Devotions for Friday, August 4, 2011
1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Pastor Ben’s Commentary:
Today’s story is pretty incredible. We’ll finish the story tomorrow, but today starts it out.
-Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were three Jewish young men, probably teenagers, who were chosen by the king of Babylon to be trained by the best of the best of Babylon. Babylon was the super-power in the world at this point in history, and had invaded Israel and brought the best young men back to Babylon.
-These three boys had to go to a land that was hostile to the way that God had called them to live.
-This became intense in today’s passage, when these guys had to bow to an idol/statue of a king and swear allegiance to this man over God.
-In the passage we find out that these guys are rightly accused of not bowing to the statue when everyone else did.
1. Living by faith must be intentional. These 3 guys have something in common with us. We live in a culture that is more and more hostile to those who want to follow God. If we are going to live the way God wants us to, we have to make a conscious decision not to allow anything to come before God.
2. We have to be aware of the fact that there are people who want our allegiance over God. There are people who are intentional about trying to destroy your faith in God. Not everyone in the media, in the education system, in government, and in your life are, but many in these arenas are in highly influential way.
We’ll read about what happened to these boys tomorrow!
Are you being intentional about your faith in God? Go against the flow!
18 thoughts on “Authentic Faith- Day 2”
I think this kind of goes along with what we talked about yesterday about giving up what we love most, in the sense that we may have to give up your popularity or your friends and step out side are comfort zone. It’s definitely not always easy to stand up for what we believe especially when it seems like everyone’s against us. but I also think that’s why we need to fellowship together and encourage each other.
I really like what Ben said about how living by faith must be intentional! We have to make a conscience decision to fallow God amongst a world that wants nothing to do with him. Ecspecially when you are going back o school you are going to be in an environment where fallowing God won’t be popular and won’t happen often. So you and I both need to make a decision to chose to fallow God now so when a situation arises we know where we stand, we stand where God stands! The other thing I love is that everyone knew they stood up for God! They weren’t secretly not bowing down everyone knew right where they stood. This is hard for me because honestly I’m not such a bold guy but these guys are a great example for me, I need to stand up and it’s ok if people know that I fallow God and I want them to know! And I want to challenge you and I think alot of you are already doing a great job of this, let’s stand up for God this year at school and have faith to know that God is absolutly worth it!
What I got out of today’s passage was that the three boys swore aligience of this man over god and he was there idol and this story reminds me of camp when Sean said to tear down the idols in your back yard so if you have idols you should get them out of your life
What babylon,shadrach, and meshach did were very brave they stood up for what they believed in and would die for Jesus. So when I one day get to make that decision I will choose from what will please god and what will not.
Great job Mafalda!
Sorry If I embarrassed you tonight!
I love the faith that Abed-nego, Shadrach, and Meshach had! They never bowed down, even though Nebekenezer said that he was going to throw them in the burning furnice if they didn’t. They trusted God, and believed that He was going to protect them. One of the commandements says that we shouldn’t have any graven images, or “idols”, before God. The 3 guys knew that the statue of Nebekenzer was an idol, and they knew it to be wrong to bow down to anything but God. I find it awesome that they were so willing to go into a burning furnice and die, just so they wouldn’t betray God! Thats so cool to me! Like Pastor Ben said, following God isn’t exactly easy when we live in a society that wants nothing to do with Him.. But it’s whats right, and exactly what God wants US to do! 🙂
I feel dumb, i spelt Nebuchadnezzar way wrong!
Isn’t it cool to know that we don’t have to do it alone? We have Him and each other!
Its very cool! 🙂
This passage is a really good example of what Sean was talking about at camp, & how we have to take down the idols in our lives and have God above everything!! I think Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego are really good examples, especially for me! It kinda opens my eyes to how cool it can be when you follow God all the way and take leaps of faith for Him, even if it’s out of my comfort zone! 🙂
Good stuff Alexis…
Well I know the whole story of the three guys and this is only half but what I got out of it is that This guy made a statue of him self and told all the people in the town to bow to the statue at a sertin time and when they here the music play well the three guys showed up and they where like “What I am not going to serve this thing I serve God and that is all” But there was one thing the man was not happy, he did not wont people to serve God. What the man wonted was for people to serve him and him only, but the three guys did not stand for it so they did not bow when the music played. But that is all I can say cause tomorrow you will find it out the rest of the story! 😀
P.S Pastor Ben- I love Jesus and trusted Jesus to stay in my life and I was wondering if you could pull me out of big church on sunday and talk to me more aout getting baptised? Thankyou! 🙂
I pretty sure no one is even gonna read this, but I kinda got a diferent take on this story as well as what everyone else has been saying. First off, when I read about Nebuchadnezzar it made me think about how some people feel as though they are better then everyone else and deserve authority over people because they deserve it, or because they’re just “awesome”. Today Andrew made a good point about celebrities. He said when it comes to someone famous or someone in high authority of some sort, he doesn’t feel like he lives up to their standards. I think that is so right. Now-adays people like Justin Bieber for example, is a “role model” if you will. Some girls feel as though they have to worship the ground he walks on which is so wrong. Our society looks up to people that have a ton of money, good looks, great bodies, but not God? It’s so sad that Nebuchadnezzar thought he could make people bow down to him and his stupid gold sculpture… but the even sadder part was people did, and people are bowing down before things today instead of God! Aben-dego, Shadrach, and Meshach had amazing faith to risk being thrown into fire for God, instead of bowing down to an idol.
I think we all need to apply this to our lives and instead of caring what people think about us, let’s take risks for God. He’s always going to catch us, so what do we have to lose? Let’s change the world for God! Nothing better then serving Him! 🙂
I like your perspective. It was very inciteful. It’s so true how we “idolize” famous people like they are something special. They are just people who need God too.
I totally agree- I think if we were really honest we see people (even myself at times-I’ll be honest) worshiping something other than God. There are people that literally worship celebrity, money, power, etc etc etc. like you were saying. Seriously- there are people that worship Justin Bieber more they than worship God. It’s sad.
Exactly! God created everyone the same. No one is more important then anyone even though we want to think that we’re better then the homeless guy on the street, or the teenager who got pregnant. We ALL need God, some of us just chose to follow Him and go on the path He has destined for us, and others of us think we can take life on our own without God and make our own paths. We all need Him whether we like it or not! & Pastor Ben, that’s so true! I know so many things get in the way that we don’t even realize we’re worshiping something other then God, or we do and we frankly don’t stop. It is sad, especially when it’s so visible!
Idols are put in our lives two different ways. One is by another person telling us what to do and what to believe. Sometimes it can even be someone trying to do good in our lives like our teachers or sometimes our parents. Even though they have good intensions things they desire for you become idols that they want you to worship. That’s what happened to these three guys. Although what they were told to worship was not a positive thing. The other one is that we put idols in our own lives. This can be even harder to deal with sometimes cause we are fighting against our own desires and against what God really desires for us.
With either circumstance these guys (and us) have a choice about who to serve daily. Our faith is tested each day and we must decide who or what is important to us.
Another thing was that they were not surrounded by their believing families. They were out on their own in a land where God was not honored but mocked. This was a true test of their faith to see if it was theirs or their parents beliefs.
My application for today is to check my heart and see who I am serving and make sure I line up with what God wants for my life. We must do this without hesitance just as these men did.
I love it when you give me great outlines for sunday school on this blog. 🙂