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Daniel - A Man of Character: Facing Idols

Summary: Philippians 1:21 “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”


Key Scripture Daniel 3:1-18


King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He 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. So 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.

Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As 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. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

Therefore, 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.

At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! Your 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, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. But 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.”

Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and 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? Now 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?”

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But 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. ”

GOD'S THOUGHTS ON IDOLS IN THE BIBLE: (WARNINGS AGAINST)

  • Bowing down to images 
  • Worshiping images 
  • Sacrificing to images 
  • Worshiping other gods 
  • Swearing by other gods 
  • Walking after other gods 
  • Speaking in the name of other gods 
  • Looking to other gods 
  • Serving other gods 
  • Fearing other gods 
  • Sacrificing to other gods 
  • Worshiping the true God by an image 
  • Worshiping angels 
  • Worshiping the hosts of heaven 
  • Worshiping devils 
  • Worshiping dead men
  • Setting up idols in the heart
  • Covetousness
  • Sensuality  


In the Bible, idolatry is described in these terms.  



Important Takeaway: An idol is anything you put before God.

IN THIS PASSAGE WE LEARN THAT CHRIST FOLLOWERS WILL:

  1. FACE IDOLS (3:1-7)
  2. FACE CRITICISM (3:8-12)
  3. FACE PRESSURE TO WORSHIP FALSE GODS (3:13-15)
  4. FACE THE NEED TO BE COURAGEOUS (3:16-18)


Important Takeaway: I believe that Daniel and his friends give us an important blueprint to follow as we face situations in life.

NEW TESTAMENT CONNECTION:

MARK 13:9-11

“You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit."

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY WE SHOULD DO ABOUT IDOLATRY?

  1. Flee, 1 Corinthians 10:14, flee idols, flee from idols.  
  2. Avoid idols, 1 Corinthians 10:10-20, have no fellowship at all with the table of demons.  
  3. Stay away from them. First John 5:21, “My little children, keep yourselves from idols.” 

WHERE DO WE SEE JESUS


Type in the notes section below the area(s) we see a picture of Jesus in this passage