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Daniel 3

Author: Kent Berghuis

With Us In The Fire
Daniel 3

Main idea:  God will be with us in the fire if we will stand for him in the fray. SM&A:

I.  They Refused to Bow (1-12).
	A.  False worship may be commanded of us (1-7).
		--In ch. 2 Nebuchadnezzar saw a statue in a dream; now he proceeds to build one.
		--This statue is nearly as tall as the statue of liberty, but only 9 feet wide; an obelisk.
		--This appears to be a test of loyalty of the nation's leaders.
		--The furnace was likely a brick kiln or metal smelter.
		--Everyone obediently bowed; yes-men abound!
	B.  Fierce accusations may confront us (8-12).
		--There are ethnic overtones to the denunciation.
		--There is jealousy for the status of S, M, and A.
		--The refusal is remarkable, because of the peer pressure and the penalty.		

II.  They Refused to Bend (13-18).
	A.  The ultimatum--bend or burn (13-15).
		--N. gives SMA a private interview.  Note he is described as "furious with rage."
		--N. give SMA a second opportunity to bow.	
		--N. asserts his own power over that of their God.
	B.  The testimony--God is able (16-17).
		--SMA reply that there is no "need to defend ourselves."
		--God is able to deliver.  He has proven it before, he will do it again.
	C.  The loyalty--better to burn than bow (18).
		--Even if God chooses not to deliver us, we must still obey him.
		--It is better to serve in heaven than to rule in hell.

III.  They Refused to Burn (19-30).
	A.  The threat fulfilled (19-23).
		--N. grows irrational; his countenance changed to a wild madman.  He overheated 
		the furnace so that even his own soldiers were burned.
	B.  The miracle performed (24-27).
		--A fourth personage appeared in the fire with SMA.  God participates in our trials.
		--The fire did not hurt the men or their clothes, and they were unbound and 	
	walking around.  There was not even the smell of scorched cloth on them.
	C.  The praise offered (28-30).
		--N. recognized the deliverance of God in the event, and praised SMA's loyalty.
		--N. issued a decree of tolerance toward their God.  
		--N. said that "no other god can save in this way."  His theology seems to be 	
	growing since ch. 2, although he is still a polytheist.
		--N. promoted SMA.

Conclusion:	1.  Refuse to bow to the temptation or pressure of false idols around us.
		2.  Refuse to bend when confronted with opportunities to testify about your faith.
		3.  Refuse to burn by trusting in the God who can deliver, for whom even death 	
	would be better than disloyalty.


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