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the king made an image of gold, the height of which was
sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of
Dura in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king
sent word to assemble the satraps, the prefects and the
governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the
magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the
dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set
up. Then the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the
counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the
rulers of the provinces were assembled for the dedication of the
image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before
the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the herald loudly
proclaimed: 'To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men
of every language, that at the moment you hear the sound of the
horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that
Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. But whoever does not fall
down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a
furnace of blazing fire.' Therefore at that time, when all
the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon,
psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations
and men of every language fell down and worshiped the golden image
that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
In chapter 2, we learned from Nebuchadnezzar's
dream that he would be
the first king in a succession of Gentile kings
that would extend all the way down through history to the day when
God would set up an everlasting kingdom on earth. At the time,
Nebuchadnezzar gave God the glory for his dream and its
meaning ... but his true beliefs
and nature were demonstrated when he fell down and worshiped
before Daniel (2:46). The events recorded here in
chapter 3, occurred some
thirteen to eighteen years later. And, what Nebuchadnezzar had
learned about God from his dream seems to have long since
lost. All he seems to remember is that he was the head of gold in his dream.
Thus, he proceeded to pervert the interpretation that God had given
him by ordering an image of gold be made ... an image of himself. In his dream, Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold of the statue. However, Nebuchadnezzar had now so blown up his position in his mind that he
ordered a statue entirely of gold be made of himself. Then,
after it had been constructed, he issued a
decree that all peoples of his realm were to fall down and
It is very important to note that this was the first
instance of man-worship in human history. Prophetically, then,
it was pregnant with significance. The Bible prophesies that the last
instance of man-worship that will occur on earth will also occur in the same
way and in same place ... Babylon ... way down in history in the last days!
It prophesies that this
will come about when Antichrist, the last in the line of Gentile
world rulers who will follow Nebuchadnezzar, will likewise erect a
golden image of himself and order that all the peoples of the earth are to fall down and worship it. Then, just as
with Nebuchadnezzar before him, he will also demand the death penalty
for all who do not comply (Revelation 13:14-15; II Thessalonians
after that, however, the stone
... cut out without hands ...
will violently strike Antichrist's man-worshiping Gentile kingdom
... and bring
it to a sudden and violent end (Rev. 18-20) ... and man centered, Gentile reigns
will cease to exist on earth ... forever ... and God's
everlasting kingdom will become all in all ... exactly as was depicted in Nebuchadnezzar's dream.
reason at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and brought
charges against the Jews. They responded and said to
Nebuchadnezzar the king: 'O king, live forever! You, O king, have
made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute,
lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe and all kinds of music, is to
fall down and worship the golden image. But whoever does not fall
down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of
blazing fire. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed
over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach,
Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they
do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have
set up.' Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders
to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were
brought before the king. Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them,
'Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve
my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you
are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute,
lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall
down and worship the image that I have made, very well but if
you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a
furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you
out of my hands?'
Notice here, it was the
Chaldeans who reported the three young Hebrews to Nebuchadnezzar. As I
mentioned before, this segment of Babylonian society predated the Babylonians.
They were the "old guard" ... "the deep state" ... and proud of it. As such, they were naturally jealous of
these three new-comers, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. They saw them as "outsiders"
and deeply resented
their appointments over the administration of the province of Babylon. Doubtless, they thought, Ha! Now it's payback time!
Satan, and those who are a part of
his dark kingdom, love to throw obstacles before God's people, by the way. They
send them with great regularity to try and force believers to
compromise their convictions and their walk with God. These
barbs from Satan, and from his corrupt world system, are continuously trying to back the
committed child of God into a corner in hopes that they will fail or fall and
disgrace the name of Christ. It is common for
believers to be pressured to publicly take a stand for what is right versus what is wrong.
And, it takes real discernment and spiritual maturity to know how to persevere, handle and overcome
these attacks. Don't be
surprised, then, when Satan sets you up, dear saint. We are in a war down
here. Here are a couple of scriptures that speak to this fact.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil,
prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same
experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who
are in the world.
strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able
to stand firm against the schemes of
the devil. For our struggle is not against
flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the
powers, against the world forces of this darkness,
against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the
heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full
armor of God, so that you will be able to resist
in the evil day, and having done everything, to
stand firm. Ephesians 6:10-13
Coming back to our text, no mistake about it,
Nebuchadnezzar's image was a Satanic "set up" to cause
Shadrach, Meshack and Abed-nego to compromise and turn their backs on their God ...
or die. But, these young men were "sold out" for God. They
were too well grounded in the Scripture to yield. They had their
feet planted squarely in the Word of God and they knew his will.
So, as far as the worship
of Nebuchadnezzar's image was concerned, there was no question what they would do.
Exodus 20:2-6, was their marching
am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of
Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have
no other gods before Me. You shall not
make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of
what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in
the water under the earth. You shall not worship
them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a
jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth
generations of those who hate Me, but showing
lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and
keep My commandments.
As the result of the
Chaldeans' report ... Shadrach, Meshack and
Abed-nego were summoned to come before king
Nebuchadnezzar. Then, having stated their case, Nebuchadnezzar
spoke. Doubtless, with fire in his eyes and
anger in his voice, he said, I'm giving you one last
chance. The next time you hear the music play, YOU WILL BOW DOWN TO
MY IMAGE AND WORSHIP ...
if you do not worship,
you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing
fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?
Notice, this was not just a threat to Shadrach, Meshack and Abed-nego
... it was a slap in the face of God, as well. Big mistake!
Nebuchadnezzar would shortly find out what god there is who can deliver you out of my hands!
Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we do
not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it
be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace
of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O
king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you,
O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship
the golden image that you have set up.' Then Nebuchadnezzar
was filled with wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders
to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.
He commanded certain valiant warriors who were in his army to tie up
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in order to cast them into the
furnace of blazing fire. Then these men were tied up in their
trousers, their coats, their caps and their other clothes, and were
cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire. For this
reason, because the king's command was urgent and the furnace
had been made extremely hot, the flame of the fire slew those men
who carried up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. But these
three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, fell into the
midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up.
To a dedicated child of
God, doing the will of God takes precedence over life itself. Martin
Luther was drummed out of the church for telling the truth. He said,
Here I stand. I can do nothing else. A few years back, in
Iran, a native pastor was taken out and executed. All he had to do,
in order to live, was to agree to stop telling his church to share Christ with
their neighbors. But, for this dear brother, doing the will of God
took precedence over life itself. Shadrach, Meshack and Abed-nego
were cut from this same cloth. You will have noticed that
they displayed another
characteristic of dedicated children of God. Namely ... they were bold!
Proverbs 28:1, says,
wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are
bold as a lion.
Did you note these young men
contradicted the king? When Nebuchadnezzar
said there was no god who could deliver them out of his hand, they
answered, Our God is able to deliver us out of your hand but, whether
he does so or not, know that we will not worship your gods nor your
image. I love it, don't you? Nebuchadnezzar was furious. He
immediately called for his most valiant warriors to come and bind
Shadrach, Meshack and Abed-nego and to heat his furnace
seven times hotter than normal. Then, he ordered, Cast them into it! His
lead warriors were men of renown. They were
the Charles Atlas' of their day. Another of Satan's tactics, by the
way, is to attempt to strike fear into the heart of a child of God. But,
don't fall for it. Jesus
not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul;
but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in
Shadrach, Meshack and
Abed-nego were not about to commit the sin
of idolatry, even though everyone else was doing
so. They were willing to give
their lives, if necessary. My, how such
"sold out" young men and women are needed today
... way down here in the year of our Lord, 2019+, aye? May the
God of Shadrach, Meshack and Abed-nego
multiply their number in our midst! I'm certainly glad that
these three young giants of the faith knew that Nebuchadnezzar and his
goons were no true threat to them. They knew that the
worst that could be done to them was to kill their bodies. The people of God have always had their martyrs and these three
young men were fully prepared to enter their ranks.
Hebrews 11:36-38, puts it this
...and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes,
also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they
were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to
death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in
goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men
of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in
deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
The bottom line
is this. Sometimes God delivers from the fire ...
and other times he delivers through the fire ... but ...
every time, he delivers his own! As you have
it in Hebrews 13:5-6,
Let your conversation be
without covetousness; and be
content with such things as ye
have: for he hath said, I
will never leave thee, nor
forsake thee. So that we may
boldly say, The Lord is my
helper, and I will not fear what
man shall do unto me. (KJV)
king was astounded
and stood up in
haste; he said to
his high officials,
'Was it not
three men we cast
bound into the midst
of the fire?'
They replied to the
king, 'Certainly, O
king' He said, 'Look!
I see four men
loosed and walking
about in the midst
of the fire without
harm, and the
appearance of the
fourth is like a son
of the gods!'
came near to the
door of the furnace
of blazing fire; he
responded and said,
and Abed-nego, come
out, you servants of
the Most High God,
and come here!'
Meshach and Abed-nego
came out of the
midst of the fire.
The satraps, the
governors and the
around and saw in
regard to these men
that the fire
had no effect on the
bodies of these men
nor was the hair of
their head singed,
nor were their
nor had the smell of
fire even come upon
responded and said,
the God of Shadrach,
Meshach and Abed-nego,
who has sent His
angel and delivered
His servants who put
their trust in Him,
violating the king's
command, and yielded up their
bodies so as not to
serve or worship any
god except their own
Therefore I make a
decree that any
people, nation or
tongue that speaks
against the God of
and Abed-nego shall
be torn limb from
limb and their
houses reduced to a
inasmuch as there is
no other god who is
able to deliver in
this way.' Then the
and Abed-nego to
prosper in the
province of Babylon.
The story of what
experienced that day
furnace will live on
It has become a
permanent part of
the eternal Word of
God for all to read and take
from. It was
a huge miracle and an amazing
believe that the
fourth man who
appeared in the
furnace with those
three young Hebrews was
the pre-incarnate Son of God himself.
I believe that that was
the case, as well.
us Christ Jesus
Deliverer, you see (Rom. 11:26).
He told his
In the world you
tribulation: but be
of good cheer; I
have overcome the
world. John 16:33b
I am with you
unto the end of the
Jesus will never leave nor
forsake his own.
And, by the way,
when he delivers ...
he does so
The Scripture records here,
that Shadrach, Meshach
and Abed-nego were
not only saved from
being burned ...
clothes and hairs were
... nor was even the smell
them! Praise be
to our great God, who delivers
his own from every
preserves us through
So much so that subsequently
a decree that if
anyone in his realm
said anything bad
Meshach and Abed-nego's
God ... they
were to be torn
limb from limb and
their houses reduced
to a rubbish heap.
Then, he promoted the
anti-climactic ... in
light of the
that had just taken place
very eyes ... as well as
the eyes of all the others who
were present at the
furnace that day.
important than the
miracle of the fiery
furnace, however, was
the fact that
now arrived at a new
understanding of the
power and heart of
the God of
fiery furnace was another
step in the
mysterious way in
which God was working
to reveal himself to that
king of Babylon.
greatest miracle is the way
that he speaks to a human
heart and saves
poor lost sinners.
greatest miracle of
God is the unlocking of
a human heart. Thanks
be to God for his
wondrous grace and
mercy to the
children of men. Amen?
Scripture taken from the New
King James Version. Copyright ©
1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used
by permission. All rights
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