THE IMAGE OF GOLD
1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
2 And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to 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.
3 So 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.
4 Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,
5 that at 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;
6 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”
7 So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
THE FAITHFUL GUYS TAGGED AS DISOBEDIENT
8 Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews.
9 They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever!
10 You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image;
11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
12 There 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.”
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king.
14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “ Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up?
15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, 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 who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.
18 But 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.”
SAVED FROM THE FIERY FURNACE
19 Then 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.
20 And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
22 Therefore, 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.
23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, 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.”
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 NEW CONVERT (KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR)
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here. ” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.
27 And 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.
28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel 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!
29 Therefore 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.”
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.
LESSONS FROM THE STORY
1. Temptation is not a sin, yielding to the temptation is sin. They were tempted yet they did not sin
2. We have to be confident when faced with trials "EVEN IF OUR GOD WILL NOT SAVE US" (Dan 3:16-18)
3. NEVER GIVE UP YOUR FAITH TO LIVE (Luke 9:24 nkjv For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.)
4. Your enemies will lose their lives in your place (Dan 3:22)
5. At the peak of your trial, your bounds shall be broken and you will be delivered (Dan 3:23-25)
6. The presence of the Lord shall always be with you when your enemies want you to fail. (Dan 3:25)
7. Your adversaries will recognise your Faithfulness to your God and they shall be converted (Dan 3:28)
8. RECOGNITION OF GOD'S SUPREMACY. "because there is no other God who can save like this" (Dan 3:29)
9. After passing the test, Promotion awaits you. (Dan 3:30)
The greatest trial that we may face as Christians is a trial that will be; you have to deny your beliefs/faith or you will be sentenced to death. Give up what you belief for what is wrong and you live or you Hold on to what you belief and you will die. This is exactly what the 3 Hebrew boys faced in their trial with king Nebuchadnezzar.
The greatest love story ever told was of the Lord Jesus Christ denying Himself of His power and glory, to identify Himself with the sinners, Even though He did not sin, He was ready to give Himself up for the fallen human race, so that we can be called the sons of God. The greatest way we can appreciate this love is by giving up ourselves (irrespective of the circumstances) to the course of the Lord by being obedient to His commands and by holding up unto our faith even in the face of death.
The three Hebrew boys knows what they belief because they are sure the Lord can save them while they are alive (Dan 3:17) and EVEN IF OUR GOD WILL NOT SAVE US (Dan 3:18) we are not ready to give up what we believe.
The 3 Hebrew boys put into practice what Jesus taught His deciples in Matthew 10:27-28 nkjv (“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.) Nebuchadnezzar can only kill the body of these guy, so they are not afraid to die for what they believe (their soul will not be touched), they are rather afraid of God who is able both the body and soul.
Father, in the name of Jesus, please strengthen our inner souls to see you only as the only supreme God who is able to save and destroy.
Please do not let your holy spirit leave us during temptations and trials.
Father please strengthen us to to hold on to our faith during temptations and trials
When our course on earth shall be completed, help us to be able to share the good story of how we overcame temptations and trials in your heavenly kingdom.
In Jesus name we have prayed.