Daniel Chapter 3

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Daniel Chapter 3

 

3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height [was] threescore cubits, [and] the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

3:2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

3:3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges,

 

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the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

3:4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,

3:5 [That] at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

3:6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

3:7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down [and] worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

3:8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.

3:9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.

3:10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image:

3:11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, [that] he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

3:12 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.

3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in [his] rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, [Is it] true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all

 

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kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; [well]: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who [is] that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we [are] not careful to answer thee in this matter.

3:17 If it be [so], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [us] out of thine hand, O king.

3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: [therefore] he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

3:20 And he commanded the most mighty men that [were] in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, [and] to cast [them] into the burning fiery furnace.

3:21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their [other] garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

3:22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, [and] spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, [and] spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come [hither]. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and

 

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Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.

3:27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

3:28 [Then] Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed [be] the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

T his is a story of what happened in history and it is at the same time recorded as a prophecy of a similar event that will take place in the future at the end of the world. The future fulfillment is more fully described in Revelation, chapter 13. The principles in the story that is history and the principles of the future event that is predicted in these prophecies are the same. Satan tries repeatedly to set up a false image of God that would ultimately destroy the knowledge of God and His Kingdom on earth. God’s followers are called to exhibit the true image of God on earth. Jesus is lifted up in their lives and all who will be drawn are drawn to Jesus. Every time that God has faithful representatives who will honor Him at the expense of their own lives, Jesus is lifted up, is seen, who He is, and is glorified before men. Every time Jesus is glorified in the persons of His believers, the wrath of Satan is kindled and Satan’s followers are inspired by Satan in an attempt to destroy the believers in God. Those on both sides of the conflict believe that they are doing God service!

In summary, Nebuchadnezzar does not bow to the word of God, but aspires to be eternal. He demonstrates this rebellion in his

 

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heart by making an image like God showed him in a dream—but modified with a spin of his own. This image was all of gold. More than that, it is not enough for Nebuchadnezzar to worship his image himself—he forces his whole kingdom to worship the image believing that this will establish the glory and endurance of his god. The Devil has the political idea that if He can force everybody to worship the image—that the world will rightfully be his! If he can demonstrate that the whole world is his, this will force God to let him continue his kingdom of rebellion forever! Thus we see a prophecy of a time, in the near future, when the whole world will be forced to worship an image. In Revelation 13, the image is called the image to the beast. On the plain of Dura, there was a furnace big enough to allow people who had been thrown in to walk around. In the prophecy in Revelation 13, it is predicted that a death decree will be issued if financial sanctions do not get the desired compliance. Daniel is not subjected to this test but his three friends are. The music plays and the three Hebrews in the royal service do not bow to the image. They are thrown into the furnace. All that is burned are the cords binding them and the soldiers that bound them. The king sees four people loose in the fire walking around. He states that the form of the fourth is like the Son of God! Here we see Jesus walking in the fire with His faithful servants! This view of Jesus and the belief in the reality of what he saw, changed the King! What we need is to see Jesus—who He is, and to believe the reality of what we see in Jesus! In the future fire, Jesus will again walk with His faithful servants who would rather die than worship a false god. When Jesus is seen then, in the future fire that is coming, walking with His believers, it will be too late to be changed by that sight. Now is the day of probation. Now is the time to behold Jesus and be character-changed into His image. There is much music playing today giving us the signal to bow down and worship the gods of this world. May we see the form of the Fourth with us in our trials today. May Jesus be lifted up and seen in our lives today. The end of the story both in history and in the future is that the God of heaven is going to be exalted before the whole world. God needs

 

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people who believe Him and trust Him so He can dwell in them and change them into His own character likeness. The degree of identification and relationship with Jesus is that which will endure being thrown into the fire. This is our high destiny today! May we see Jesus, who He is, invite Him into our hearts, and be changed into His likeness by beholding and following Him today in the lesser trials God sends our way in preparation for the big test that is coming on the whole world.