The True Way of Treating Sin, and What Comes of It
Daniel 3:12-18
There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men…

The true way of treating sin is by a religion of principle. And that sort of religion is splendidly displayed in Scripture. Out on the plain of Dura is to be lifted a golden image ninety feet in height. It is plated, not solid — and are not all idols plated? Every object of worship, save only God, is hollow and deceiving. Well, the pageant is accomplished. The image stands resplendent. The king is gorgeous on his throne. The highest officers of the kingdom crowd the plain. The music bursts and swells. And all the plain at once is full of prostrate worshippers. Except that three men still stand. They have not fallen. They do not worship. Who are they? They are Hebrew captives from Jerusalem. They have heard the command higher than the king's — "Thou shalt have no other gods before me; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor worship them." They will obey this loftier mandate. And there they stand amid the kneeling host, erect, alone; with firmness on their faces, with faith in their hearts, with God above them, with all the world beneath their feet. Here, surely, is a religion of principle. Not a transient enthusiasm; not simply a decorous, fair-weather profession; not a weak and swaying sentimentality, but a deep, inward, immovable, resistent principle of life, holding the possessors of it to straight and definite courses, and clothing them with heroism. Consider the foundation of such religion of principle. Right doctrine is one of its foundations. Doctrine is something taught. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had been taught the truth that Jehovah is supreme. There is an immense importance in right doctrine. Right religion is right theology applied; right practice is right doctrine carried out; right life is right creed lived. You must learn the will of God before you can unfalteringiy do that will. Right resolve is another of the foundations of a religion of principle. Not only must the right doctrine be received, but along with that must go the resolve to practise it at all hazards. The doctrine must not be a seed, carefully wrapped and laid in some secret drawer; it must be a seed planted, and helped upward into growth and bloom and fruitage by all the breezes, and all the showers, and all the sunlight. Right doctrine must, through holy resolution, compel the deed into coincidence with itself. Consider the tests of this religion of principle. It is prompt. Oh, the waste of life, in debating duty! Oh, the weakness of argument and counter argument! Oh, the trouble of the spirit stunned with the noises of disputation with itself. Oh, the clearness and straightness and strength of the life which, looking to Christ for truth, just bravely does the truth at once. Mark the grand promptness of these three Hebrews. "We are determined and decided; wears not careful to answer thee in this matter, O king." This religion of principle is conscientious about small matters.

(Wayland Hoyt, D.D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

WEB: There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not respected you. They don't serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.

The Trial of Fire
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