Be a Daniel (Through the Fire)
This week we will be continuing our series of study in the book of Daniel. We will learn of the faith of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, otherwise known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They stood firm in their faith in The GOD of Heaven when faced with death by fire. They trusted GOD because HE is Faithful. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we can stand firm in our faith when facing fiery trials which are to try us because we know that we are not alone, JESUS HIMSELF is in those fires with us and HE will deliver us some way, some how. I pray this lesson is as much a blessing to you as it was to me when I learned it. I love you all and I am praying for you. Please continue to pray for me. :O)
Handout: Be a Daniel (Through the Fire) Part 5
This week we will conclude our study in Daniel chapter 3. Last week we learned that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced death by fire. Our fires in life may not be literal, but they are fiery trials we must go through to try our faith and to prove us genuine. We learned that no matter what the outcome, we are winners either way and GOD will be true to HIS promise in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good to those who love GOD and who are the called according to His purpose. Let's read on and see what GOD would teach us as we continue in Daniel 3, and find out what became of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Babylon.
Daniel 3:16-18 "16Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17If 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. 18But 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."
So ole Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have let the king know in no uncertain terms that they will never bow down to his false god image. They let him know that GOD was able to deliver them but if HE chose not to, still they would remain faithful to HIM.
I'm sure they were believing for HIM to put out that fire and deliver them, it probably never occurred to them what GOD actually did. Don't you know that satan was right in their ears trying to tempt them to bow down? It was a spiritual battle within them to do what they did in the face of death. The same goes with us. In the face of death from a fiery trial, or a trial that will cause us much suffering what gods are we tempted to bow down to? Here are a few that we must be aware of.
No, it doesn't take a 90 foot image like King Nebuchadnezzar's for us to be tempted to bow down. All it takes is for us to believe the lie of satan that GOD isn't faithful and that HE isn't coming through for us. If we allow those thoughts in our minds and to believe that lie, then we start to bow down to unbelief and all the other gods that come with it. We MUST be careful and KNOW that GOD is in control and HE WILL ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING! (Romans 8:28)
Philippians 1:12 "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened] unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;"
Paul writes this in Philippians and it will help us to understand it. Paul understood that all the hard things he endured, the beatings, the running for his life, being cast into prison and all the other circumstances of suffering he endured worked together to further the gospel of JESUS CHRIST. It brought him into opportunities that he would not have had in a different situation. Now when we refuse to bow down to these gods of unbelief, despair, resentment, self pity etc., that is when our circumstances will bow down to CHRIST! When we surrender our will and our hearts and minds to The HOLY SPIRIT oh yes! Our circumstances bow down to HIM too! So we must keep believing with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, to the very last breath and beyond, that GOD IS FAITHFUL and if HE chooses to end my life here on this earth, then HE WILL BRING ME HOME! There are some things worth dying for…HE certainly is, our situation will end in death, but we will not bow down to anything or anyone other than our GOD in Heaven…Praise HIM!
In the last verse we read in Daniel 3, verse 18 we saw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refusing to bow to the image and telling the king so. This made King Nebuchadnezzar furious! Just like the devil to get made and throw an evil tantrum. Let's continue on in scripture and see what he did.
Let's read on.
Daniel 3:19-25 "19Then 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. 20And 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.
21Then 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. 22Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
Whoa! So here they are tied up, and thrown right smack dab in the middle of this roaring, angry devil's fire. Now note that it's a miracle that they even made it into the fire alive because the men that cast them in were killed by it! When GOD performs a big miracle in our lives, there will always be little mini-miracles all around it! We should praise HIM and be thankful. He deserves the glory.
Now in these next verses of scripture there are some more interesting things I want us to look at and the first is this.
1. King Nebuchadnezzar is probably shocked beyond belief to see four men walking around. Some believe this was an angel in the fire with them, but I personally believe it was JESUS CHRIST Himself. Here's why I believe that.
Isaiah 43:1-3 "But now thus saith The LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and HE that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I AM The LORD thy GOD, The HOLY ONE of Israel, thy SAVIOR: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee."
Now in verse 2 HE didn't say I will send an angel to be with you. HE said I WILL BE WITH YOU. Now we know by reading GOD'S word that no man as seen GOD. JESUS said that Himself in John 6:46, so we know that any time GOD is seen in human form it is JESUS CHRIST. Praise The LORD, HE HIMSELF will be with you in the fire!
2. Notice as well that both Daniel 3 and Isaiah 43 speaks of walking through the fire, in the fire, not lying down, not running in panic…but placing one foot steadily in front of the other and walking with HIM in the midst of it and through it! That is what we must do, never give up and never give in to fear. Praise HIM.
3. The next interesting fact I want to look at is in verse 25. The king said they were loose and walking around. The fire had not burned them, it had only burned the ropes that had them bound! This makes me want to jump up and down!
1 Peter 4:1-2 "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men but to the will of GOD."
Sometimes it is necessary to go through a fiery trial, because it burns the bonds of sin that has us bound! Whoop, whoop for JESUS! GOD will many times us a fiery trial to burn some of this fleshly nature off of us to make us more like HIS SON. We will not be burned if we endure in faith and in obedience trusting HIM, but our chains will be burned off us and we will come out of that fire FREE! Hallelujah!
I have been here Beloved. I have been bound down and tied up in sin that I wanted to be free from but I could not get free no matter how hard I tried, but GOD used a fiery trial and I went through so much and saw GOD work so much that in the midst of that fire my ropes were burned off me and that sin that I was bound to before had no appeal and no hold on me any longer Praise HIS name! If you are going through a fiery trial, celebrate it and know that your GOD is freeing you and refining your faith! Praise HIM. Fiery trials are necessary at times to get us to move closer to HIM!
Daniel 3:26-27 " 26Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
27And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them."
4. They didn't smell like fire or smoke!
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had been thrown into the fire, had been loosed and was walking around in it, and not only did they not get burned, but they didn't even smell like smoke! Amazing!
Have you ever known someone for a while or even a long time and one day they reveal to you a horrific time that GOD had helped them through and you are shocked thinking that you would NEVER have guessed that they had been through such a terrible ordeal unless they had told you themselves because they were so joyful and happy? That is what it means to come out of a fire without smelling like smoke. You've heard that saying, "They came out smelling like a rose." This is the wonderful grace of GOD!
Then other times you have been around someone who whines and cries about every little problem, and I'm not talking about someone who needs to share their burden with a brother or sister in Christ for prayer, I'm referring to a whiner who complains about everything no matter how small it is. You know the ones and please try to refrain from thinking of a specific person but they are out there and perhaps we have all done it. When we complain and are unthankful and whine and get bitter about everything we go through, we reek of smoke! You've heard the old song, "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen, nobody knows my sorrow." Well when we are whiners, everyone around us knows the trouble we've seen and everybody knows the sorrow, because we won't let them forget it! Instead of the fire burning our ropes of bondage, we just got some new ones! No! This should not be so! We are free in CHRIST JESUS!
John 8:36 "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
We need to toughen up and get over ourselves. Life is not a bed of roses and yeah sometimes we are going to suffer some things, but instead of whining and coming out smelling like a smoke stack, lets come out fresh and new and Hallelujah free because through CHRIST WE ARE! Praise HIS NAME!
We are not wimps. We are soldiers in the army of The LORD GOD Almighty. We can take some fires. I want to face my fiery trials in faith and come out refined and standing taller for HIS glory testifying that my God was with me and HE brought me through! I want that crown of life, I want crowns to cast at HIS worthy feet. We can have that. We can come out not smelling like smoke praise The LORD.
The last interesting thing I want us to notice is this:
5. GOD was made famous through the lives of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Daniel 3:28-29 " 28Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
29Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort."
Ah, don't you just love a happy ending! I do too. No where else in the Bible are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego mentioned again. They went down in history making their GOD famous. What a way to go! I want that! I want to leave behind a legacy of CHRIST lifted up! That when people think of me, or remember my life, that they praise The LORD because HE IS WORTHY. That is what we are here for, to praise HIM, to obey HIM, and to lift up His name! JESUS said…
John 12:32 "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
We only get one life to live here on earth, let's live it with meaning and purpose and lift up JESUS in our lifetime and live in a way that HE is lifted up after we are gone by our memory.
Yes we are children of GOD living in the world/our Babylon, but we do not have to blend in and bow down. We can stand on the promises of GOD by faith knowing that we will face many fiery trials, but HE WILL BE WITH US and one day one of those fiery trials will take us Home right in HIS arms where our souls and HE longs for us to be. Praise The LORD!
Dear Righteous, Loving Father…
Thank You for Your Word and for this lesson today. Thank You for comforting my heart in this time of trial and teaching me that it is for a reason and that You are with me. I ask You to comfort each one of Your children today as they live and run the race that is before them. Give us more wisdom, strength, and enable us to endure what we must endure and deliver us from what You choose to deliver us from, and help us to be thankful always in all things great and small, understanding that all good things come from You LORD. Thank You that this life isn't all there is, that one day we get to come Home to You forever! I can't hardly wait for that day. I'm so excited to see You LORD. Thank You for taking our loved ones Home never to suffer again. Thank You for all the things you have in store for us even though we can't comprehend it now. Thank You for all You have done, continue to do, and what You are going to do. Thank You for being faithful and for giving us grace for the things we must face. I love You LORD and I worship You. Thank You for dying on the Cross for my sins and thank You for forgiving me even though I don't deserve it. Thank You for making me worthy through Yourself in me. Help me to obey You and serve You all the days of my life. Thank You for making me Your daughter. I pray for each one of Your children today. Please save the lost and help Your children lift You up and give You the glory that You so deserve forever and always. In Your lovely name I pray. Amen.
May 17, 2015