We finish off this week by reading Daniel 3:8-30 (Isaiah 43:1-7)
v8: ‘At that time’: These words introduce a change. Up until this time Nebuchadnezzar’s plans had been going very well, but something changed.
· Accused the Jews: satan’s plan always involves a desire to exterminate the Jewish race. This is going to be repeated in the last days.
v12: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego: It is possible that Daniel is not mentioned with these men because the accusers maybe thought he was too powerful, or perhaps they had forgotten about Daniel as he was in the courtyard of the king and not leading them, directly, in the province.
· Do not serve: They do not worship.
v14: It is unusual for the name of Nebuchadnezzar to appear in this form – usually it is accompanied by ‘The king’ or just ‘king’. The reason for the absence of ‘king’ in front of his name is to reveal to us that he is not the true king. Nebuchadnezzar is in a position of temporary authority. He is not the ultimate judge.
v15 Nebuchadnezzar was willing to give them a chance, to let them recant – “repent”
· ‘Who is the G-d?’ – Nebuchadnezzar has forgotten the true G-d, the G-d who knows, and who is able to do, all things.
Note: There is a battle going on here as to who is really king – Nebuchadnezzar or G-d.
v16-18 They are confident and bold. G-d remains faithful – whether they live, or whether they die (Matt 10:17-22)
v20 ‘Bind…and cast’- They were powerless. They lost their ability to move, they lost any authority they had over their own bodies.
v22 It is a dangerous thing to serve those whose words are in conflict with G-d. These men submitted to the wrong commandment, and they died.
v25 What this fire did to these men was to burn off their bonds and set them free! (James 1:2-4). They were able to walk in the fire and be a testimony to their enemies. (The burning bush was also not consumed, G-d was there!)
· Son of G-d – A reference to Messiah. When we suffer for Him we are brought into fellowship with Him (Rom 8:16-17, 1 Pt 4:12-19)
v26: G-d didn’t deliver them FROM the fire. He delivered them IN THE MIDST OF the fire.
v28-30 What incredible verses these are! Like we saw at the end of chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar had a revelation of G-d’s power (yet again) and it led to worship.