Presentation on theme: "A little history with which to begin… The events of Daniel 1:1-7 took place in the year 605 B.C. The Babylonian general, Nebuchadnezzar, had soundly defeated."— Presentation transcript:
A little history with which to begin… The events of Daniel 1:1-7 took place in the year 605 B.C. The Babylonian general, Nebuchadnezzar, had soundly defeated Pharaoh Neco and the allied coalition of remaining Assyrian forces at Carchemish. Nebuchadnezzar was chasing the Egyptians through Judea toward Egypt when he received word that his father, Nabopolassar had died. He broke off the pursuit to return to Babylon and assume the throne- but took the finest young Hebrew men with him to serve in his court. Among them were….
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah After their trip around the Arabian Desert, and upon their arrival in Babylon, the first thing done to the young men was to give them names which honored Babylonian deities. Thus: Daniel became “Belteshazzar” Hananiah became “Shadrach” Mishael became “Meshach” And Azariah became “Abed-nego”. It is interesting that Daniel continues to be called “Daniel” throughout the book, but the other three are henceforth identified by their Babylonian names.
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah The first thing we learn in this very real story is that these four wouldn’t “bend” to the king’s wishes concerning food, 1:8-20. v.8, Note Daniel “sought permission”- he was neither rude nor disrespectful. v.9, God rewarded his efforts. vv.10-13, But Daniel was persistent and smart about it. vv.14-19, So again, their efforts were rewarded by God. If we go about things the right way, we too can refuse to “bend” to those over us.
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah Next, after Daniel and his friends were promoted (cf.2:46- 49), we learn that Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah wouldn’t “bow” to idolatry either, 3:1-12. Daniel being omitted from this part of the story is likely due to his elevated position, 2:48- either he was wasn’t required to bow, or the accusers knew better than to indict him! 13, Their refusal enraged Nebuchadnezzar. vv.14-15, But He decided to give them “another chance” so to speak. vv.16-18, Even so, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah stood fast and refused to “bow” to the required idolatry. Some forms of idolatry (evolution, religious environmentalism) are almost required today- don’t bow!
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah Finally, Nebuchadnezzar was so enraged at their refusal, that he ordered them burned alive, 3:19-23. But there was a problem- Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah wouldn’t “burn” either! 3:24-27 Please note: They didn’t struggle, curse their torturers, or fight their fate, v.23. But neither did they fight their faith- they didn’t doubt their God or fear death! cf. vv.17-18 Because of these things, even their persecutors came to a measure of faith, vv.28-30; see also Titus 2:6-8.
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah Confession time: I was told, though I have not heard it, that there is an old ‘gospel song’ about these events which says of Shadrach, Mesach, and Abed-nego that “they wouldn’t bend, they wouldn’t bow, and they wouldn’t burn!” It was from this song that the idea for the lesson came. But there are great lessons for us in these things. If we refuse to: Bend the laws of God to suit our own personal interests; Bow to idolatry whatever form it takes; then We won’t burn either! Rev.2:11; 20:6,14-15