Counterfeit Faith | Thriving in Babylon Sermon Series

Read Daniel 3:1-12

Point 1 – Expect my worship to be tested.

After reading through this passage, what term was repeated six times in the first twelve verses? In fact, this word will be repeated five more times in the remainder of the chapter? The word is “worship.” The term “worship” literally means “worth-ship.” In other words, we worship things that we think are worthy of it. While we can love two things at once (I love God and I love my spouse), we can’t worship two things simultaneously. You cannot worship God AND, fill in the blank.

Humanity was created with the unique ability and drive to worship. You don’t see frogs creating an alter? Or foxes penning a beautiful symphony to God? Out of all of God’s creation, we are the only ones who worship, trust, and give adoration to God.
We all worship…even if it is not God that we worship. What we worship captivates us and governs our priorities. The things that we worship shape who we become and the decisions that we make. The world around us entices us to worship money, beauty, success, comfort, and influence. It’s no surprise then that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were challenged to worship something other than God in Babylon.

King Nebuchadnezzar set up a giant golden idol for the people of Babylon to fall down and worship. We don’t know what the particular idol was but it was a challenge to every nation, language, and religious group to bow down to this particular god. Whoever chose not to follow the decree from the government would be immediately thrown into a fiery furnace to burn alive (Daniel 3:6). Imagine the pressure to conform? Think about how much you stood out if you didn’t chose to follow the crowd and give your worship to this giant golden statue?

What do you think you would have done if you were in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s shoes? We know that these men didn’t bow down and compromise their worship. They chose instead to give their worship to the Holy One of Israel (vs.12).

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. As mentioned above, we can’t worship two things at the same time. Has there ever been a time in your life when you tried to worship God and also give your worship to something in this world? How did that turn out?
  2. How do we live a life of uncompromised worship without completely separating ourselves from the world?
  3. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced tremendous pressure to conform and worship the golden idol. Have you ever been in a situation where you were asked or influenced by someone to do something you knew was wrong? How did you handle that situation?

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