God is With His People
September 11, 2016 Speaker: Cameron Barham Series: Daniel: The Faithfulness of God in Uncertain Times
Scripture: Daniel 3:1–3:30
Key Truth: God will be with His people in difficult circumstances to draw others to Himself.
Q: Do you ever struggle with God feeling distant or absent?
The King’s Golden Response and A Call to Worship:
“Here in chapter 3 the conflict is focused on the image that Nebuchadnezzar erects. It is a symbolic representation of Babylon and the kingdom of this world. In contrast to it, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego are those in whom the image of God is being created (cf. Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10). In that sense they are God’s representatives. The issue therefore is this: will the image of God that He has made (cf. Gen. 1:26-27) bow to the image which man has made?”
Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Communicator’s Commentary: Daniel
Q: What idols are you tempted to worship? How do they seek to shape how you live?
A Second Chance to Fail and True Faith Displayed:
“By their example, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego lay out a simple plan of action to help us faithfully confront the trials we face: (1) we acknowledge our needs without stipulating how God should or will respond; (2) we humbly acknowledge the ability of God either to meet our needs in the way we desire or in a way that he knows is better; and (3) we commit ourselves to uncompromising obedience whatever comes. We simply obey God and trust him to take care of the circumstances.”
Bryan Chapell, The Gospel According to Daniel: A Christ-Centered Approach
Q: What are most concerned with preserving when faced with difficult circumstances?
The King’s Fiery Fury and God’s Protective Presence:
“But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.”
Q: How has God been faithfully present with you amid a difficult circumstance? How has this example affected those whom you have shared it with?
Daniel 3:1-30 teaches us that:
- the world seeks to get God’s people to worship its idols and be shaped in their images
-God’s sovereign faithfulness empowers us to keep the first 3 Commandments by faith
-God will be with His people in difficult circumstances to draw others to Himself
“Trials provide the context in which the faith of believers shines with unmatched clarity before the eyes of a watching world, as 1 Peter 1:6-7 makes clear. It is precisely in the furnace that the reality of our faith is displayed most clearly. Yet, in the midst of those trials and difficulties, the Lord promisesd that his people could count on his presence with them, ensuring that their trials would not utterly overwhelm them.”
Iain M. Duguid, Daniel: Reformed Expository Commentary