Daniel 3 & the Glory of God

To be a part of a church devoted to the teachings of Jesus Christ is one of the great gifts God has given to His people.  The benefits of being a covenanted member of a community seeking after God are abundantly and eternally rich: fellowship, accountability, and brotherly love, to name a few.
 
Another great perk of being involved in the local church is the tremendous grace that it is to be able to sit under the teaching of the Word of God.  God's Word will never pass away:
 
“All flesh is like grass
    and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
    and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
(1 Peter 1:24-25)
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sitting under the teaching on Daniel 3 in our current series on the book written by the Old Testament prophet.  While the message was focused on the presence of God through the trials of His people, I was struck while reading along by how serious God is about His glory.
 
Throughout the narrative of the Bible, God's purpose is that He'd be glorified in all the world, and that all of the peoples, nations, and languages would worship Him (see, the Abrahamic Covenant, Gen. 12:1-2). In Daniel 3:4-5, however, we see Nebuchadnezzar's goal in building his golden image is a DIRECT ATTACK on the purpose of God to be globally worshiped:
 
 
And the herald proclaimed aloud, 'You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.'

However..., God is so serious about His glory and so committed to His purposes that He immediately begins the work in restoring the glory to Himself by using those who are faithful to Him!  God uses the faithfulness and obedience of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to point the nations back to Him!

 
When these 3 men are thrown into the fire for refusing to bow down and worship this false idol, God is present with them to bring them through it (Dan. 3:25). He brings them out the other side of their present trial, and glorifies Himself in the process. And by the end of the chapter, in verse 29, Nebuchadnezzar has a new decree (and notice his admonition to the peoples, nations, and languages, once again):
 
 
'Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.'
 
What a transformation! God, who is a jealous God, restores worship to the One to whom it belongs: Himself. He is serious about His global purpose and He uses His people to see it come to fruition. For these 3 men, and for us today, God uses situations, trials, and suffering as a gift to see Him work and to glorify Himself to the nations (Phil. 1:29).

God is serious about His global purpose and He uses His people to see it come to fruition.

The God we serve is the One who stands with us in the fire, so there is nothing for us to fear in our obedience to Him.

He WILL be glorified among the nations, He WILL accomplish His will, and He is using His faithful and obedient people to do it.

May we pray that God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, will give us the faith, trust, and strength to be among the people He will use.