Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God took care of the Hebrew boys who trusted Him. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to trust the Lord, despite our furnace like situations.
Read Daniel 3:19-23
I. Fury of the King. Nebuchadnezzar was upset with the Hebrew boys. He order them to be thrown into the fire. Those who threw the Hebrew boys in the fire were burnt up.
- God over kings.Notice in vs. 19 that the king’s attitude towards the Hebrews changed, when they took a stand for the Lord. First, there are some people who will act kindly towards you, as long as you live up to their expectations. As long as you say, do, and look like they desire, you are good.
But when you deviate from their expectations, they can change on you. Second, work on staying true to God’s will, no matter what impact it has on other relationships. Being in relationship with God should be more important than being in relationship with people.
Staying true to God’s will calls for prayerfully studying and striving to obey God’s will. Let’s work on putting our relationship with God over relationships with others.
- Mean people. Notice in vss. 19-23 that there are some people in this world. First, it was mean for the king to have the Hebrew boys thrown into the fire. In like manner, there are some people who can be so mean today. Killing the reputation of others with lies and gossip is mean. Being non-responsive to people we can help is mean.
Second, the men who were putting the Hebrew boys in the furnace ended up getting killed. In like manner, it is dangerous to be mean to God’s people, because God sees that people reap what they sow.
So, on one hand, if you are being mistreated by others, be thankful that God will fix it. If you are mistreating a person of God, stop, before you get hurt trying to hurt someone else. Let’s work on avoiding being mean and trusting God, when people are mean to us.
- Furnace faith. Notice in vss. 19-23 that as faithful as the Hebrew boys were, they were still throw into the flaming furnace. In like manner, your being faithful doesn’t exempt you from terrible situations.
Sometimes after all of your prayerful studying and obeying of God’s word, you still have bouts of depression, sickness, financial woes, family trouble, and people disrespecting the contribution that you are trying to make. Let’s develop furnace faith. This is faith that will keep us obeying the Lord in and out of the furnace.
Read Daniel 3:26-28
II. Work of All-Powerful God. Nebuchadnezzar ordered the Hebrew boys to come out the fire. They came out. The crowd was amazed that the boys didn’t even smell like smoke. Their faith was commended.
- God’s glory from our flames. Notice in vss. 26-28 that the king gave glory to God because of how the Hebrew boys handled the furnace. In like manner, how we handle terrible situations will have a great impact on how people see or don’t see God.
Let’s endure our furnace like situations with faith in God. Faith means trusting and obeying God. Faith includes having a positive attitude.
- The Spirit’s presence. Notice in vs. 28 that someone was in the furnace with the Hebrew boys. Some say it was a pre-carnation of Jesus. Others say it was an angle. We don’t know who it was.
But we know that as believers, the Holy Spirit is with us, when we are in terrible situations. We are never alone or forsaken. Let’s live like we trust the Spirit is present. Such living should be known for joy, peace, and hope.
- Praising the Lord. Notice in vs. 28 that the king praised the Lord. In like manner, when we see and think about how great God is and the great things that He is doing, we should praise Him.
It is shameful to see people who have been in church for years sit like bumps on a log during the praise and worship periods. The more we see and think about the greatness of God, the more we should praise Him. Let’s work on praising God like we are aware of His greatness.
Conclusion: Let’s work on trusting the Lord, despite our furnace like situations. God has much for those who obey His will.
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