Daniel 3

The dispersed people of Israel would have been tempted to think that their God was beaten by Nebuchadnezzar and his gods Marduk and Ishtar.  Nebuchadnezzar seems to believe this when he forces everyone to worship the statue he sets up.  It is shown directly by the key phrase, “What god will be able to deliver you from my hand?”  The narrative answers the question by showing tat Jehovah could deliver Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from a superheated furnace.

Was it God himself or an angel who walked with them in the furnace?  We don’t know and quite frankly it doesn’t matter.  God delivered them.

Daniel 3

 1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,[a] and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 3So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

7Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

8 At this time some astrologers[b] came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

   They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

   So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

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

Questions

  1. What were the dimensions of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue?
  2. What was his purpose in setting up the statue?
  3. What does God teach us about himself in this passage?
  4. What powerful forces in our culture want to enslave us today?
  5. How can we express our freedom to follow God more fully?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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11 Responses to Daniel 3

  1. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.What were the dimensions of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue?
    – Three dimensions?
    2.What was his purpose in setting up the statue?
    – To deify himself more than kingship.
    3.What does God teach us about himself in this passage?
    – He protects those who trust in Him.
    4.What powerful forces in our culture want to enslave us today?
    – Sucess in career, physical comfort
    5.How can we express our freedom to follow God more fully?
    – Don’t be afraid of talking about him and what he is doing in our lives.

  2. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. sixty cubits high and six cubits wide
    2. He wanted to show his power and control over the people.
    3. He shows us that we need not be afraid of what others can do to us. If we are obeying the Lord, then He will protect us.
    4. materialism, fame, fortune, comfort
    5. We need to boldly stand up for what we know is right, knowing that if we are obeying the Lord, He will protect us.

  3. Amy Kringle says:

    1. 60 cubits tall and 6 cubits wide
    2. To show that he had power over all th people
    3. When we put our full trust in him, he will protect us
    4. materialism, beauty, status
    5. stop following the things of the world that the world values as important and worth following

  4. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. sixty cubits high and six cubits wide.
    2. to worship his image.
    3. He is faithful, all-powerful, and our protector
    4. materialism, wealth, comfort, fame, etc.
    5. by living according to His Word and fleeing youthful lusts.

  5. Rebecca Langer says:

    1. What were the dimensions of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue?
    sixy cubits high and 6 cubits wide.
    2. What was his purpose in setting up the statue?
    So that they could worship his image.
    3. What does God teach us about himself in this passage?
    He teaches that he will protect those who go out on a limb for him and that He alone deserves true worship.
    4. What powerful forces in our culture want to enslave us today?
    Media, pop stars, politicians, good causes that are not gospel-centered.
    5. How can we express our freedom to follow God more fully?
    By not bowing down and worshipping them but only by woshipping God.

  6. HyeJin Lee says:

    1.What were the dimensions of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue?
    Six cubits high and six cubits wide.
    2.What was his purpose in setting up the statue?
    To make people show respect to him and worship him.
    3.What does God teach us about himself in this passage?
    He is the only one who deserves the worship.
    4.What powerful forces in our culture want to enslave us today?
    All different kinds of media have become idols.
    5.How can we express our freedom to follow God more fully?
    We can express our freedom to follow God by living by the word of God and pursuing God’s kingdom.

  7. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) It was sixty cubits high and six cubits wide.
    2) He wanted to show the world how great and powerful he was, and have them worship him.
    3) He proves that the Lord is greater than all other gods that man may choose to worship.
    4) Sinful addictions like alcoholism and pornography and so many others enslave us.
    5) We can express our freedom by unashamedly allowing Christ to live a life of righteousness through us.

  8. Grace Yoo says:

    1. The dimensions of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue were sixty cubits high and six cubits wide.

    2. His purpose for setting up the statue was to show how great he was and that he had authority.

    3. God teaches us about Himself in this passage that the Lord is greater than anything else.

    4. Some powerful forces in our culture want to enslave us today are information of the media, the internet, pornography, and other things about having fun now.

    5. I think we can express our freedom to follow God more fully by only worshiping God.

  9. aaron wright says:

    1 60 cubits tall. 6 cubits wide
    2 proudly portraying his greatness
    3.God is superior to any other god

  10. Moon Jung Kim says:

    What were the dimensions of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue?Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon
    What was his purpose in setting up the statue? all people would praise him
    What does God teach us about himself in this passage?God is a protector and almighty, higher than any other,
    What powerful forces in our culture want to enslave us today? success, money
    How can we express our freedom to follow God more fully? remind that God is the highest one and our altimate goal is not in the world but in God’s victory

  11. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. 60 cubits high and 6 cubits wide.
    2. His purpose was so that everyone would bow down and worship the great thing that he made.
    3. God teaches that he wants to be the only one worshiped.
    4. Media and public opinions.
    5. By living openly for him and being different from the people around us.

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