Daniel 3:1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.
Daniel 3:2 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.
Daniel 3:3 So 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.
Daniel 3:4 Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, Oh peoples, nations, and languages,
Daniel 3:5 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;
Daniel 3:6 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”
Daniel 3:7 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.
Daniel 3:8 Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews.
Daniel 3:9 They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “Oh king, live forever!
Daniel 3:10 You, Oh 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;
Daniel 3:11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
Daniel 3:12 There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, Oh king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Romans 13:1 and 1 Peter 2:13 As believers the Bible teaches us that we are to obey the governing authorities.
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
The only reason we are NOT to obey the governing authorities is if the governing authorities are asking us to violate Gods Word. As is the case here!
Daniel 3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king.
Daniel 3:14 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?
Daniel 3:15 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?”
Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “Oh Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
Daniel 3:17 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, Oh king.
This is faith, not only is God able! But He will deliver us!
Daniel 3:18 But even if He doesn’t, let it be known to you, Oh king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
So often God’s ways are not our ways!
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
So often we are asking God in faith to keep us from the fiery furnaces of life (trials)!
But so often God’s way is to take us through the fiery furnaces, the trial! Hard things we would never chose!
Daniel 3:19 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.
We all face fiery trials, but then there are trials that are hotter than normal.
This fiery trial was not a normal trial – seven times hotter.
We also are in a trial as a nation – seven times hotter.
Daniel 3:20 And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind (ropes) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
Matthew 10:28 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.
Daniel 3:21 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.
Daniel 3:22 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.
In contrast to these mighty men of valor who served idols and obeyed the king of this world and were burned to death in the fire are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego mighty men of God, who served the TRUE God and lived!
Daniel 3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Daniel 3:24 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, Oh king.”
Daniel 3:25 “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.”
This fourth Man is Jesus! This is an Old Testament appearance of Jesus the Son of God.
This is the message of scripture!
Look! The Son of God! Look to Jesus and live!
Also here in our text we find timeless truth!
When we are in a fiery trial we are not alone!
Jesus was with them in the fire!
Whether they were aware or not, we don’t know!
Daniel 3:26 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.
Daniel 3:27 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.
Q: The only thing burned up was what? A: The ropes that bound them!
God never lets his people suffer needlessly! He always has a purpose.
Daniel 3:28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego,
We never really know who God is touching through our faith and trust in Him when we’re in a fiery trial!
Our will is always that God would keep us from the fiery trial!
God’s will so often is to take us through the fiery trial!
Delivering us from things that bind us!
Reaching others through our faith and obedience!
His ways are higher than our ways!!!
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego could have never dreamed what would happen next!
Daniel 3:28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel (Messenger) and delivered (rescued, saved) 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!
Daniel 3:29 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.”
Nebuchadnezzar was transformed!
From an enraged idol worshipper to a worshipper of the Most High God, declaring to all the world that no other God can deliver, rescue, save like the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.
Daniel 3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.