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01-02-11 Daniel 3

January 2, 2011

Notes on Daniel 3:1-30 (New King James Version)

This section makes it so abundantly clear not to bow down to the gods of this world; not to take part in the pagan practices of this world.

Biblical faith is not just to trust in God to heal you but also to trust in God’s will even if it doesn’t include healing you.His will, not mine = that’s faith.Believe that God can heal if he desires and wants to but also that you should give glory to God in whatever He chooses.

Here we see the faith of these followers of God as an example set before us.Please read Daniel 1 and 2 if you are not familiar with the story leading up to this point.

1Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose heightwassixty cubitsand its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

That’s 90 feet by 9 feet.

2And King Nebuchadnezzar sentwordto gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

So here he gets together all the leaders to dedicate this idol by bowing down before it.We as Christians have dedicated many things before also (take a church for example – but with thankfulness to God… not worship of the concrete).Imagine the excitement of this event to them.

3So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Many different languages are present but the Herald gives the universal signal through music here to communicate to begin worshiping at this point.Think about music for a second. It provokes emotion.Think about a song you haven’t heard since your glory days and it will also take you back nostalgically to that time frame in your mind.Your memories are linked often to the music you heard.Christians refuse to let the devil have all the good music.Each instrument should be used to glorify God.But here in this story we find satan doing his best to work through Nebuchadnezzar to use music to cause others to more emotionally involve themselves in worshiping this false god.

4Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,5thatat the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre,and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up;6and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”

This method of bow or die is effective…though certainly not the desire of our God.Definitely not the best method, but consider how many were at the event that didn’t at all care about this idol that only bowed from fear of the fiery death.

7So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, andlyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell downandworshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Again, it’s effective.The music is played, the people bowed down.

8Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews.

Where the scripture is silent we must also be silent.Here we do not know where Daniel was.The Word simply doesn’t say.We know his friends are accused, but that he was not with them during this period of time.We know that he was already promoted to an important position among the kingdom and there is certainly the possibility of others having an attack of jealousy here while perhaps he was on a business trip or something.But again, we don’t know where he was for sure.

9They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever!10You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, andpsaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image;11and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

So here they remind the king what he decreed (as if he’d forgotten).

12There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”

So here they tattle effectively on the Jews.Why didn’t these 3 men of God bow down before the idol?

Exodus 20:3&4 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

Because they were commanded not to.Period!How easy do we as Christian fall prey to the plan of satan by trying to justify our disobedience to God?How many temptations or fear tactics have been used to cause us to choose compromise and simply bow down, perhaps saying to ourselves, “Oh I know God said not to take part in this, but it’ll be ok.He’ll understand because of the situation”?No!Don’t compromise!Make no room for sin!Stand firm on the word.Have faith.This story is so applicable to us.The example is clear.If you are at work and you find yourself in a situation where you could lose your job for standing up for the right thing, will you do it?When you stand to suffer or lose something for standing up for the truth… for right… for righteousness, will you make the right decision?Will you show by your actions that you have faith?Or will you show that you live in fear of loss or persecution?Don’t compromise… Don’t go along with the music and just bow down.Don’t go with the flow of a world headed to fire.Stand the test of fire by standing firm on faith.Take sexual purity for example, will you choose to stand %100 faithful in obedience to the Lord?Will you fight against sexual temptation…? Will you act in a sanctified manner, being set apart, being different from the world?Satan has set the temptation all around you.Sexual immorality is easily available free of charge at so many outlets, but you as a Christian are being watched and have a choice to make on how you will live and who you will live for?The world?Yourself?Or God?Your actions (so much more than words) show who you serve.

13Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king.

Here the king is mad, but think about it.Who should be mad here?The three men of God who have taken a stand are at peace while being accused, charged and threatened with death by an angry king who serves a false god.Kinda backwards huh?We too can have peace when accused by the world and attacked for our beliefs because we have a proper view of God and a proper view of the world.With our trust firmly planted in the almighty God, what shall we fear?

14Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is ittrue, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego,thatyou do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up?15Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, andpsaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made,good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And whoisthe god who will deliver you from my hands?”

So here you can hear the pride in the king’s voice as he re explains the visual offering a second change to them to enter into this sin.Notice how the stage is set for the one true God to enter in for his followers here too.

16Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.

Think about this.How many people spoke to the king in such a manner?These men of God, because they had the right view of God also had the right view of men didn’t fear this man because they knew he was made of mere dust, despite what that man thought of himself.They new that he too was under the authority of God.Jesus told us not to fear man but to fear the One who could throw us into the fire (God) – paraphrased-.It’s important for us to take up this view and understand it fully as Christians.We cannot fear this world or what it can do to us because it is all under the authority of the God we serve.

17If thatisthe case,our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliverusfrom your hand, O king.18But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Do we have this expectation of God?Do we have a trust of His ability to deliver but enough faith to say that even if He chooses not to deliver us from our hardships, we still trust and serve Him.We will not be stumbled, but continue to serve regardless of His choices and His plan’s direction for our life.Do we have enough faith to glorify God even when His decision may seem to allow further pain in our lives?Here these men are more concerned for God’s glory then for their own comfort.May we understand that the trials in our life are allowed by God and that we are to praise and give Him glory not based on circumstances, but because He is worthy despite our circumstances or our small area of view in the plan.These three men are submitting to God’s will fully, not doubting Him.

19Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.

Here we really see the rage begin to grow in the king because of these men standing on their faith in God.

20And he commanded certain mighty men of valor whowerein his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego,andcast theminto the burning fiery furnace.21Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their othergarments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.

So these men of valor die just in taking the men of God to the fire.That’s how hot the fire is.That’s how our God works for those whose faith is in Him.He not only protects us but allows the death of those that would send us to our death.

23And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in hasteandspoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”
They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”

So here the king is looking into the fire and wondering if his eyes are deceiving him.Perhaps even counting out loud, maybe shaking his head in disbelief here. Lol

25“Look!” he answered, “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.”a]”>

same with us.That our faith in the Lord will release us from the fear that may have been consuming us. Here we see the Lord loose the four men from their bondage and fully protect them from the fire.Jesus is with us when we go through the fiery furnace too.And, others will see that Jesus is with us during these times in our life.God is glorified as we go through trials and others will see this.It is these challenges that not only draw us closer to Jesus but also prove our faith true.

There is no fiery furnace that we could go through in this life that Jesus couldn’t relate to and go through with us.

In Philippians 3 Paul’s prays that he would be able to share in common the suffering of Jesus Christ.This was prayed out of a desire to grow deeper in a relationship with Jesus Christ.It is our loving God that allows us to go through these things for a deeper relationship, for bondage to be broken in our lives, for a greater understanding of Jesus, and to glorify Him by our faith that others may see His glory.We may not desire to go back through our hardships in life, but looking back on the time we spent with Jesus during those times came be a warm memory.

There are times in our life that will come when we must decide who we are accountable to.Times when we must decide if we want to be popular among the pagan world and be everyone’s best friend, or are we going to stand firm on faith and do what God wants us to do/not do what He says not to do.Be faithful to God, He has always been faithful to you.Who do you serve?God? Man?People will watch your actions as you claim you are a Christian.

26Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnaceandspoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and comehere.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.27And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

Pretty amazing… Supernatural actually.Consider the reversed effects of the fire here.Even just being around a camp fire for a very short period of time will leave you smelling of the smoke.Not even the smell of the fire could touch or impact in any way these men who stood on faith. Notice also all the people that are present to see this great miracle that thus gives glory to God.

28Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angelb]”>[b]and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!

Though this sounds good, notice that the king also still calls it their god, not his own god.He doesn’t repent on convert here, but rather just recognizes.

29Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
30Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.

It’s been said that everyone has a price.What is your price?Will you eventually or do you regularly fall into the world for the price they offer you?Or do you remember you are already purchased by the blood of the Lamb?Do you stand in faith on the Word of God?If you lose your job, if you lose your car, your home, your income, if you suffer and must strive to seek out food, will you still stand on faith in the Word of God?The world watches how you react to the fires in your life.You call yourself Christian and say you follow God’s word.You are watched.Will you fall into the temptations of the world or will you prove your clear view of the cross and the power of what Jesus did there for you?

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