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Fireproof! (4 of 12)
Series: Courageous Living in Chaotic Times
Have you ever had a bad day? No! I mean, have you ever had a really bad day? Some time after one of the best days of my life, I had one of the worst days of my life. Let me introduce myself. You no doubt know me as Shadrach. However, I prefer my Hebrew name Hanniah, which means, "The Lord is gracious." You may recall, as a teenager, I went on the Daniel diet and lost twenty pounds! Oh, I'm sorry. Just a little bit of Hebrew humor. Anyway, my three friends and I proposed an alternative to the Babylonian diet and God blessed. At the end of our diet we were fatter and healthier than all the king's men. By the time we graduated from Babylon U, the king pronounced that we were ten times better than his men. We were the talk of Babylon! A short time later, however, King Nebuchadnezzar was sleepless in Babylon. He was having nightmares and was in dire need of an interpreter. When none of his sages could declare and interpret his dream, the king decreed death for all of his wise men, including me. That's when my man Daniel stepped up, with our lives on the line, and declared and interpreted the king's dream. Nebuchadnezzar was so pleased that he promoted Daniel to second in command. Fortunately, Daniel didn't forget the little people. His first act of official duty was to request that my friends and I be promoted to administrators of the province of Babylon. This was too good to be true! I had a bright and prosperous future. I had moved from captivity to prosperity. This was the greatest day of my life.
Act 1: King Nebuchadnezzar's golden statue (3:1-7). But then the bottom fell out. Just when I was really getting comfortable in my lush and lucrative administrative position, the king decided to build a statue. This wasn't just any ole' statue. The statue that Nebuchadnezzar built was ninety feet tall and nine feet wide. It was gigantic! I had never seen anything like it. Furthermore, the entire statue was gold plated. It was a stunning sight to behold. To make things even more spectacular, Nebuchadnezzar had this statue built outside of Babylon in a town called Dura, which means "walked place." Dura was a flat location with no hills or knolls, which permitted the statue to be visible from nearly anywhere. It was a breathtaking sight sparkling in the radiant sunlight.
However, the majestic splendor of the statue turned repugnant when King Nebuchadnezzar called all of his political officials to a dedication and informed us that we had to worship this statue. Gulp! When we gathered together, the king's herald explained that the moment the king's orchestra began playing we were to fall down and worship the golden image. Anyone who chose to disobey this order would get "fired" (literally)-cast into a fiery furnace. For the people of Babylon, this command was no big deal. After all, most people in the ancient Near East were polytheists, and used to ...
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