MAN UP Bible Series
“Standing Tall in Tough Times”A Man focused study from the book of Daniel.LESSON THREE
The Real World
I am amazed at fashion over that past few decades. At one time it was “ Bell Bottoms” , then it was “Skinny Jeans” back and forth. And we all just go along with whatever trend there is. Like a bunch of sheep. The reality is none of us like to stand out. We all like to blend in with the crowd. Go along with the flow. Daniel and his three friends did not have that kind of choice. Daniel was eating different food, uncovering dreams and making a name for himself and the God they were serving. While we just go along under the radar there is are Christians being killed for their faith on every continent in the world. My question : Is there enough evidence of God in you life to be killed for it?
The Real Word
The Image of Gold and the Blazing Furnace3 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,[a]and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.2He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up.3So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.4Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do:5As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.6Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”7Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.8At this time some astrologers[b]came forward and denounced the Jews.9They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever!10Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold,11and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.12But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”13Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king,14and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?15Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”16Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.17If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c]from Your Majesty’s hand.18But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”19Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual20and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.21So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.22The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,23and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.24Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”25He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”26Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,27and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.28Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.29Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”30Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon
1) What did you learn about Standing Tall under pressure from the way Daniel reacted to the kings decree?2) What is that kind of faith like? Willing to face death?3) How do you think you would respond if your faith meant certain death?
We are all afraid of something. For many of us it is rejection. The number one reason guys do not share their faith is that fear of rejection.Why is that?What are some steps we can take so this does not happen in the future?Look at Daniel 3 and compare how you respond to circumstances that test your faith and how Daniel did?Is there a difference? Why?
Time to Close
This is a powerful story from Daniel. The question is :Where did Daniel find this kind of strength to stare down death?What has you in the furnace lately?How will you show your trust in God in the face of adversity?Time to MAN UP !