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GOVERNMENT AND CORRUPTION – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        Biblical view on government, our part is
.             to obey laws unless it conflicts
.             with what God says
SCRIPTURE:    Ex.20:3-6, Dan.1:1-3:30, Rom.13:1-7
Style:        drama/conversation:  Nebuchadnezzar
.             questions Shadrach, Mechach and Abed-nego
.             about their decision not to bow down
.             to the golden image that he had made
Cast:         SHADRACH, MECHACH, ABED-NEGO,
.             NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Set & Props:  chair/throne

SCRIPT:

(SHADRACH, MECHACH and ABED-NEGO enter and approach
NEBUCHADNEZZAR who sits on his throne.)

NEB    You do not have even one singe mark
.      on yourself or your clothing.  You –
.      (sniffs)  You do not even smell of smoke.
.      I made the furnace seven times hotter
.      than usual.  All of my strongest warriors
.      who threw you into the furnace – were burned up.
.      Then, knowing that I threw in three men-
.      I suddenly see four men inside the furnace.
.      Although, the other man was more than just a man?
.      He looked to be like - a son of the gods!
.      How is it that only the ropes used to tie you up
.      burned away, and nothing else burned?

SHAD   As you said when you called us out of the furnace,
.      we are servants of the Most High God.

NEB    Are you not my servants?  Do you not serve me?

MESH   You are a king who has been placed on the throne
.      by the Most High God.  We respect your authority.

NEB    But I made a golden image 90 feet high and
.      9 feet wide and set it on the plain of Dura.
.      At the sound of any music, you were to fall down
.      and worship the image.  And even with the threat
.      of death, you disobeyed my command.

MESH   And we do obey all your laws and requests –      2
.      as long as they do not conflict with what
.      the Most High God says.  God will honor this.

ABED   Our God commands us – “You shall have
.      no other gods before Me.  You shall not make
.      for yourself an idol, or any likeness
.      of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath
.      or in the water under the earth.
.      You shall not worship them or serve them;
.      for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,
.      visiting the iniquity on... those who hate Me,
.      but showing lovingkindness to thousands,
.      to THOSE who love Me and keep My commandments.”

NEB    You KNEW that the Most High God would save you?

SHAD   As we told you before you had us thrown into
.      the furnace – we knew God is able to save us,
.      but we did not know what the Most High God
.      would choose to do.

NEB    So why would you risk your life?

MESH   You are only a man, who is only able
.      to kill our bodies – if God so allows.
.      It is God who is able to save souls.

ABED   If we had died in the fire, our souls would now
.      be in heaven with our Lord God for all eternity.
.      But as God decided, He saved our physical bodies
.      so that you may see God’s power.

NEB    Where does that leave me as the king of this land?

SHAD   The Most High God has placed you in this position.
.      The Most High God asks that we respect and obey
.      your laws and decrees – but only if they
.      do not conflict with His laws.

NEB    But I should worship YOUR Most High God?

SHAD   The Most High God belongs to no one.
.      Those who choose - belong to Him.

(NEBUCHADNEZZAR thinks for a second, then nods.)

NEB    Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach          3
.      and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel
.      and delivered His servants who put their trust
.      in Him, violating the king’s command,
.      and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve
.      or worship any god except their own God.
.      Therefore I make a decree that any people,
.      nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive
.      against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego
.      shall be torn limb from limb and
.      their houses reduced to a rubbish heap,
.      inasmuch as there is no other god
.      who is able to deliver in this way.

(SHADRACH, MISH and ABED respectfully nod their heads
to NEBUCHADNEZZAR.)

ABED   May God bless you, King Nebuchadnezzar,
.      as you follow God’s will.

NEB    By my word, I will see to it that you,
.      Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego,
.      will prosper in the province of Babylon.