Discipleship Training #17 “But If Not”

How to Live with Extreme Confidence
Daniel 1:6-7 Among them, from the descendants of Judah, were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. The chief official gave them dfferent names: to Daniel, he gave the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego

When Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked the Southern Kingdom of Judah, he took a number of young men back to Babylon after the first battle in about 605 BC. Among them were Daniel and his friends. Imagine what they must have felt. They were living in a strange, pagan culture. The language and customs, even the food they ate, was unfamiliar. They were being trained to be leaders, but they would find their values challenged in their new setting.
Daniel (alone) and his three friends (together) faced separate threats that caused them to evaluate their convictions and to place their confidence in God. They can serve as a good example for us today.

The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is found in Daniel 3.

Daniel 3: 1Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was ninety feet and its width nine feet; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to..all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up 5 ..you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger ..14 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready, .. to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter.

    17 But if not KJV,

our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath… He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated…. 24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he said to his high officials, “Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Certainly, O king.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!”

    The story of Daniel’s test and confidence is found in Daniel 6.
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