This is Where You Belong...!


This writing is to teach us some vital lessons of faith that we as Christians are to learn from this event which took place more than 3000 years ago in the ancient Babylonian empire. Paul said these things were written to teach us that we might continue to be patient, brave, and strong in faith (Romans 15:4).

Daniel 3:1-30

The king Nebuchadnezzar constructed a very huge image made of gold. The golden image was the statue of Nebuchadnezzar himself, and it was 90 feet high (that was really huge). He set this image up in the plains of Dura.
He then summoned all his top and low ranking officials to Dura on a particular day for the dedication of the golden Image and commanded that when they heard the sound of horn, flute, harp, lyre, psaltery and tambourine, played with all kinds of music, all men were to fall down and worship the image.
But the bible tells us that out of the men that were the officials that attended the dedication of king Nebuchadnezzar’s image there were three young Hebrew men who refused to bow and worship Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. Their Babylonian names were:
(1) Shadrach (meaning : illumined by the sun –god)
(2) Meshach (meaning : who is Ishtar or who is Easter)
(3) Abednego (meaning: The slave of Nebu. Nebu was the Babylonian god of wisdom and education)
But these weren’t their real names. Their real names were:
(i)                Hannaniah (meaning : The  Lord is gracious )
(ii)              Mishael (meaning : who is the Lord)
(iii)            Azariah (meaning : The Lord is my help)- Daniel 1:6,7
Why did Nebuchadnezzar change heir names? He did so in order to brain wash them and make them forget their true identity as the covenant children of the almighty God. As a child of God born again and spirit filled, knowing who you are is very vital to your success in life as a Christian. Knowing you true identity in Christ will help you to never settle for a low kind of life. Knowing your true identity will help you to stand your grounds against the wiles of the adversary knowing who you really are in Christ will help you know your rights in Him.
You see, in this world, there is no success without risks, trials and challenges. If we are to experience victory over them, then we must never bow to them, no matter the pressure. Learn to get your mind away from your problems and fix it on the word of God. Always remember that no problem can defeat you, not even the devil and his evil armies. The moment you are tempted to worry and fret about some problem, turn it over to the Lord in prayer and start confessing your victory over it. Throw the worries away and become reckless in faith and confidence in the word of God, and it will amaze you how everything will work out fine. Our faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4).
Although these three Hebrew young men submitted to their new names, nevertheless they refused to be brainwashed by the king and his Babylonian customs. Unlike others, we are told they refused to bow to the golden statue of king Nebuchadnezzar. (Daniel 3:4-12).
These three Hebrew men are a type of believers who never allow the adversary and the traditions of this world system to brainwash them. They are examples of believers who refuse to yield to circumstances and situation and pressures from the world system. This includes you and I. The world may call us names, they may label us this or that, but we know who we are. We can never forget who we are and what we stand for. Refuse to go by the name the world calls you. You belong to Christ.
Those three Hebrew folks were not afraid of the fire. They were not afraid of circumstances and the threats of the king or enemy. They believed in God’s ability to rescue them. But it’s not a matter of just believing that God is able, you must also believe that God is willing to do it for you now, not tomorrow. Religion says God will do it for you tomorrow, they say God is getting ready to do it (as though He were not ready now), and maybe He will do it in the future. But true faith says God has done it. It demands that we receive what God has already done for us in Christ. True faith is present tense.  This is what the three Hebrew young men did. They believed and then decreed. They were steadfast in declaring God’s ability to rescue them. The same will work for you if you follow their example by holding on to your declaration of God’s word and you refuse to succumb to the world’s pressures and circumstances.
You will agree that like the other youths, these three Hebrew youths could have given excuses why they should obey the king and bow to the golden image. There were many excuses they could have given, such as: (i) Why not join the system
(ii) They could have said, ‘let us cooperate with the king and win him to Christ later.
(iii) If you can’t beat them, you join them
(iv) He who fights and runs away always lives to fight another day!
(v)It is better red than dead.
(vi) God understands.
(vii)A living dog is better than a dead lion.
(viii) Half bread is better than none.
All these excuses and many more could have been used. But Shedrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to succumb. They just held on to the word of God. They were steadfast.
Notice, if these three men who weren’t born again and who didn’t have the Holy Ghost living in them could be steadfast on the word of God, then how about us today, who live under a better covenant, and are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Some people have suggested that Daniel was not present at the dedication ceremony of Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image, that his official duties as prime minister in Babylon required him to travel extensively. But this is not true.
Daniel. As we are made to know was the second mast powerful person in the whole of Babylon. Daniel 2:46-49. From common sense, it is unthinkable that the king Nebuchadnezzar as proud as he was could hold such a very prominent occasion and not invites his prime minister (second in command). In fact we are told that Daniel was the wisest man in Babylon. So how could the king Nebuchadnezzar organize his royal occasion without having his wisest man around? Many other people have suggested that perhaps Daniel was unable to attend the dedication due to sickness or due to being away on some long business trip. There are even those who have claimed that Daniel may have been watching from a distance. I suppose they should have even said he was having “jedi-jedi” (a Nigerian slang for someone suffering from pile), and had to excuse himself to go buy Agbo”, or may be he was so hungry that he had to excuse himself to go buy ‘nkwobi’ (a delicacy from eastern Nigerian). All of these assumptions are ridiculous. Some read Daniel 2:49 and concluded that Daniel was sitting at the gate when the dedication ceremony of Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image was taking place. That’s not true. You see, the expression “Daniel sat in the gate of the king” was an idiomatic expression which simply means, “He was appointed prime minister of Babylon”. That position was the most powerful position in the world of that day other than the king himself. That meant that no one could see the king without first obtaining Daniels approval. That also meant that Daniel could make certain decisions on behalf of the king Wao! What a powerful office. The “gate” implies “the door” or “access” to the king. So beloved, Daniel was there, sitting next to the king. How do we know? We know so because we are told that the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasures, the counselors, the sheriffs, and ALL the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the golden image (Dan 3:2, 3).
Daniel was there because we are told in chapter two verse 48, that he was made ruler over the whole province of Babylon, that is to say, he was made the chief ruler. In addition to that, he was also made the chief of the governors. How could the lesser rulers and governors be present at the dedication ceremony and the chief ruler and governors wouldn’t be present. So he had to be there at the dedication ceremony.
As a matter of fact, Daniel 3:7, Indicates that all of the leaders from the conquered nations from all over the Babylonian empire were present at the dedication ceremony of the golden image. Notice that next to king Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel was the most powerful man in the world. He was also considered the wisest man in the world under the Babylonian reign.
From the honors and Favors given to Daniel, It appeared he was king Nebuchadnezzar’s most right hand man. No one could see the king without Daniels approval. Although the Bible never explicitly told us that Daniel never bowed to Nebuchadnezzar’s image. Nevertheless, we know he did not because of his position as prime minister and second in command to the king. He was exempted because of his office. Daniel had special favor before the king. In addition to that, the bible makes it clear that king Nebuchadnezzar feared Daniel as a god. We are told that the king himself bowed before Daniel and worshipped him and commanded that oblation and sweet odors be offered unto Daniel. Although there is no indication that Daniel accepted this false worship, so we can see that aside the king, Daniel must have been the only one exempted from bowing to the golden image. Wao! What an honor. Daniel 2: 46, 47.
In verse 47, the expression “the king answered”, indicates that Daniel must have refused to be worshipped and directed the king away from himself to God.
In today’s world, the golden image could be anything that takes tries to take your attention away from Christ and His finished work. It could be your religious position, your job, your career, your wealth, your education or chains of degrees, etc. While these things are not bad in themselves, it is wise that we never allow them to distract us from our focus on Christ and His finished work, and commitment to the gospel of grace. We are not to allow them dominate our lives or ruin our commitment. Paul declares, “Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible for me but I will not allow anything to control me”. 1 Corinthians 6:12, ISV
This is a very good question, someone might say. Yes, If Daniel was exempted from bowing to the golden image because of his elevated position and God’s favor on him, we agree. But why didn’t he say anything to prevent his three Hebrew brothers from being cast into the fiery furnace, why did he keep silent?
Daniel was silent because the Holy Spirit wanted it so. The Holy Spirit restrained Daniel from speaking because He did not want human interference in what He was about to do.
If Daniel had interfered, people would have said it was Daniel who used his position to protect his three Hebrew brothers and that would have robbed God of His glory. If Daniel had used his position to interfere, he would have messed up what the Holy Spirit was about to do.
God wanted king Nebuchadnezzar to know that He Jehovah was not only able to reveal secrets, but that He could also be depended upon to deliver anyone from harm or danger. He is the great deliverer. Ps 18:2, 3. If Daniel had interfered, the king would not have learnt this lesson and even more, we would not have been privileged to learn of this aspect of God’s miraculous ability.
Did you notice it wasn’t God who threw the three Hebrew Children into the burning fiery furnace? It was Nebuchadnezzar who commanded that they be thrown into the flames. This indicates that God is not the one who puts us into fiery trials and tests.
Notice that after the miraculous deliverance of Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego, the dedication ceremony of Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image grinded to a halt. God took over the scene, hallelujah!

Another reason why the Holy Spirit restrained Daniel from interfering was because He wanted Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego to speak for them selves and walk in Faith for themselves rather than rely on Daniel’s political position, or depend on what someone else says on their behalf.
The Holy Spirit didn’t want them to put their trust in or depend on Daniel for help, but to depend on God Himself. You remember before this time, God had used Daniel to help them secure good positions in the kingdom of Babylon (Dan 2:49). However, this time around, God wanted them to take a bold stand for themselves and not depend on Daniel or brother so and so. You see, a more mature Christian may carry a babe on his Faith for a while. But after a while, God expects the babe to grow and learn to take a stand on the word for himself. I can carry you on my faith for a while, but it’s for a while. You must learn to stand on your faith. There comes a time when God will expect you to be able to take a stand of faith for yourself and not depend on anyone else. Therefore, like Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego, learn to take a bold stand of faith and talk your way to your miracle. Learn to handle the challenges of life through faith in the word of God.

The devils word is not final; the President’s word is not final. The king’s word is not final; your boss’s word is not final. You can change the King’s word. Don’t be afraid when you are threatened by someone who seems to be of a higher social status than you. This is because you have what it takes to change his or her words. God’s ability resides in you. Job 22: 28 says, "...and you shall decree a thing and it shall be established unto you." 
Mark 11:23 says, you shall have what you keep saying. 
These scriptures show us the amazing power that we have in the spoken word of God and our words. Make the word of God you word always.
Take a look at what Paul said in Romans 3:4. “…. Let God be true, but every man a liar”. God’s word will always prove true and right, no matter who questions them. (Romans 3: 4, TLB).
With God’s word constantly on your lips, you can change any thing that isn’t in line with His will for you.
You can use God’s word to alter any word that is spoken by man against you, God’s word is final. What you say out of you own mouth is what counts most, not what people say about you, or to you.

Prize Chukwuka

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