Pericope: Daniel 3: 16-25 16 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.”
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, Your Majesty.” 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.”
Sermon Text: Daniel 3: 17-18 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.”
Sermon Title: “No Matter What”!
Lesson 1: Choices and Consequences aren’t new!
The first lesson we must learn before we ever begin to teach the text is choices and consequences are not new.
(a) Adam and Eve started it all. In the Garden of Eden God showed the depth of God's love by giving Adam and Eve everything. Gen 2: 16, 17 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
(b) Saul 1 Sam 8: 19-22 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.” Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.” Saul was picked against the will of God
(c) Matthias. Acts 1: 23-26 23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.
Lesson 2: Choices and Consequences, requirements, discernment, determination, and final decisions. Vs 15, 16 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. 16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.
Hananiah, Mishel and Azaria (vs. 19) also known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego by their oppressors given name, had some tough choices. Four considerations come into play with their choices.
1. Requirement – They had to vote for the most corrupt egotistical politician of their time. Every time you saw his --- you had to vote with our worship. When the music played you had to genuflect.
2. Discernment – They had to discern the signs of the times. They had to discern what was at stake. They had to discern what was God going to do if they acquiesced or if they didn’t. Their discernment lead to their determination.
Lesson 3: Choices and Consequences can shift a nation. Vs 29 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.”
Verse 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.”
Jesus will be with you and your decisions.
1: Vote like your life depends on it…
2: Get somebody else to vote like their life depends on it…,
3: Trust God No Matter What