OUTSIDERS | Daniel 3

POWER AND EMPTINESS

From the beginning of time, Satan has been trying to tell a counterfeit gospel.  What God says is good… Satan says is false (Gen. 2:1-5).  This culminated in God’s wrath when mankind tried to build a tower to themselves, rather than God (Gen. 11:1-9).  The site of Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idol is the exact site of the Tower of Babel.  Once again, Satan influences man to think they are just as great as God.  However, God has strategically placed 3 Hebrew men to stand for Him amidst a pagan religion.  All the trappings are present.  Pretend you are at a hometown game and their are no opponents in the stands.  This is what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego felt.  The entire crowd has no conviction about worshipping another god.  They have served many gods over the course of their lives.  However, the Hebrew men draw a very stiff line. They would die rather than worship the false gods of the Babylonians.  Welcome to the context of Daniel 3.

THE REAL MIRACLE OF CHAPTER 3

Many see the miracle of this chapter as the salvation of the 3 Hebrew men from the fiery furnace.  However, the real miracle happens much earlier.  The miracle occurs when 3 men have true and authentic faith in God.  This faith doesn’t try to manipulate the hand of God.  This faith simply grounds itself in the person of God.  This faith knows the power of God (He is able), but also knows the freedom of God (we don’t know what He will do).   Real faith never tries to manipulate God’s hand.  Rather, true faith seeks to honor God for who He is in spite of current circumstances.  Some only believe in a God who answers all their prayers for safety and prosperity.  Others believe in a God who uses good and bad times to reprove His people.  Which God do you believe in?

Study Questions

– What kinds of things does the Devil do to destroy our faith?
– Think about the examples of true faith that you have witnessed. How would you describe the characteristics of true faith?
– The king used music to get the people to worship the idol. In what ways is music used today to build our allegiances to something or someone?
– What do you think made the difference between the Jews who fell down and worshipped the idol and the three who didn’t?
– List some ways we are asked to compromise within our culture if we are going to fit in with the general public.

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