruler of the known world. Now pay very close attention to the skill with which these three young men respond.
Daniel 3:16–18 (NIV) Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King 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 deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Did you hear the words they spoke? God will deliver us, but even if He doesn’t we can’t compromise our faith. That’s amazing and it changed my life and my faith walk the first time I read it. Is it changing yours?
Daniel 3:19–20 (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 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.
Our God is in the miracle business and here He demonstrates His power over earthly kings.
Daniel 3:26–27 (NIV) 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.
Maybe you’d like this to be your story. Well you have to live like no one else, so you can live like no one else as Dave Ramsey says. Stay steady and stay true to God and watch the results.
Daniel 3:28 (NIV) 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.
Now let’s jump ahead to another amazing historical account that many treat as a children’s story, “Daniel and the lion’s den”. Two kings had succeeded since the fiery furnace and none knew anything of the past attitudes toward Daniel’s God. But Daniel still was shown favor because of his character and wisdom. However all the other pagan leaders were jealous of Daniels favor and did everything possible to discredit him.
Daniel 6:1–4 (NIV) It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, 2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. 3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.
Leaders are often manipulated today just like in this account. Evil gets a voice and tries to steer the narrative against God and anything Godly. These evil voices know God has blessed His people so they trap others into doing their evil bidding.
Daniel 6:5–7 (NIV) Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
6 So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! 7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.
They forced the king to make a law that would entrap God’s people. It wasn’t just a bad thing it was like having you and I fund abortion; it came from evil itself. Sacrificing babies is what pagan religions do and today they leverage support by calling it women’s health care. Don’t get set up by this evil.
Daniel 6:10–12 (NIV) Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”
The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
The evil voice reminds its leadership that they had agreed to do harm to anyone who broke their rules. This is like the cake maker who is being fined, threatened with jail for his convictions regarding marriage between one man and one women. It’s the condemnation and cancelation of anyone today who disagrees with the progressive, woke narrative of our time. They declare openly their plans to remove God from every corner of the world and they have our top leaderships support.
Daniel 6:13–14 (NIV) Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
Many people are not fundamentally evil, they are just being manipulated by evil, and evil won’t relent.
Daniel 6:15–16 (NIV) Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”
16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
Though the king’s hand was forced he still wished well for Daniel his favored servant who maintained an amazing reputation in his leadership.
Daniel 6:19–20 (NIV) At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
Notice the heart of this ungodly leader. Are we doing what God asks us to do and praying for our leadership or are we just being critical? Pay attention to the tenor of Daniel’s words and voice toward the ruler.
Daniel 6:21–23 (NIV) Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his (God’s) sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
This response has set the tone for how I see people who are lost and yet sit in authority over me. If you lead with respect and yet fully committed to God you will allow room for God to work miraculously.
Daniel 6:25–26 (NIV) Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth: “May you prosper greatly! 26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.
Daniel 6:28 (NIV) So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
You and I are to be world changers not be changed by our world. We are to be noticed for our integrity and our commitment not for our rules and regulations. We are to be known of being respectful and respected in our culture even though we will be despised by those who are jealous and evil. We are to be seen by our world as walking with a God filled powerful force that no man can compare to. We must become this kind of people in our pagan land. The book of Daniel is no kids story.
Next week Pastor Ben will address the power of prayer found in the book of Daniel
Discuss the words of the king and the words of the 3 Hebrew teenagers when it came to obedience to the rules.
What image does this reveal regarding civil disobedience?
What will God bless His people with according to the book of Daniel?
Discuss the words of the king and the words of Daniel when it came to obedience to the rules.
What worthwhile results were the result of God’s favor and a few men’s obedience?