SCRIIPTURE Dan 3:6, 6:7 DECEMBER, 2009
Dan 3:6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
Dan 6:7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
SUBJECT - WHAT WOULD DANIEL AND THE 3 HEBREW BOYS DO??
This month's message, deals with an issue, that affects all of us in this nation, and even around the world, that are Christians.
It has to do with an issue that, seems to place us in an unusual predicament, and that is, to what extent are we, to abide by laws that, for all intents and purposes, are designed to do one thing, and that is, to make us abide by something that conflicts with the direction that God tells us to follow.
Today, in this nation especially, laws are being passed, and courts are enforcing them, that essentially tell us what we can, and cannot do, as far as our worship of Christ.
Worship, in its basic sense, means being in a frame of mind that is in obedience to someone, or thing. That usually means, they set rules and laws, and the worshiper, obeys them.
In the case of the Christian, we worship Jesus Christ, and therefore, our worship, takes the form of obeying the teachings of Christ.
However, one thing Christ directs us to do, is to live at peace with one another, and to set the example of being good, law abiding citizens.
However, at what point does our following this direction of peace, and being law abiding, end?? And, are we sinning against Christ, if we refuse to follow man's law, if it conflicts with the commands of God??
In order to see what we should do, in that situation, we are going to look at two examples of old testament situations, that faced men of God, and what they did. And not only that, but what God did because they disobeyed the laws of man.
The first example, is the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego;
The first subject verse shows that a law is being conceived against them, that is designed to make them, forsake their worship of their God, and worship a golden image that king Nebuchadnezzar, has set up.
The law was made specifically, to set them up, to be killed, if they did not follow it. The reason being, the king's counselors, priests, and others close to him, were jealous of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; because they had found favor with the king, and were put in positions, that were higher than theirs.
These people figured that if these Hebrews, were so close to the king, that he would not knowingly do anything to harm them, they would trick the king in to making a law, that would do the job for them. They knew the king was a man full of pride, and fancied himself as a god. Therefore, to disobey his law, meant that the person was not recognizing him, as god.
Here is a clear example of people, being jealous of the positions of authority, or prosperity, of those that worship God, and Him only, wanting to destroy them, and using the law, to do so.
So, the decree was issued, that said, anyone, not falling down and worshiping the image, should be put in to a fiery furnace.
Well, when the opportunity came, and everyone bowed down to the image, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; refused, and were arrested, and brought before the king. When he questioned them about why they refused to bow down, their response was straightforward, and to the point. Dan 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful[don't have to think about it first] to answer thee in this matter.
Dan 3:17 If 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.
Dan 3:18 But 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.
As a result of refusing to worship the king's golden image, they were cast in to the fiery furnace.
Those that know the story, know that God, intervened in the situation, by protecting them in the furnace, which was heated so hot, that it killed the people that threw them in. Yet, the fire didn't leave so much as the smell of smoke on them, when the furnace was opened, and they walked out.
The second story involves Daniel.
In pretty much the same situation, a law was passed, forbidding anyone from praying to any other god. Anyone caught doing so, would be cast in to a den of lions.
This law was designed to do one thing, and that was, to get rid of Daniel, again, because of his position.
These people knew that Daniel, was a man of habit. They knew that he had a schedule, and without fail, he prayed to God.
Well, after the law was passed, Daniel, as was his custom, went up to his room to pray. Not only that, but, he did it openly. It is quite possible, if he had just closed his window, or went in to a closet somewhere, where no one could see him, he might not have been caught. But, he didn't, and was seen, and arrested, and brought before the king.
At first the king, realizing what had happened, wanted to pardon him, but his advisers pressed him to follow the law, which he, himself had signed. So, he ordered Daniel to be put in the den of lions.
Once again, God intervened, and shut the mouths of the lions, and Daniel was unharmed.
In both cases, at the end, the men that tricked the kings to make these laws, were gathered together, and cast in to the fiery furnace, and den of lions, respectfully, and killed.
In both examples, laws were made to stop them from worshiping God, and they refused to obey them. This, in turn, resorted in their arrest, conviction, and subsequent punishment of death.
However, because they remained true to God, and His laws, God intervened, and turned the whole situation around, on those that sought to destroy them.
Which brings me to the Church, today.
With all of these laws that we have today from 'Separation of Church and state', all the way to abortion, and gay rights, if Daniel, or Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were here today, what do you think their response to them would be??
Do you think they would bow to 'political correctness' like most Christians do today?? Or, would they make it plain, by their actions and deeds, that they refuse to be quiet, and that they refuse to obey any law that puts them at odds with God's law, no matter what the consequences are??
The Church today, needs a reality check. We are too busy trying to appease people who want nothing more than to shut us up, or get rid of us, by passing laws, that are designed to do just that, and too many Christians, are falling in line by giving their support to them.
The politicians that most of us, in the black community vote for, are those that are trying to get/stay elected, and therefore, want to appease everybody, and that, my friends, is impossible. Even God can't do that, and remain Righteous. We, in the 'True Church', need to elect people that support what God says, over what makes people feel good. That way, we make a clear distinction of where we stand. When we do that, God will bless us more, and deliver us in times of peril. But, you have to be willing to 'stand' in the face of adversity and threats.
Too many of us, want to go along, to get along, and all that does is put us at odds with God. When that happens, our blessings, go right out the window.
The thing is, we can see what God did for those that stood up for what they believed, and to those that tried to destroy His people[anointed]. Why would anyone want to jeopardize that??
If you want to know why so many saints are suffering in the times we are living in, it could very well be, because, deep down inside, they have a divided loyalty. They want to be Godly, and 'politically correct' which is like Spiritual adultery. Having two masters[lovers]. And, what did Jesus say about that?? Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
He made it clear, which way we should go, and it is up to us to follow it. Of course we do have the choice to make our own decisions. But, we should look at the reward God gave Daniel, and the three Hebrew boys. He not only delivered them, He destroyed their enemies.
In closing, I would ask each of you to examine yourself, your situation, what you believe, and why??
These last days, we are living in, are times that will bring out the worst in people, as it pertains to our Christian beliefs. Groups of people are getting together, to remove religious broadcasting off of the radio, and TV. Their excuses are, they don't believe in God, or in some cases, Christ, and they are tired of having to see, or hear it on the airways.
If you will notice, if we complain about something they like hearing, or seeing they tell us to, change the channel.
They want to get rid of Christmas decorations, not only on government land, but, in our own front yards. They want to tell preachers what they can, and cannot say, in the pulpit of the Churches in this nation. They don't want us to say, or do anything that they don't like. To do so, means we will be punished, either by fine, or even jail time.
The biggest question to be asked, is, if He were here in the flesh today, WWJD [What Would Jesus Do]??
Would Jesus compromise with this foolishness, or would He, stand against it?? Remember, He died on the cross, rather than compromise His message. Should we do anything less??