Trustful Courage in the Midst of Persecution

  • Date: Sunday, July 2, 2017
  • Speaker: John Bell
  • Series: Daniel
  • Scripture: Daniel 3

“Trustful Courage in the Midst of Persecution”

Daniel 3

 The message of Daniel: “Daniel encourages the faithful by showing them that though Israel was exiled from the Land of Promise, they will be restored to the realm of life at the resurrection of the dead, when the four kingdoms are followed by the Kingdom of God, so the people of God can trust him and persevere through persecution until God humbles proud human kings, gives everlasting dominion to the Son of Man, and the saints reign with him.” (With the Clouds of Heaven, James M. Hamilton Jr.)

 

  1. Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold (1–7)
  2. The accusation against the three friends (8–12)
  3. The confrontation with Nebuchadnezzar (13–18)
  4. The miraculous deliverance (19–27)
  5. Nebuchadnezzar worships God (28–30)

 Application:

  • The courage we need in this anti-Christian age is courteous and steadfast.
  • It never apologizes for God.
  • It joyfully believes that God can do anything, but it is prepared to suffer rather than compromise hearty obedience.

There are strong connections between chapter 3 (“The Blazing Furnace”) and chapter 6 (“Daniel and the Lion’s Den”)

  • Both involve a death threat for those who will not comply with a pagan decree (Dan. 3:6; 6:7).
  • Both show faithful Jews refusing to comply with the pagan decree, recognizing that it is better to die nobly than live ignobly (3:12, 16–18;6:10).
  • Both present the pagan king questioning God’s ability to deliver his people (3:15;6:20).
  • Both mention God’s angel helping God’s servants (3:28;6:22).
  • Both show God’s faithful being supernaturally preserved while the wicked who oppose them die (3:22, 27;6:22, 24).
  • Both accounts explicitly state that God’s servantstrusted in him (3:286:23).
  • Both present the pagan king responding to God delivering his servants by praising God and decreeing that he should be respected (3:28–29;6:26–27).
  • Both accounts resolve with a statement of how the faithful Jews were promoted or prospered (3:30;6:28).