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Three Men and God

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Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective

Audio for this article is here: SermonAudio.com/studygrowknow

Here are some links that will help you continue your research into CV-19 and non-CV information. Thanks to the readers who have provided the links to me:

If you go through the links above, I know you’ll read everything carefully and be a Berean, meaning of course, you’ll compare information with other sources to determine to the best that you are able to so that you have the most up-to-date and hopefully, true information at your fingertips.

Standing Up to a King
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are three men we meet briefly in Daniel 3, but they remain memorable to us because of their integrity and their fear of the LORD.

It is very important to understand their stance as they were brought before King Nebuchadnezzar, accused of not being obedient to his will. Old Neb had decided to erect an image after hearing Daniel’s interpretation to his dream in Daniel 2.

The King not only made the image but decided everyone should stop what they were doing when they heard music and now to worship the image.

The three men in question could not do that and because of it were hauled before the king and given a final chance to obey. Maybe they had simply and inadvertently disobeyed and now given a chance before the king would do what was right.

Nope. Let’s let them speak for themselves.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.’ (Daniel 3:16-18 NKJV)

O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter…” Uh oh, I see trouble brewing. Notice first of all, the men (or the one who spoke for all three), did not use Nebuchadnezzar’s title, King. They simply referred to him as his name without the appellation, “king” as the Chaldeans had done, using the customary greeting of “O king, live forever!” in verse 9.

The King James Version of Daniel 3:16 states this: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.” Again, uh oh. These men are playing for keeps. They are essentially saying to Nebuchadnezzar, “we are simply going to state the truth and not couch our words in a way that will not offend you, or in an attempt to save our lives.”

The three men simply came out with it and told King Nebuchadnezzar what he did not want to hear and knew that sharing truth with the king would likely mean their end. Interestingly enough, they not only told the king the truth, but some would say, were disrespectful as they did so.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had a much higher calling and if that meant they would die because of it, so be it. But what gave them the courage to not only stand up to the king, but to deny his will in the matter of the image he had set up?

Now, it is worth remembering that during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, the king was allowed to make laws that he himself did not have to follow. That was part of the Babylonian rule at the time. The king would make any law he thought was good, but he himself was exempt from having to follow it. This was not the case with the next empire that came into play; the Medo-Persian Empire. In the case of this second empire, the king could make any law he wanted but was also bound to obey that law, which is why King Darius could not alter Daniel’s fate in Daniel 6 and had to place him in the lion’s den according to the law he had made and had to obey.

So with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the reality is that these three men knew that either God would spare their lives or they would die in the fiery furnace. In either case, they also knew that they would be going into the fiery furnace because of their stance.

According to Scripture, Nebuchadnezzar became so incensed that these men dared to withstand him that he ordered the furnace to be made seven times hotter than usual (Daniel 3:19) In fact, it got so hot that the soldiers who accompanied the three men to the fiery furnace were killed by the flames as they tossed the three faithful men of God into that furnace (v 22). That was probably an indication to the three men that God was going to do something miraculous and He did, saving them not only from the heat and flames, but also from the actual smell of the fire (v 27).

But they could have easily died in the fire had not God spared them and the reason God spared them had to do with Nebuchadnezzar himself. Remember, the three men were actually prepared to die for God. They knew they were going into the fire. They likely believed in short order, their bodies would be killed and they would go onto Sheol, the place of the dead, since their understanding of the afterlife was severely limited. They knew nothing about heaven or paradise or our final eternal state. Yet, they trusted God implicitly and the question is WHY?

Though it is not stated in the text, I firmly believe that they came to such faith in God because of their fear of the LORD. There is no other reason they were able to face such a horrific death in the knowledge that obeying God was far more important than obeying a man. I honestly believe that the reason they did not address the king with flowery language and the normal mode of greeting was to remind Nebuchadnezzar that in the end, he was merely a man, not a god.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego remind us that obedience to God without concern for one’s own life occurs when people have an active, growing, profound, reverential awe and respect (fear) of God. I believe the more we learn to fear the LORD, the greater we will grow in the areas of:

  • humility
  • fearlessness toward man
  • love toward God
  • love toward the unsaved
  • wisdom
  • knowledge of the holy

Without the fear of the LORD, we cannot grow in the likeness of our Lord, Jesus. It is impossible. Remember in Isaiah 11:2-4, the prophet foretells of the coming Messiah who, among other things, would actually delight in the fear of the LORD. Now, if Jesus’ character was such that He lived to delight in fearing the LORD, how much more should we?

This is where it all begins, by our learning to fear the LORD. It is largely absent from Christendom and too many Christians today. I have to admit that I have fallen woefully short of fearing the LORD. I can look back over my life and see just how often I failed because I did not fear the LORD. I can now also see those few times when victory was apparent and even though I was not necessarily aware of it at the time, I now realize it was due to the fact that to some degree, I was fearing the LORD. I can recall that in my prayers and attitude at the time.

It is sad that after five decades of being a Christian, it appears that so much of my Christian life did not excel in fearing the LORD. Instead, I feared other things that kept me from rightly fearing the LORD.

What do you fear? You cannot fear man and God at the same time. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is more than a simple and often favorite Bible “story” where three men were saved from the fiery furnace. It goes much deeper than that to the reason why they were saved. But the fact that they were saved from a fiery death is actually secondary to the whole point of the story, in my opinion.

The three men, above all things, feared the LORD and because of it, had truly “lost” their lives in Him. I am finally coming to terms with what it means to lose your life so that it can be found. Yes, of course it refers to our salvation, which happens when we understand that we cannot save ourselves and must reach out and cling to Another to do so.

But, losing your life also refers to the process by which we stop being concerned with or fear the things that we often do that are not God. So again, I’ll ask…what do you fear? Do you fear the loss of a loved one? Do you fear being alone in life? Do you fear the loss of a job? Do you fear your death? Do you fear CV-19, cancer or something else?

Everything we fear actually becomes the very thing we worship, because we are giving precedence and importance to that thing or person, whether or not we are willing to admit that. We must work to actively fear the LORD and by doing so, will push out everything else that vies for our attention and adoration.

It may not seem to you that you are “worshiping” something else because you “fear” it (like loss of a job, a loved one or something else), but that is exactly what you are doing. If you fear those things, then you are not adequately fearing the LORD. It is one or the other.

Whom or what do you fear? I’ve asked that question before, but it is a question we must get in the habit of asking ourselves every day and sometimes, throughout each day.

We must learn to fear the LORD. If we do not, during these dark days that are growing darker, we will be overtaken by the fear of other things and it will be those things that we end up worshiping even though it may not seem like that is what we are doing.

Please, above all things learn to fear the LORD so that nothing in this life will upset your spiritual balance. He is so worthy of our FEAR.

Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective



Source: https://studygrowknowblog.com/2021/05/25/falling-away-continues/


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