3rd Sunday in Advent
December 23, 2018.
SUB THEME/8: Benefits of a life that pleases God.
TOPIC: Delivered, celebrated and promoted.
TEXT: Daniel 3:16-30.
i) To realise that God rewards absolute faith in, and loyalty to, Him;
ii) To strive to please God so as to be rewarded thus.
The dangerous decision of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (The Three Hebrews) to defy the king’s command to bow down to his brazen idol was not out of a carnal desire to become famous. It was based on their conviction that only Jehovah deserves their worship, and; they were ready to die for it. That pleased God and evoked His intervention. God’s intervention overawed Nebuchadnezzar and caused him to acknowledge the God of Israel. The Three Hebrews became heroes and were exalted above their peers as we find similarly in I Sam.2:30; Psa.91:14.
1. What do you think was the strong motivation for the extremely dangerous choice of the Three Hebrews?Dan. 3: 16-18; Cf. Heb.11:24-27.
2. The Three Hebrews believed in the power of God to deliver as well as His sovereign will to let them die in that fire. What lesson is there for us in our walk with God?
3. What can we learn from the effect of their deliverance on King Nebuchadnezzar? Dan. 3: 24-30.
4. Read Dan. 3:30 again.
a. Does enduring persecution necessarily lead to divine blessing? Matt. 19:29; 2 Tim. 2:12; 1 Pet. 5: 10; Rev.2: 10.
b. If they had died in the fire, do you think it would have affected the Almightiness of God adversely? Cf. Acts 7:58 and 8:1-3 with 22:20; Mark 15:39.
The true Christian spirit recognizes the sovereignty of God and would not readily sell out even at the greatest threat to one’s life, welfare or wellbeing. Those who choose to suffer with Him, He honours. The three Hebrew youths understood this, decided to go with God, and have thus left us a very significant example as follows.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
The greater the risk, the greater the glory.