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Lesson # Dan. 3:16-18
Study Material - Dan. 3:16-18
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. 17 'If it be so, 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.'
Into every test there falls two means of escape, a true means, and a false means. The true means often presents the possibility of losing all that you have in life, your friends, your job, your home, and family, everything. The false means of escape from a test in usually a compromise of integrity, going along with the group giving in and letting others control your life.
Do we face these types of tests in our life? Of course. Probably not so dramatic as the furnace which Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego faced, but they can still be very threatening to our social life, our employment life, our family life, etc.
Example - you have a job and your supervisor does something wrong, perhaps illegal, and wants you to go along with the wrongful act or falsification of information of some type. What is at risk? Your job maybe, your future with that supervisor, future pay raises, future references should you move on to another job. Further assume that the job market is very tight, not too many jobs to be found, so you are faced with the possibility of unemployment, the loss of a home, family friction. Your spouse could argue with you to just go along with it and do not jeopardize the family. Further suppose that your child has a medical problem and the loss of medical insurance at this time would be devastating to you and especially the child.
So what do you do? Lets make the example more clear. The cover up is of a major criminal act, like say the falsification of lab reports on some new drug that does not really work. Well of course in this instance you decline to get involved, you refuse to participate in the cover up. You trust in God to work things out for your life and for your family. If worse comes to worse, you simply get out your resume and find other work - it will be there.
But what if the cover up is something like extra paint being placed on auto damage, so that car customers won't know that there was damage. Now this is not exactly a major crime, just a subtle lie. After all no one is really hurt. This would be really easy to look the other way and not jeopardize your family. Right? Wrong. A lie is a lie. Integrity is integrity. You are either honest or not. You either trust in God or you don't. That is as simple as that. You don't have to face the furnace in order for your greatness to come out. Your greatness comes our 24 hours a day when you comply with Gods commands, when you remain in fellowship (now there is the key - in fellowship). What is that - Fellowship? The state of the absence of sin and human viewpoint in the life. The state whereby you stand in Gods presence in pure cleanliness with no filth in you whatsoever - none. Not just a little bit. Not just a teensy bit, but none period.
What did Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego do? Did they cry? Did they negotiate? Did they compromise? Did they worry about their families? Did they make a big deal about all of this wrongful treatment of themselves. Did they cry prejudice and say? 'You don't like us because of our race, our color, of our culture.' Did they say, 'We have rights?' Did they blame each other? Did they blame their wives? 'It was the women! They made us do it!' Of course we do not know if they had wives or family for that matter, but this is just part of the lesson. Did they make up excuses? 'We didn't get the memo!' 'Music, what music?' Did they try to turn the tables on their accusers? "This was just an evil plot. A conspiracy against us. And you O great King, have been duped along with us.' 'It was the system. Down with the system.'
Well none of these and then some. They had no argument. The situation was clear and the outcome was clear as well. Trust in God or not. One of two things will happen. The king will handle the situation properly or God will handle it. And Gods decision is sovereign and final. What God wills, no man can change. What God does not will, no man can cause.
They face certain death, and by means of a violent and painful method. They face loss of everything. Who will take care of their loved ones if they had any? Who will provide for them? What will become of them? If would be easy to buckle at the knees and cry begging for forgiveness. And a weak person (one with little Bible doctrine in the soul) would probable fail in this test, and probably get thrown into the furnace anyway. Going along with something wrong, whether it is with the social crowd in school, at work, in business, or wherever, then you always lose. You can never win. You will be perceived as weak, compromising, untrustworthy, spineless, a coward.
Sticking to your integrity (that is integrity derived from Bible study - not integrity from human viewpoint (there is a difference)), then you may lose in the short term, maybe even hated, but in the long tern, God will promote you. Just remember that God is always in control. Jesus Christ controls history, not man, not you and I, not angels. Jesus Christ alone controls history and that includes every itsy bitsy thing contained therein.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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