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A fire that didn't burn and a king who would kneel

A fire that didn't burn and a king who would kneel

We have all heard that pride comes before a fall. King Neb has this personal experience in today's reading. Enjoy Christ's presence today.

Daniel 3: Nebuchadnezzar's Golden Image

1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

2 Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counsellors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

3 Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counsellors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

4 And the herald proclaimed aloud, "You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,

5 that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.

6 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace."

7 Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

The Fiery Furnace

8 Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews.

9 They declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, "O king, live forever!

10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image.

11 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace.

12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king.

14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, "Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up?

15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?"

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.

17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.

18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated.

20 And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

21 Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace.

22 Because the king's order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counsellors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O king."

25 He answered and said, "But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods."

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!" Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire.

27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king's counsellors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.

28 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.

29 Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way."

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Daniel 4: Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

1 King Nebuchadnezzar to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you!

2 It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.

3 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.

Nebuchadnezzar's Second Dream

4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace.

5 I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and the visions of my head alarmed me.

6 So I made a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream.

7 Then the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me its interpretation.

8 At last Daniel came in before me---he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods---and I told him the dream, saying,

9 "O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too difficult for you, tell me the visions of my dream that I saw and their interpretation.

10 The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great.

11 The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth.

12 Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.

13 "I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven.

14 He proclaimed aloud and said thus: 'Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches.

15 But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth.

16 Let his mind be changed from a man's, and let a beast's mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him.

17 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.'

18 This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. And you, O Belteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you."

Daniel Interprets the Second Dream

19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, "Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you." Belteshazzar answered and said, "My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies!

20 The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth,

21 whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived---

22 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the ends of the earth.

23 And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, 'Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven periods of time pass over him,'

24 this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king,

25 that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.

26 And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules.

27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity."

Nebuchadnezzar's Humiliation

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar.

29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon,

30 and the king answered and said, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?"

31 While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, "O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you,

32 and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will."

33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers, and his nails were like birds' claws.

Nebuchadnezzar Restored

34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honoured him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;

35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?"

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendour returned to me. My counsellors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me.

37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Things to think about…

1.True faith will always be tested. In Daniel 3 we see Daniel's three friends thrown into the furnace and come out not even having the smell of fire upon them. But look at their resolve. They said "our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." This is true faith, trusting in the sovereign will of God, regardless of the outcome. Let's never think that God does not care for us if He chooses not to answer in the way we desire. In what ways has he answered you in the past when you were presented with an intense trial?

2.The fourth in the fire, Dan 3:25 rather than being a son of God is the Son of God, the pre-incarnate Christ who delivers us from any earthly fire. But if the fire burns, it burns by the will of the One who says "I will never leave you nor forsake you", Heb 13:5. He appoints the heat , the intensity and the duration. Even so, His banner over us is love. Hallelujah!

3.Do you think King Neb's decree in Dan 3:28, 29 is a godly response or is it tainted with an ancient Babylonian spirit. Is King Neb a believer at this point in your opinion, look at his theology expressed in Dan 4:1-3. What do you think? But repentance must be added to faith – he still had a substantial amount of pride at this point.

4.Beware of outward righteousness. Anyone can say the right words and even display a godly character and yet have a heart that is as hard and as proud as the anti-Christ. Surely the Pharisees in Jesus day were just like this. King Neb had seen God's power and he respected God but didn't know Him personally. A year after having his dream interpreted he revels in his own strength and wisdom and admires the work of his hands, Dan 4:28. God speaks to him directly vss 31, 32. Sometimes we need to have a personal word from the Lord to set us right. Be aware this word is not going to be one of peace and prosperity if your life reflects the pride of the devil.

5.Seven periods of time is likely to be seven years. King Nebuchhadnezzar's nails grow like birds' claws and his hair resembled eagles' feathers, Dan 4:33. After pride comes a fall. The Lord will bring a season of humility to bring about a teachable spirit to his children. He "For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives", Heb 12:6. The Lord had chosen this man to rule and ultimately be His servant. In order to do the Lord's work King Nebuchadnezzar needed to receive a new heart.

6.After a season of humility King Neb is restored back to having a right mind and returned as king, Dan 4:34-37. Look at what happens to him. Consider the change of heart that is reflected in these verses. Like Job he had a season of humiliation and was even more blessed after the experience, vs 36. Let's pray similar experiences happen to our world leaders so they recognise where their authority ultimately comes from and Who they are accountable to.

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

The reading was from Rev 7. The sermon was called "Every tribe, nation and language"

1.How do you understand the tribulation period? Do you think Christians will be raptured before, during or after the tribulation?

2.Andrew Otte mentioned 7 "P's" in his sermon. Can you remember some of them?

3.Andrew also mentioned the "until's". Do you remember what they refer to?

4.What is the evidence of someone who is saved in Christ.


Prayer Points

1.Pray for continued follow up rain

2.Pray for those who have recently come to CBC that they settle into the fellowship.

3.The loss of 2 lives at Rappville in NSW. Pray for these families and the loss of properties in this rural community.

4.Pray for our help and response to Stanthorpe community.

5.Ministries this term 4 – PlayPatch, Kids@Church, Recharge youth.

6.Pastor Andrew Otte as he preaches this Sunday night on Rev 16-18.

7.More Sunday school and RI teachers

8.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

9.Sunday's messages. "The making of a King – Daniel 4"– "The bowls, the beast and Babylon"" Rev 16-18 Andrew Otte – Sunday night.

10.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.

11.Church finances to meet our expenses.

12.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.

13.Ray of Hope Trivia night – this Saturday 7pm and Members meeting 3rd Nov.


Praise Points.

1.Praise the Lord for more rain last night.

2.Andrew Otte's preaching ministry on Sunday.

3.Praise the Lord for rain that has fallen already in Qld and NSW.

4.More new people on Sunday – Praise the Lord.

5.Those who serve on our worship teams and ministry teams.

6.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.

7.A number considering baptism.


Announcements

1.Willey group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.

2.Playpatch – Returns this Friday morning.

3.Recharge Youth – Friday night 7pm – High Schoolers.

4.Kids at Church – Primary school aged children Sunday mornings.

5.Andrew Otte preaching 13th Oct AM and 20th Oct PM.

6.Ray of Hope orphanage trivia night dinner to raise money for the orphanage, this Saturday 19th Oct 6pm.

7.Members Meeting 3rd November after morning service.


This month's catechism question...

Q. 5. How many petitions are there in The Lord's Prayer?
A. Six.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

The writing on the wall, the lions den and the end...
Daniel - the interpreter of dreams