THE AMEN CORNER: NO MATTER THE COST

THE AMEN CORNER

with Deacon Brown

January 14, 2018

 

 

This feature replaces “ESSAY-LIKE SUNDAY MORNING”.

 

 

I didn’t make it to The Grove today. Unfortunately, I fell victim to the “flu bug”. However, with the help of the Lord and a little medication, I’m feeling well enough to put together a few words for this week’s article.

 

 

Today’s lesson was entitled, NO MATTER THE COST. The scripture was from Daniel 3:19-28. The KEY VERSE was verse 28 which reads, “Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in Him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”

 

 

How many of us feel strongly enough about our convictions to give up our lives?

 

 

Nebuchadnezzar expressed the sentiments conveyed in verse 28 after witnessing the Jewish boys walk, unscathed, out of the fiery furnace.

 

 

Leading up to this event, it appears that Nebuchadnezzar was having some concerns with his male ego. Earlier, Daniel had interpreted a dream that the king had regarding a great image/statue that was destroyed & Daniel told the king that he (Nebuchadnezzar) was the head of that golden statue.

Nebuchadnezzar decided he wasn’t satisfied with being just the head of that statue, he wanted to be the entire statue. So he had a statue of gold—90 feet tall and 40 feet wide—built in his honor.

 

 

King Nebuchadnezzar then gathered the political leaders and made a decree. He ordered that whenever the music played, everyone would bow down & worship this great image, but Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused to bow down to a FALSE GOD.

 

King Nebuchadnezzar, in his royal fury, demanded the furnace be heated to a temperature seven times hotter than usual. He then ordered the boys to be tossed in.

 

 

Apparently, Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t sure that his command would be obeyed. He was not sure everybody was going to bow down to his idol.  So, he issued an order that to refuse his paganism was to pay a heavy price to pay.

 

That leads to my alternate title: THE BURGER KING

 

 

You see, this isn’t just about an idol. This is about a King and his desire to force his VALUE SYSTEM on his people.

 

He IMPOSED his pagan lifestyle on an entire people. And he did it because he could. He was rich and powerful and he could have inflicted a world of hurt on those who opposed him.

 

It’s kind of like the powerful people of our day.

 

These powerful people say, “You’ll do it or it’ll cost you. It’ll cost you your job, business, and/or income. The rich and powerful tell us that if we don’t bow down to their altars… they WILL DESTROY US.

 

And so, everybody bows down. It’s not worth the hassle. They don’t want to pay that high of a price for just saying “NO”. Everybody bows down. Everybody, that is, except three boys from Judah who possessed a strong faith in God.

 

 

Now there are people who might say, “Why on earth would these boys risk everything just for the sake of a silly old idol?

 

 

I say, good question.

 

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