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  • Henry Omotayo

Facing The Death Penalty

Daniel 3:8-18

Message No. 0595 | Twitter @GodandUs |

It is unthinkable for someone facing the death penalty to do anything that will anger the judge and ruin or jeopardize any ounce of sympathy that the judge might have left. What we usually see is that the accused person agrees to cooperate with prosecutors, in order to avoid the death penalty. Some would agree to confess or agree to testify against other suspects, in exchange for reduced penalties and sentences. It is common, at times like this, for lovers to give each other up and for loyalties to fall apart in the face of death.

In Daniel chapter 3, we see the opposite of what usually happens. Three Hebrew boys are accused of not bowing down to a golden image created for the sole purpose of puffing up the ego of a king. Now, make no mistake, when Nebuchadnezzar created this image and commanded everyone to worship it, he was, in essence asking people to worship him. He knew that the golden image, created by him, was no god. All he wanted was for people to worship the thing that he created, in essence, to bow down and worship his creativity, his ego, his genius.

Unfortunately for the king, there were foreigners in his kingdom who would not bow down, and the fact that these were foreigners made it the more painful. The thought of the audacity of some mere slaves to say no in a yes-or-die kingdom particularly irritated and infuriated the king so much that he was going to roast them alive and teach the others an unforgettable lesson. The king summoned them and just to be sure of their refusal to comply, gave them another opportunity to reconsider. The response of the boys made the king’s anger to boil the more. In verses 16-18 of Daniel 3, the Bible says:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

In accordance with the intensity of the king’s anger, he commanded that the fiery furnace be heated seven times more, to ensure that anyone thrown inside it would melt instantly, upon contact with the fire. Even the king’s messengers who threw the boys into the fire were instantly consumed by its mere flame, but all glory to God, He showed the king that He was the King of kings and that He was still on the Throne and had the final say in all circumstances.

There is no greater test of love and loyalty than when a lover faces the death penalty. When Jesus faced it, there was no doubting the fact that He had surrendered to its outcome. He came to earth for a mission and there was nothing that would stand in His way. His disciples were, of course, completely shocked that He refused to escape from the soldiers and refused to use His powers to set Himself free. His love for the church and His love for you and I consumed Him, and He could do nothing to jeopardize the salvation of the saints. When Stephen faced the death penalty, he was even praying for God to forgive the murderers who put him to death. He would rather die than reconsider his love and loyalty to God. When Esther faced the penalty, she asked her people to go pray and fast for her so God might be merciful and spare her before the king, and if not, she concluded: “If I perish, I perish.”

Do you love God so much that you would rather die than deny Him? Do you love His church so much that you would risk your life to ensure her welfare? Do you love His Heartbeat to risk your life to save a soul? In a battle with the Philistines, David’s men risked their lives and broke through the host of the enemy to fetch water for him from the well at Bethlehem, because he yearned for it. What risks could you take to advance the Kingdom of God in this end time? God is counting on us to remain on His side in difficult times. Can we stand firm before the kings and rulers of this dispensation to proclaim the name of Christ? Can we stand firm in the face of death? Will our anchors hold when tested by the waves of the sea?

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 If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
 Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!


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