You've probably heard it said that Diet Dr. Pepper tastes just like regular Dr. Pepper, right? I remember when Diet Dr. Pepper first came out on the scene. It was the craziest advertisement... "they basically taste exactly the same." "People in taste tests couldn't tell the difference," they claimed. The benefit is that Diet Dr. Pepper was supposed to be healthier than the regular stuff thanks to the no sugar content.
One day, my mom and I went to the store, came out and the vending machines were all out of regular Dr. Pepper. I think there might have been one real one left, and then she made the decision to try the Diet Dr. Pepper. They taste the same, right? Keep in mind, I'm pretty sure that my mom (in various seasons of her life) has survived on Dr. Pepper. She drinks a lot of it. She is very familiar with how the real stuff is supposed to taste.
She took one sip of the diet Dr. Pepper and immediately regretted it. I took a sip (remember, it was a new and novel thing) and we both can attest to the fact that Diet Dr. Pepper is NOT the same as regular Dr. Pepper. When you've tasted the REAL thing, nothing else even compares!
Read Daniel 3
When faced with the decision to opt for the counterfeit or die a very painful death, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego wouldn't trade their genuine God for anyone. Why is that? What made them so confident? What gave them such faith?
Today we're going to touch on three reasons for their confidence in God.
First, They had complete confidence that God had the power to save them. If forced into the same situation, would you choose faith or fear? They knew the real and genuine God. They knew that Nebuchadnezzar was a sorry substitute for God. God is all powerful. He's all knowing. He's everywhere. Nebuchadnezzar, if you stripped away his measly authority and fancy clothes, was a simple human being. God has the power to move mountains. Nebuchadnezzar's limited power relied on manipulation and intimidation. King David would ask "What can man do to me?" King Nebuchadnezzar could kill their body, but he could not kill their soul. He wasn't even in the same league as the gracious and merciful God they knew!
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Second, they had complete confidence that God would be a better protector than Nebuchadnezzar. God protected His servants as they were thrown into the fire. Nebuchadnezzar couldn't protect his own servants from that same fire. His own servants were sent to throw God's servants in and they couldn't even survive that order. God's servants went into the fire and came out smelling like roses! Well, maybe not roses, but they didn't smell like fire! The take away here is that if we rely on our government to be our salvation, we will always be left unsatisfied. The government (in any form) is a sorry substitute for God.
Lastly, they had complete confidence that God was able to do the impossible. God's power and protection are both confirmed with the impossible and miraculous salvation of His servants. I love how there were many witnesses to God's incredible power. There were many witnesses who examined the miraculous. They examined Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and found them to be entirely unharmed. Remember, they were UNHARMED when the servants who had thrown them in the fire had died. Without God, they would not have survived the furnace. "What can man do to me?" What can God do with our obedience, trust, and faith? THE IMPOSSIBLE!
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When we compare Nebuchadnezzar to God, we find that there's no comparison. No one compares to God. No one rescues like God. No one is as powerful as God. Even Nebuchadnezzar would agree!
Nebuchadnezzar's power was severely limited. God's power reaches into the realm of the impossible. For nothing will be impossible with God (Luke 1:37)