17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.”
Dear brothers and sisters,
This is the seventh session of goodness, and I will deliver the message about the goodness of Daniel and his three friends.
In the last session I explained that Daniel and his three friends were taken as captives to a gentile country but they completely fulfilled the good will of God.
They thoroughly hated what God hates, and even if they would sacrifice their lives, they never compromised or abandoned their trust in God. God the Father deemed it really good.
God was so pleased when they steadfastly followed Hid good will regardless of the passing of time and change of their situations, and He let them gain greater power and honor.
In the world there are a few people who abandon their lives what is deemed righteous in their own sight. But the righteousness lacking in goodness is not perfect and cannot bear beautiful fruits.
Through the scene in which Daniel and his three friends never compromised but kept their trust in God to the pint of death we can find how good their heart and confession was.
I will preach about their good confession of lips and their good heart which even moved the heart of God.
I hope in the name of the Lord that through this message you move the hearts of God the Father and everyone you meet.
Dear brothers and sisters,
I will explain about Daniel’s three friends who were thrown into the hot furnace of fire but were saved by God.
They met with a trial where they should be thrown into a furnace because they intended not to worship the image of gold.
At that time their king became very furious and asked them “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?”
He threatened them saying, “If you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace.”
And He added, “Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” He tried to win their will power over with threat and appeasements.
What did they reply? They flatly answered in Daniel 3:16, “”O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.”
They showed their firm willpower not to fall down before and worship an idol despite the threat of being thrown into a blazing furnace and led to death.
So they courageously confessed in Daniel 3:17, ‘If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.”
They obviously and clearly proclaimed the almighty God to the king who had said to them, “Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
When they did not compromise at all despite the threat of life to keep their trust in God, God considered it good.
Their confession that would be deemed better is shown in the following verse 18. “But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Even if He does not, namely, even if God would save them from the blazing furnace, they firmly confessed they would not worship idols.
They did not confess it because they were not confident that God would save them.
The believed God would be able to save them, but they confessed in their deep goodness that even if He would not save, their trust in and love for God would be steadfast.
That was because they fully trusted God who is the master of their souls and could commit everything to God. It never mattered to them to die or live, but they were happy with the fact that they would follow the will of God.
They did not wish God would reward as much as they had done for Him.
In the same way, when we meet with trials after we have done our God-given duties, if we do not complain or feel burdensome before life-threatening situations, God will deem our heart good.
How about you? If you have sinned and committed transgressions, you have met with trials and troubles because God protects you according to His justice. In that situation, if you complain or groan, you would be childish in God’s sight.
Even though you have done your best to accomplish what you planned praying fervently, if your plan is not prosperous but faced with difficulties, what do you feel in your heart?
Have you lost the gratitude thinking, “Why have I not been prosperous although I have wanted to glorify God with hardworking service and expand the kingdom of God with financial blessing”?
Have you felt sorry saying, “Father God, why do you hesitate to give me blessing although I have diligently sowed and been faithful to many duties?”
I ask you to look back at your life whether you felt disheartened and despaired and finally gave up receiving answers.
If you had the good heart the kind of Daniel and his three friends, you would never feel sorry, disheartened or despaired. Rather you would be happy and satisfied at the fact that God accepted whatever you have sowed and acted with the faith in God and according to His will.
God’s thought is higher than that of men, so when your plan is not prosperous, you don’t have to be disappointed or disheartened.
That’s because God does not fail to reward with the best things those who trust God from their heart.
Under the limitation of men, people set their desires according to their own sight and wish for them, but God is limitless and knows what the best to each individual is.
God wants to give the best things to His children who trust Him.
If your faith in the good God is steadfast without moving, whether He gives you something or not, and although He guides you to the situation which is different from your plan and thought, God will consider you as a really good man.
God necessarily gives the best things to those children who have the steadfast faith in the good God.
Daniel’s three friends were thrown into a furnace heated seven times hotter than usual, but God protected them in the midst of the blazing furnace and was glorified greatly.
God could control the king’s heart lest he should command his soldiers to throw the three men into the furnace. But actually God allowed them to be thrown into it.
He knew in advance that even if he did it, they would show the proof of their faith in their goodness.
God the Father confirmed their faith with irrefutable proof, and blessed them as much, and then revealed His glory more greatly.
I have experienced the same things. Sometimes God told me He would surely accomplish something, but very difficult things happened in reality from the viewpoint of men.
And some duties have not been carried out as we planned and expected.
But I have never asked God in a refuting manner, “Father God, why have you let everything prosperous as you said?”
Although it seemed that our duty was not being fulfilled, I completely believed that God would be able to change every situation in an instant.
And through that intervention of God, I have witnessed His greater glory being revealed.
When the situation did not change in a moment, I believed God had a good plan to give us better things. And with the passing of time, I came to be certain that God the Father fulfilled as He had said.
If you really want to glorify God greatly in this year of 2005, the year of glory, I hope you will act with the faith in God and trust the good God in any circumstances in your good heart.
Although you face difficulties unlike expected, if you are happy with the fact that you have sowed and acted with the faith in God and unchangingly thankful to God, He will certainly bless you and reward you more than you have sowed.
I pray in the name of the Lord that all of you join the blessing and glory.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Let’s smell the aroma of goodness that Daniel showed glorifying God.
At the time of King Darius of Persia, Daniel was appointed as one of the three administrators over the whole kingdom, and sat on the second highest position next to the King. But he was accused by wicked people who became jealous of him.
The wicked administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.
So, they plotted an evil scheme to accuse Daniel taking advantage of his prayer life following the law of God.
They knew Daniel had prayed to God three times a day, and asked their king to issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to the king should be thrown into the lions’ den. And they told the king to sign on the document of the decree lest anybody should reverse it.
But Daniel had such an excellent spirit and understanding and wisdom from above that he could notice what kind of schemes they had plotted and what was happening around him.
In addition, he was so greatly favored and trusted by the king that he could tell the king what they had plotted and for what purpose they had done so. If he had done so, their evil scheme would have been demolished in advance because the king trusted Daniel so much.
However, Daniel neither reported it to the king nor protested against the wicked people. He kept silent because he trusted God from his heart, and although Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and published by the king, three times a day he prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
That was because Daniel had a good heart in which he would not like to harm anyone. It would be obvious for them to be harmed if he reported everything to the king. But he never desired to harm anybody with the king’s favor toward him.
Even though they plotted evil schemes toward him and he might suffer some serious harm and receive the threat of life, he would not dare to harm the wicked people.
Daniel fully believed that it is only God who governs life and death, blessing and woes of men. This kind of faith of Daniel was deemed to be good in God’s sight.
How about you? Even if you know your words will harm some people, if you are not careful in your words and deeds, it is a proof that you stay far away from goodness.
As much as you have accomplished goodness in your heart, whenever you say something, you will check and remove what may harm others and offend their feelings.
Then, you will decide not to say something immediately or say it in a good expression if you must do it.
Somebody does not speak to others directly, but pretending to worry about them, he or she reports to his or her dear seniors about their faults or weakness.
This kind of thing is warned in Proverbs 17:9, “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
He may think he says those things for them or the kingdom of God, but he must cover the faults of others with good heart.
I hope you have such a good heart as not to harm anybody but to seek for others’ benefits.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Daniel’s faith was so steadfast and unchanging that wicked people had already known it. They expected Daniel would pray as he had done before although he knew the document of the decree was signed by the king, and tried to accuse Daniel of this fact.
As they had plotted, Daniel prayed to God three times a day as he had done before, and it was found easily by them.
Then the wicked men immediately came to the king and accused Daniel of violating the signed decree. At that moment the king realized they had planed to publish the decree with the signature of the king so as to let Daniel fall down.
It says in Daniel 6:14, “When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.”
When the king hesitated, the men went as a group to the king and told him no decree or edict that the king issues could be changed according to the law of the kingdom and the kind should enforce it toward Daniel.
Then, the king could not hesitate anymore and commanded them to throw Daniel into the lions’ den. And he said to Daniel, “”May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
The king did not say so because he fully believed in God, but it tells us how deeply Daniel had planted God into the king’s heart.
Because Daniel was deemed trustworthy in every deed, the king kept Daniel’s words in his mind whenever Daniel testified to God.
Now the king could not conceal his miserable heart because he did not protect his loved man Daniel and let him be thrown into the lions’ den.
Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
The king expected Daniel had already lost his life and his body had been torn into pieces and eaten up by the lions.
But to his amazement, Daniel’s voice was heard from the inside of the den.
Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.”
Each word that Daniel confessed comforted and pleased the heart of the king.
If he had felt having been a little mistreated, he would not have confessed this kind of goodness.
Rather he would have said in complaint and ill feelings, “O King, I have never harmed the king or anybody, but why did you listen to the word of wicked people and drive me into death? Lo! My God sent His angels and shut the mouths of lions so that none of them would harm me. Now, could you be certain that I am innocent? Clarify my innocence before everybody.”
Then, the king would have been at a loss and greatly embarrassed.
But in fact Daniel had no complaint or ill feelings toward the king at all. Rather, he worried whether the king would feel painful and sorrowful after he was thrown into the lions’ den.
And Daniel wanted to let the king know he had survived in the terrible den as soon as he was able so that he could stop lamenting.
When the king hurried to the lions’ den at the first light of dawn, Daniel said to the king, “O King, Live for ever!” and comforted him. And then he spoke about the work of God.
If you were in Daniel’s shoes, could you confess those good words like Daniel? When your opinion was rejected and the duty seemed to go wrong in its result, what did you say?
Have you encouraged other members to rely on God steadfastly saying, “Now, let’s look for the better way. If we depend on God to the last, God will work for the good.”
Or have you pointed out others’ errors and offended their feelings, saying, “Well, you have not followed my advice, so our job has gone wrong like this.”
This kind of word would double the burden of others who have already felt burdensome about wrong results.
The persons would already feel hiding himself in a mouse house. If you say so, how terrible they would feel? No matter how right your words are, if the words would give them burden and offend their feelings, you must abstain from it.
A good-hearted person will control this kind of word in his heart. He will understand their place and say and act so that they might not feel sorry.
If you do not serve each other in this manner at the church but do the same at your house as well, discord or the breaking of peace will never happen.
The enemy devil will gain the chance to break in and go away.
I hope you will first serve others rather than to be served so that wherever you may go everybody enjoy peace and the kingdom of heaven come on him.
Dear brothers and sisters,
If you have the goodness the kind of Daniel and his three friends, the evil one will never only touch you but also death will evade you.
Then, what kind of disasters and troubles could come on you? If those trials and difficulties come on you, they will the passing refinement for you that will reveal the grater glory of God and bring you bigger blessing.
The God who sent His angel to save Daniel from the lions’ den and protected his three friends from a blazing furnace, He is alive today.
Isaiah 43;1-2 says, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
This kind of word comes upon those who are good without evil and immediately descend on those who treat the party doing evils to them with goodness and have perfect goodness.
If you please God the Father with your good deeds, He will give the desires of your heart as if he had been waiting for your asking.
May all of you long for goodness and accomplish the deeper goodness every day so that the blessing and protection of God be with you always, in the name of the Lord I pray!