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THE FIERY FURNACE.pdf

THE FIERY FURNACE.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY J. R. MILLER



Read Daniel III., 13-25

Every child Imows this story. It is one of the
classics of Christian households. It were well if
all modern children had the sublime moral cour-
age of these ' ' Hebrew children. ' ' They will never
have to meet precisely the same trial of faith that
these young men had to meet ; but they need just as
heroic a spirit in order to be faithful. Imposing
images are set up even now in many a place, and
people are expected to bow down to them, and woe
to him who does not kneel. We all have chances
enough to be heroic. The popular religion is proV
ably inclined to limpness of the knees. We have
grown wonderfully tolerant in these days. We
bow to almost anything if it happens to be fash-
ionable. It would not do any harm if our chil-
dren and young people were to take a good les-
son from the example of these Hebrews.
BY J. R. MILLER



Read Daniel III., 13-25

Every child Imows this story. It is one of the
classics of Christian households. It were well if
all modern children had the sublime moral cour-
age of these ' ' Hebrew children. ' ' They will never
have to meet precisely the same trial of faith that
these young men had to meet ; but they need just as
heroic a spirit in order to be faithful. Imposing
images are set up even now in many a place, and
people are expected to bow down to them, and woe
to him who does not kneel. We all have chances
enough to be heroic. The popular religion is proV
ably inclined to limpness of the knees. We have
grown wonderfully tolerant in these days. We
bow to almost anything if it happens to be fash-
ionable. It would not do any harm if our chil-
dren and young people were to take a good les-
son from the example of these Hebrews.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 28, 2013
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THE FIERY FURNACEBY J. R. MILLER Read Daniel III., 13-25Every child Imows this story. It is one of theclassics of Christian households. It were well if all modern children had the sublime moral cour-age of these ' ' Hebrew children. ' ' They will neverhave to meet precisely the same trial of faith thatthese young men had to meet ; but they need just asheroic a spirit in order to be faithful. Imposingimages are set up even now in many a place, andpeople are expected to bow down to them, and woeto him who does not kneel. We all have chancesenough to be heroic. The popular religion is proVably inclined to limpness of the knees. We havegrown wonderfully tolerant in these days. Webow to almost anything if it happens to be fash-ionable. It would not do any harm if our chil-dren and young people were to take a good les-son from the example of these Hebrews.As Nebuchadnezzar grew great he grew proud.He knew no God. There was no one to whomhe thought of bowing down. He exalted himself as God. He demanded that all men should pay265266 THE FIERY FURNACEhomage to him. That is the meaning of thisstrange story of folly. His people obeyed hiscommand. "Therefore at that time, when all the
 
peoples heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp,sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all thepeoples, the nations, and the languages, fell downand worshiped the golden image that Nebuchad-nezzar the king had set up. ' 'But there were some whose knees did not bend.Quickly the king was informed by anxious spiesthat certain Jews did not worship the golden im-age he had set up. ' ' Then Nebuchadnezzar in hisrage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach,Meshach, and Abed-nego." Here we see a greatking in a very bad temper. That was certainlyan unkingly mood. No man is fit to rule otherswho has not learned to rule his own spirit. Peterthe Great made a law that if any nobleman beathis slaves he should be looked upon as insane, anda guardian should be appointed to take care of his person and his estate. This great monarchonce struck his gardener, who took to his bed anddied in a few days. Peter, hearing of the man'sdeath, exclaimed, with tears in his eyes, **Alas!I have civilized my own subjects; I have con-quered other nations ; yet have I not been able toconquer or civilize myself." There are Christianpeople who would do well to think a little of thismatter. Self-control is the mark of completenessin Christian culture. It is the lesson of peace per-fectly learned. Bad temper is always a sad blem-DANIEL III., 13-25 267ish in disposition and conduct. To get into a rageis a mark of lingering barbarism in the character.Self-mastery is Christlike.Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were allyoung men ; so the lesson is for young men. They
 
were young men in peculiar circumstances. Theywere away from home, out from under the in-fluence and restraints of home, and exposed tovery strong temptation. They had now theirchoice between duty and the fiery furnace. Boysand young men should study this lesson for itsexample of heroic devotion to duty, regardlessof consequences. Even yet the world's promo-tion is obtainable ofttimes only at the price of atrampled conscience. There are several things tonote in these young men. There is their calm-ness; they displayed no excitement, no heat of passion. The peace of God ruled in their hearts.There is also sublime courage. They had a con-tempt of death. They feared only one thing— sin.There is also trust in God. They committed thematter utterly into His hands. What He woulddo they knew not ; but they were sure it would bethe right thing.The king did not want to destroy these youngmen, and repeated his command. *'Is it of pur-pose . . . that ye serve not my god, nor worshipthe golden image which I have set up ? Now if yebe ready that at what time ye hear the sound of thecomet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulci-mer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and wor-268 THE FIERY FURNACEship the image which I have made, well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour intothe midst of a burning fiery furnace ; and who isthat god that shall deliver you out of my hands ? ' 'The king wanted to give them another chance, ashe preferred not to burn such useful servants;but they told him there was no need for a secondopportunity. They would have no other answer

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