Open your bibles (or bible app) and read along from Daniel Chapter 3 vs. 8-30
Overview: King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold and put out a decree that when all people in the land heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp and lyre, in symphony, that all people should fall down and worship this golden idol.
There were some Chaldeans who came forward and informed the king that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego refused to bow. In a rage King Nebuchadnezzar called for them and told them if they would bow down, everything would be fine. If not, they would be cast into the fiery furnace. They told him they would not bow down to any god and would only serve the one true God. They went on to say that the God whom they serve was able to deliver them. And even if He chose not to, they would not bow to other idols. This infuriated Nebuchadnezzar and he told them to heat the furnace 7 times hotter than normal. The 3 brothers were bound and cast into the fiery furnace to die.
Suddenly Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and said, “Look! I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” He walked closer to the opening of the furnace along with the other leaders and low and behold they saw these men whose bodies were not burnt, the hair on their head was not singed and they didn’t even smell like smoke! (That makes we wanna shout!) King Nebuchadnezzar, amazed, added another decree. If anyone spoke evil against God, they would be cut into pieces. He realized that there was no other God who could deliver like this. He then promoted these 3 in the providence.
Lessons from today’s scripture:
- We don’t know from scripture if other Jews refused to fall down and worship the statue, but either way these 3 men were singled out as public examples. In fear they could have just bowed down and then prayed and told God they “didn’t mean it”. Many people today love God in private, but “hide” their Faith in God in public out of fear of controversy or ridicule. We have to be brave in our walk and determined that we will not bow down to any other god.
- The men didn’t know if they would be delivered from the fire, but they knew they would not bow down and worship another god. If he saved them from the fire, fine. If not, fine. Either way, they still trusted Him! How about you? What if you don’t get the answer you want to your prayers? Will you keep trusting Him? The bible says that His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts higher than our thoughts. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is “no” and we may not know why this side of heaven, but sometimes we do. I had a “no” a few years ago and it was a disappointment at the time. I didn’t get the job – I interviewed -they wanted me – what happened? A year later, their doors closed. That “no” was a blessing in disguise.
- Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage when anyone dared disobey him. Being ruler had went to his head and his demands were harsh and unreasonable. What happens when people don’t follow your directions, or you don’t get your way? If you fly into a rage stop to ask yourself “Why am I acting this way?” Ensure your ego is not overly involved with your authority.
- **The three men were given one more chance before being thrown in the fire. Here are 8 excuses they could have used to bow down an save their lives: (1) We will fall down but not actually worship the idol. (2) We won’t become idol worshippers but will worship them this one time, and then ask God for forgiveness. (3) The king has absolute power, and we must obey him. God will understand. (4) The king appointed us -we owe this to him. (5) This is a foreign land, so God will excuse us for following the customs of the land. (6) Our ancestors set up idols in God’s temple! This isn’t half as bad as that! (7) We’re not hurting anyone. (8) If we get ourselves killed and some pagans take our high positions, they won’t help our people in exile! – – Although these excuses can sound sensible at first, they are dangerous rationalizations. To fall down and worship the image would have violated God’s commandment in Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other God’s before me.” It would have also erased their testimony of God forever. Never again could they talk about the power of their God above all other gods. Be very careful if you find yourself starting to use excuses not to stand up for Him.
- **These young men had been completely untouched by the fire and heat. Only the rope that bound them had been burned. No human can bind us if God wants us free! The power available to us is the same power that delivered Shadrach, Meshach and Abed_Nego – and the same power that raised Jesus from the dead! Trust God in EVERY Situation. There are eternal reasons for temporary trials, so be thankful your destiny is in God’s hands, not human hands.
- Although Nebuchadnezzar praised Daniel’s God, he still did not believe in him completely or submit to him alone. Today many people attend church and use Christian lingo, but they don’t really honor God with their lives. Profession doesn’t always mean possession. Does your life match your profession of Faith?
Here’s to you, my friends! May you come out of any fiery trial you are facing not even smelling like smoke! Always remember that God is with you.
**Taken from the Life Application Study Bible