Daniel Chapter Three

Faith Through The Fire

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In our study of Daniel chapter three we will look at the spiritual gift of faith and its power.

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Daniel 3:1

N'vukhadnetzar the king had a gold statue made, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, which he set up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Bavel.

Instead of being humbled by the dream described in chapter two, the king has a giant statue of himself made and placed where everyone from miles around could see it. This was done out of a spirit of pride in self which is the same spirit that led to the fall of Satan. This idol was placed on level ground about six miles southwest of the city of Babylon. The number six, throughout the Bible, is associated with the insufficiency of man's efforts and the grace of God and we see that in the dimensions of the statue. This was also a picture of what is to come in the last days as we see in Revelation 13.

Daniel 3:2 & 3

Then N'vukhadnetzar the king summoned the viceroys, prefects, governors, judges, treasurers, counselors, sheriffs and all the provincial officials to assemble and come to the dedication of the statue which N'vukhadnetzar the king had set up. The viceroys, prefects, governors, judges, treasurers, counselors, sheriffs and all the provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the statue which N'vukhadnetzar the king had set up. They stood in front of the statue that N'vukhadnetzar had set up;

All of the government officials were required to attend the dedication of this idol. This is a picture of the unholy marriage that will occur in the last days as the political and religious systems work together.

Daniel 3:4-6

and a herald proclaimed, "Peoples! Nations! Languages! You are ordered that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, zither, lute, bagpipe and the rest of the musical instruments, you fall down and worship the gold statue that N'vukhadnetzar the king has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship is to be thrown immediately into a blazing hot furnace."

It was commanded that at the sound of any music everyone must fall down and worship this idol. It is interesting to note that Satan was the worship leader (in charge of the music) in heaven before his fall. Those that would not commit this idolatry were to be thrown into a fiery furnace which is much like the lake of fire that is the destiny of the devil and all those who reject Yeshua Messiah.

Daniel 3:7

Therefore, when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, zither, lute and the rest of the musical instruments, all the peoples, nations and languages fell down and worshipped the gold statue that N'vukhadnetzar the king had set up.

All of the peoples went along and complied with this order.

Daniel 3:8-12

But then some Kasdim approached and began denouncing the Jews. They said to N'vukhadnetzar the king, "May the king live forever! Your majesty, you have ordered that everyone who hears sound of the horn, pipe, harp, zither, lute, bagpipe and the rest of the musical instruments is to fall down and worship the gold statue; and that whoever does not fall down and worship is to be thrown into a blazing hot furnace. There are some Jews whom you have put in charge of the affairs of the province of Bavel, Shadrakh, Meishakh and 'Aved-N'go; and these men, your majesty, have paid no attention to you. They do not serve your gods, and they do not worship the gold statue you set up."

The wise men of Babylon (Iraq) were jealous of the favor that was shown to Daniel's friends and so they went to the king to accuse them of treason but we see that all of the Jews were denounced. Their goal was to have them killed and out of the way. The same type of thing can happen with us, today, as children of God. Many times, people around us can see the favor that God has shown us and get jealous because they do not realize that the same kind of favor is available to them through Yeshua Messiah.

Daniel 3:13-15

In a raging fury N'vukhadnetzar ordered that Shadrakh, Meishakh and 'Aved-N'go be brought. When the men had been brought before the king, N'vukhadnetzar said to them, "Shadrakh! Meishakh! 'Aved-N'go! Is it true that you neither serve my gods nor worship the gold statue I set up? All right, then. If you are prepared, when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, zither, lute, bagpipe and the rest of the musical instruments, to fall down and worship the gold statue, very well. But if you won't worship, you will immediately be thrown into a blazing hot furnace - and what god will save you from my power then?"

The king summoned the guys and, because he liked them, he gave them another chance to bow down and commit idolatry. Satan does not change his tactics and so he is using this music to call the people to idolatry. That does not mean that all music instruments are bad and should not be in the church as some would say and practice.

Daniel 3:16-18

Shadrakh, Meishakh and 'Aved-N'go answered the king, "Your question doesn't require an answer from us. Your majesty, if our God, whom we serve, is able to save us, he will save us from the blazing hot furnace and from your power. But even if he doesn't, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will neither serve your gods nor worship the gold statue which you have set up."

The answer that the guys give the king has three basic parts and we remember that, throughout the Bible, the number three is associated with the earthly display of God's will. First, they tell him that they do not feel the need to answer to him as they know that God is the ultimate judge. Secondly, they tell him that, if he throws them into the furnace, God has the power to deliver them and they trust him for that deliverance. Finally, they let the king know that, even if God would not save them from the flames, they would rather die than worship his idol (they did not fear death). God's will for each and every one of his children is that we do not walk in fear of anything in this world but walk in the victory that we have through his son Yeshua Messiah.

Daniel 3:19-21

N'vukhadnetzar became so utterly enraged that his face was distorted with anger against Shadrakh, Meishakh and 'Aved-N'go. He ordered the furnace made seven times hotter than usual. Then he ordered some of the strongest men in his army to tie up Shadrakh, Meishakh and 'Aved-N'go and throw them into the blazing hot furnace. So these men were tied up in their cloaks, tunics, robes and other clothes, and thrown into the blazing hot furnace.

The king was furious and carried out his threat to the guys. We see that his attitude towards them changed because they would not take part in the sin of him and his country. It seems that, today more than ever, we have the chance to take a stand like these three faithful young men. As the world gets darker and darker due to the growing presence of sin and the antichrist, Christians have the opportunity to stand up and say "We do not fear the things of this world and death has no power over me!" Our fire may not involve a huge furnace but the answer is still our faith in our Lord Yeshua.

Daniel 3:22 & 23

The king's order was so urgent and the furnace so overheated that the men carrying Shadrakh, Meishakh and 'Aved-N'go were burned to death by the flames. These three men, Shadrakh, Meishakh and 'Aved-N'go, fell, bound, into the blazing hot furnace.

Because the fire was so hot, the soldiers that had to throw the guys into the furnace were killed by the flames. Nevertheless, the three guys were put into the furnace. This is a reminder for us that just because you are in the fire does not mean you are out of God's will. There are many that will do like Job's friends did and try to say it is because of sin but, as we have seen with these guys, they are in the furnace because they would not be a part of the sin of idolatry as ordered by the king.

Daniel 3:24 & 25

Suddenly N'vukhadnetzar sprang to his feet. Alarmed, he asked his advisers, "Didn't we throw three men, bound, into the flames?" They answered the king, "Yes, of course, your majesty." But he exclaimed, "Look! I see four men, not tied up, walking around there in the flames, unhurt; and the fourth looks like one of the gods!"

The king was shocked to see not only the men that they threw into the furnace alive and well but also one "like a son of the gods". When people see Yeshua walking and working in our lives, many will not recognize him but some will want to draw near to us and we will have the opportunity to tell them about him.

Daniel 3:26 & 27

N'vukhadnetzar approached the opening of the blazing hot furnace and said, "Shadrakh! Meishakh! 'Aved-N'go! You servants of El 'Elyon! Come out, and come here!" Shadrakh, Meishakh and 'Aved-N'go emerged from the flames. The viceroys, prefects, governors and royal advisers who were there saw that the fire had had no power on the bodies of these men - not even their hair was singed, their clothes looked the same, and they didn't smell of fire.

The king called the guys out of the furnace and acknowledged that they were servants of God. All of the royal officials could see that they had not been affected by the fire. Just as the king and officials were watching the guys in the fire, there are always people watching us. They want to see if we hold onto the faith that we proclaim when things get tough. When we hold on to Yeshua and let him bring us through the fires, those people that are watching will be amazed and see the glory of God at work. Many times, this will give us the opportunity to be a witness to them of the power of Yeshua Messiah.

Daniel 3:28

N'vukhadnetzar said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrakh, Meishakh and 'Aved-N'go! He sent his angel to deliver his servants who trusted in him. They defied the royal order to the point of being willing to give up their bodies, in order not to serve or worship any god but their own God.

We see that, by this demonstration of their faith, the king ended up praising God. This is amazing and brings up the question of why this is not happening very much in our world today. We find the answer in the king's own words. God sent Yeshua to take care of his people as they walked in faith. They did not look or act like those around them and try to blend in as much of the "church" is doing today. They were not afraid to lose their life if that is what was going to happen. Today, it seems like everyone wants to go to heaven as long as it is a long time in the future. The simple fact is that, if we trust in God as these three men did, then we will be able to say "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." just as Paul did (see Philippians 1:21). When we walk in faith instead of fear, Yeshua will walk with us! Just like the king, when people see Yeshua walking with us, they will want to know him and praise him.

Daniel 3:29 & 30

Therefore I herewith decree that anyone, no matter from which people, nation or language, who says anything to insult the God of Shadrakh, Meishakh and 'Aved-N'go is to be torn limb from limb, and his house is to be reduced to rubble; because there is no other god who can save like this." Then the king gave Shadrakh, Meishakh and 'Aved-N'go higher rank in the province of Bavel.

The king ordered that anyone who commits blasphemy would be killed and their homes destroyed. This happened because he saw the demonstration of God's power through the faith of these men while they were in the fire. We also see that their faith in God also brought them favor with men as they got a promotion from the king. We, too, can expect favor from people that God places in our path as we walk in faith with him.

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