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An Answer In the Fire

Chris Holland
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Chris Holland

Chris Holland is speaker/director of It Is Written Canada. 

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  • November 21, 2015
    11:30 AM
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It had stood the test of time. God's book. The Bible. Relevant in today's complex world. It is written. Sharon messages out around the world over the course of the last two weeks we studied and saw and Daniel Chapter two. That the Babylonian King. Never could never was so impressed by the fact that. Daniel had not only revealed the contents of his dream. But was also able to interpret that dream. As a matter of fact. The Bible records that the king. Actually commanded that they should offer. Incense to Daniel. These are the very words confessed by never can as are in Daniel Chapter two verse forty seven. Truly your god is the God of gods. The lord of kings and a revealer of secrets. Since you could reveal a vis secret. When you think about the utter impossibility of guessing the dream. It is a very persuasive. Event. To a stablish NG God's very existence. It was so convincing that the king was convinced that Daniel's God was able to pass the most difficult of tests. And that he was indeed worthy of the title. God of gods. And lord of kings. And so as a result of that one test. The weakness of the Babylonian gods and system of worship. Was exposed. And the power of the God of the Bible was exalted. Yet as we continue our study of the Book of Daniel. We will see. Amazingly enough that the king would revert back to the worship of the gods. That he can fast were actually inferior to the God of Daniel. As we think about what happened in Babylon. As recorded in Daniel to the king was not the only one who had witnessed the power of the God of the Bible. To reveal the dream. Shad rack. Me shack and Abednego who were Daniel's friends. They were there also. In our study today we will draw a sharp contrast between the King's response to the revelation of the dream. And the response of the three Hebrew boys in the course of our journey today. We're going to learn something very important. About God and something important about human nature. We don't know for certain just how much time elapsed between the dream in Daniel two and the events of. Daniel Chapter three. The events of Daniel two took place sometime around six o three to six o two B.C.. Which is just a little over two years after never can as are became king. It is possible that the setting up of the image. Occurred several years later sometime around five ninety four to five ninety three in Jeremiah Chapter fifty one and verse twenty nine. The Prophet records that in the fourth year of Zedekiah. The king of Juda made a journey to Babylon. It is possible that this journey was undertaken in a reply to never can as urs summons. Which are found in Daniel three. In which the king sent word to gather all of the magistrates and administrators of his kingdom. To Babylon. In any event. The amazing events of Daniel three. Must have occurred. At least several years after Daniel two. But not before the amazing events of Daniel Chapter four which we will study next week. What this means is that enough time had gone by in order for the king to weigh and consider how the amazing revelation of the dream of chapter two. Would impact his life. And the direction of the nation of Babylon. So let's take a look at how the king related to the dream that no one. But Daniel could reveal. And interpret. I want you to remember. At first that King was incredibly impressed with Daniel's God the God of the Bible. Yet. After the passing of time. The Bible records. These words found in Daniel Chapter three verses one through seven. Never can as are the king made an image of gold. Whose height was sixty cubits. And it's with six cubits. He set it up in the plane of Dura in the province of Babylon and King never can as are sent word to gather together. The satraps. The administrators the governors. The counsellors the treasures. The judges the magistrates and all the officials of the provinces. To come to the dedication of the image which King never can never had set up. So the satraps the administrators. The governors the councillors the treasures. The judges. The magistrates and all the officials of the provinces. Gathered together for the dedication of the image that. KING Never can as are had set up. And they stood before the image that never can as are had set up. That a herald cried aloud to you it is commanded O. peoples nations in languages that at the time you hear the sound of the horn. Flute. Harp liar and sultry in symphony with all kinds of music. You shall fall down and worship the gold. Image that King never can as or has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship. Shall be cast. Amy Lee into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. So at that time. When all the people heard the sound of the horn flute. Harp and liar. In symphony with all kinds of music. All the people nations and languages. Fell down and worshiped the gold image which King never can as are had set up. Imagine the scene with me. While basking in the thought that he represented the head of gold. The king was not satisfied with the fact that. Inferior kings would eventually take the place of Babylon. So instead it. Instead of his submitting himself to the divine will and plan of God. He fought against it. Instead of accepting the interpretation of The Rise and Fall of nations. After Babylon. That were represented in the dream. By the various metals. The king decided to make the entire image of gold. It was his attempt to demonstrate that Babylon. Would in fact not fall. But live forever. And next he would invite. Representatives from all over his kingdom. In order that these nations. Might also support his ambitions. About Babylon's on ending rain. Never can as rejection of the will of God and attempt to bring security to his realm. Through King worship. Led to some disastrous results. Those who occupy positions of authority and are interested in extending their power and influence. Never can as there's a mix perience demonstrates that if we choose not to submit to the will and plan of God. We will end up. Worshipping and exulting ourselves. Please take note in the first seven verses of Daniel three six times. The Bible records the fact that King never can as are set up the golden image. Later in Daniel three. The setting up of the image is mentioned three other times. Nine times in this chapter. The Bible emphasizes that never could never set up the image. It would seem that the Bible is trying to send us a clear message. The one who set up the image. He is the one who is being worshiped. And although this is certainly nurses cystic persecuting those who refuse to worship the image. The king had set up in his honor by throwing them into a burning. Fiery furnace is certainly much more disastrous. Than his own self worship. The Bible paints a dark picture here of those who were once in lightened choosing to reject the light of God's word and find fulfillment in the gratification of pride and a. Bishan especially at the expense of others. It would appear that for never can as are confessing that Daniel's God the God of the Bible is the true God is one thing. But submitting himself wholeheartedly. Is quite another. While the king was intellectually convinced that Daniel's God was the true God. He did not submit himself to the God of heaven. The actions of the king. Represent the actions of many people today. People who are convinced. Intellectually and convicted by the truth of God's existence. And the truth of the Scriptures. Yet. They do not submit themselves to God's revealed plan in their lives. It is this fact that explains why there is a majority of contradictory. Religious views today. It is not because the God of the Bible lacks the ability to overwhelmingly convince those opposed to him that he is the true God. He certainly did that with the king and the wise men of Babylon. And as we continue on this series. You will find him doing it over and over again. Why so many contradictory views. Because got leaves people free to choose a choice to either serve him or not to serve him. However if we reject Him and His plan by human nature. We will end up. Worshipping someone or something else. It is this that. Then creates all of the contradictory religious views that we find in our world today. Notice something else. There is a sharp contrast between the methods of Daniel's God. And the God of the Bible. And never can AS Hers methods in giving the dream. And then revealing its content and interpretation to Daniel. The God of the Bible uses the power of intellectual and spiritual wisdom that appeals. Even to those like the king who have all kinds of prejudices against him. Think about it before Daniel revealed to the king the dream. And its interpretation. There is no way that the king. Ever would have stated that Daniel's God is the true God. Yet through the power of probability. Revealed in declaring the dream. The interpretation of the dream. And its historical fulfillment. The King. Freely confessed that Daniel's God is the true God. However although Daniel's. God has power to enlighten and convict. Those who do not know him. He does not use the power of force or coercion. In order to compel people to worship him. The king's rejection of Daniel's interpretation of the dream in Daniel three. Is proof of just that. Now let's contrast that with the king's method in Daniel three the king. Assembled dignitaries from all over his realm. He first tries to seduce the allegiance of his subjects to bow down to the image. Through the power of music. Yet when that fails. He forces them to bow down and worship. On the threat. And consequence of death. Never can is are. And the gods of Babylon. Delight in power. Which is the major weapon that they use in order to coerce their people into worship and loyalty. Friends. It is not might. That makes right now although the God of heaven. The God of the Bible. Possesses. Infinite Power. His power is in the service of his wisdom. Justice. But Neverland's and love. He does not take any pleasure in forced or coerced worship. He wants us to love and serve him out of the intellectual appreciation of who he is. He wants us to serve him. Because we are free to do sell. And so in Babylon. The music played. People bow down. But not everyone. The three Hebrew boys. Wreath. Used to bow down. They desired to be faithful to the God of heaven. What's the king found out that these three men did not bow down to worship the golden image that he had set up. He immediately called for them. Let's read in Daniel three verses. Fourteen and fifteen. To see what happened. Never can as are spoke. Saying to them. Is it true Shadrack me Sheykh and Abednego that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold. Image which I have set up. Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn. Flute. Harp liar and sultry in symphony with all kinds of music. And you fall down and worship the image which I have made good. But if you do not worship is you'll be cast a media. Lee into the midst of a burning. Fiery furnace. And who is the God who will deliver you from my hands. The implication behind never can as are challenging question. Is that there is no such God that exists. It's as if the king is saying. He does exist. Then I defy him and his ability to do anything on your behalf anyways. Yet. It's ironic that several years earlier he told Daniel. That your god is the God of gods and lord of kings and the reason back then for his conclusion was that no one but the true God could reveal the secret of friends. Listen. This story demonstrates to those who directly challenge the existence of God. Just like King never can as Or did they do so not because God has not revealed Himself to them with an mistake of all evidence. But because they have rejected the true God and have begun to worship. Other things. What is it that they worship. Ultimately friends when we reject the systems of God and declare that our ways. Are Better Than his ways. We are in turn. Worshipping ourselves. Yet self worship is disguised as the worship of. Whatever image they have placed in their lives. That replaces the true God. It could be science art music. Philosophy or any other list of things. Thus atheists agnostics and even other religious leaders who scoff at the existence of God or at his ability. Love and Power. May be doing so because they want to stifle their previous convictions about the overwhelming evidence for His existence. They're following in the footsteps of King never can answer. Let's now look at how Shad wrecked. Me shack and Abednego responded to the King's challenge. And their responses found a Daniel three verses sixteen to eighteen. Shadrack me shack and a bad knee go. Answered and said to the king. All never can as are. 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 OK. But if not let it be known to you OK. That we do not serve your gods. Nor will we worship. The gold image which you have set up. What is it that gave these three young men. This much confidence in their god that they would be willing to stand by his revealed. Will even in the midst of the greatest pressure that was brought upon them. At the existence of God was a fairy tale or. If indeed the Babylonian gods were stronger than the God of the Bible then certainly these young men would not be willing to face death. In order to protect something that they knew was intrinsically false. Yet. They were willing to face death rather than dishonor their god. They were no doubt. Familiar with passages. Such as Isaiah forty three one to three which state. But now Thus says the LORD Who created you. Old Jacob. And he who formed you owe Israel. Fear not for I have read deemed you. I have called you by your name. You are mine. When you pass through the waters. I will be with you and through the rivers. They shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire. You shall not be burned. Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord God the Holy One of Israel. Your savior. Friends the reason that they could trust in this promise. Is it had already been demonstrated back in Daniel to. You see if their God could reveal the content of the King's dream. The interpretation of the dream. And the incredible historical fulfillment of that dream. Then they could confidently say. Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace. Should he choose to do so Doualy improbable nature of revealing the events of the King's dream and Daniels to impress them with the thought that God can use his ability to do. Highly improbable things like protect them from the flames. And that is exactly what God did. As a matter of fact. This was the case of a fire. Selectively burning everything else except their hair and clothing. While the flames engulfed the strong men who threw them into the furnace. Daniel records that these three. Hebrews did not even smell like smoke. And once again. We see God revealing himself to the king. Listen to what happens when the young men are thrown into the furnace. As found in Daniel three twenty two to twenty five. Therefore. Because the king's command was urgent. And the furnace. Exceedingly hot. The flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shad wrecked me shack and Abednego. And these three men Shadrack me shakin Abednego fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then King never can as or was astonished and he rose in haste and spoke. Saying to his counsellors. Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire. They answered and said to the king. True OK. Look he answered. I see four men loose walking in the midst of the fire. And they are not hurt. And the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Beyond just protecting and saving the three Hebrews God desired to make it impact. And difference in the life of never can as are the Bible is clear that one like the Son of God Jesus himself walking in the fire with these young men. What the story suggests about the character of God is absolutely astounding. First. God was doing all he could to reach the king and open his eyes. As to who God truly was in addition was a very important lesson. For those three. He ruling men. They believed that God existed. They had a relationship with God and knew that God could deliver them from their troubles. But God did not deliver them from their troubles did he. No he didn't deliver them from the trouble. But rather. He walked through the trouble with. And here is the power of God in this story. God is doing all he can to reveal Himself to us today. He wants us to know him. He wants office to be in relationship with him. He wants to save us from this planet. That seems to be spiraling out of control. And here's the guarantee that he has made. And whatever trial we face. And whatever problem we are dealing with in whatever challenges that are on the horizon. He will walk through that trial. With us. He exists. He is real. And according to First John four eight. He is law. He desires. A relationship with you and with me today is the day. To not only acknowledge that He exists. But today is the day. Enter into relationship with him. Heavenly Father we thank you that you have revealed yourself in a mighty way. And now as we see revealing yourself. We come to you and ask that you would give us the strength to enter into relationship with you to trust you to follow you. All the days of our life we pray in Jesus name Amen. Dear friends. Isn't it amazing how God revealed himself over and over again. To king now the Knesset. That he might enter into relationship with King never can as Or that he might save. Never can as or from his sin was even more amazing is that God continues to reveal himself today. He's revealed Himself and His Holy Word. He's revealed himself in the world of nature. All in an effort to enter into relationship with us to enter into relationship with me that he might save us that we would be prepared to live with him for ever in his kingdom. That will never happen. Today I would like to offer to you a book the make this book will engage you in reading about thought makers throughout time. And how they were led to acknowledge the God of the Bible. Here's the information you need to receive today's off two requests today's offer. Just log on to W W W dot. It is written canada dot ca. That's W W W dot. It is written canada dot ca and select the T.V. Program tab for Canadian viewers. The offer will be sent free and postage paid for viewers outside of Canada. Shipping charges will apply. If you prefer. You may call toll free at one eight hundred eight. Call. I I W. That's one eight eight eight. Call I I W.. Call any time lines are open twenty four hours daily. That's one eight eight eight call I W. Or if you wish. You may write to us at. It is written. Box twenty ten. Oshawa Ontario. L. one age seventy four. Philosophies. Achilles heel. It has been a journey that we have taken together. To look at how God has revealed his. Self. Over and over again with one goal and to enter into relationship with each and every one of you happen to have missed any of this series. You can go to our youtube page at youtube dot com forward slash. I W Canada. And there you can watch any of philosophies. Achilles heel or any other program that we have produced. I hope you are finding God's love in your life. Through seeing him reveal Himself in His Word. Through the world a bitch. I'm glad you joined us today I encourage you to join us again next on Tell then remember. It is written. Man shall not live by bread alone. But by every word. The proceeds from the mouth of God.

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