3 Simple points about faith. The first point is that faith will keep you. Daniel and the three Hebrew boys’ faith in God and obedience in upholding the Jewish tradition of not eating certain types of foods was honored by God as they turned out to be healthier than the captives that did feast on the finer delicacies provided them by their captors. Faith will keep you near God, within the safety and protection of God’s grace, though faith will also glorify God. Beginning with Daniel chapter 2 we see the faith of the Israelite captives being tested and their life being literally put on the line for simply having a connection with the Lord their God. Overall through their tribulations you see that their unwavering faith helped establish God’s kingdom in a severely pagan land. We will see that after the incident with the king’s dream which put the Israelite boys in a life and death situation, a second situation arises equally as dire and in this situation a pagan king declares over a pagan nation that the Lord Our God is the primary God is never to be disrespected by anyone. Faith will advance the faithful and establish the believer though its primary job is to establish the kingdom.
Daniel 2: In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. 2 So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, 3 he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.“
10 The astrologers answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks!
24 Then Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, “Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him.”
What kills others will establish you. Daniel and three other kidnapped Israelite’s had already suffered the raid and destruction of their nation and homeland and now have been identified as magicians and summoned to die and all this because of the kings lack of faith in his own advisers and soothsayers. This turn of events, instead of being the end of the Israelite captives, turned out to be the opportunity they needed to be established in the kingdom. As the result of this encounter the boys were elevated to high office and God’s glory was recognized, by the first time most likely for many.
Daniel Chapter 3
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.
4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
8 At this time some astrologers[b] came forward and denounced the Jews.9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”
13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
This story ends with the three Hebrew boys being tossed in a furnace, yet instead of burning to death they live unscathed and in awe this miracle the King calls for the three Hebrew boys to return from the fire and next makes the following decree;
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
Faith is designed to establish the Kingdom of God and the best way to do this sometimes is by stretching the faith of the believer.