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Daniel 3 – When is it right to disobey authority?

Text: Daniel 3

The Practice of Civil Disobedience

When an authority requires a behavior that God prohibits

When an authority prohibits a behavior that God requires

Note: Genuine civil disobedience accepts the consequences

An act of civil disobedience

Daniel’s friends did not follow the command to worship the golden image

They were brought before the King and given another chance

They took a stand, and refused to worship the golden image

Taking a Stand

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18

3 Legs on which to Stand...

CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S ABILITY TO DELIVER

(He) is able to deliver us

CONFIDENCE THAT WE AREE IN THE HANDS OF GOD

He will deliver us out of your hand

SURRENDER TO THE WILL OF GOD

But even if He does not (deliver us)

God delivers

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego are tied up and thrown into a blazing furnace. (v.23) Nebuchadnezzar sees four men walking loose in the midst of the furnace, and the fourth is like a son of the gods! (v.25) The three are called out of the furnace, and it is observed that the fire has had no effect on them. (v. 26-27) God is honored, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego are made to prosper. (v. 28-30)

BUT…

God is NOT OBLIGATED to deliver

Caution:

Do Not Assume That God Will Always Bless and Deliver

“others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated, wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.” Hebrews 11:35-38

What happened to the Apostles...

Persecution update...

God can deliver, but even if He does not…

I will honor His supreme authority in my life

and

I will entrust my life

(and the lives of my loved ones)

to His care


 

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