Summary: How do you deal with temptation?

A. Chapter 3 Outline

I. Daniel’s Friends Would Not Bow (3:1-7)

a. The King’s Pride (3:1)

b. The King’s Politicians (3:2-3)

c. The King’s Proclamation (3:4-5)

d. The King’s Penalty (3:6-7)

II. Daniel’s Friends Would Not Budge (3:8-23)

a. The Threat (3:8-15)

i. The Astrologer’s Report (3:8-12)

ii. The King’s Reasoning (3:13-15)

b. The Testimony (3:16-23)

i. The Hebrew’s Answer (3:16-18)

ii. The Kings Anger (3:19-23)

III. Daniel’s Friends Would Not Burn (3:24-30)

a. The Discovery (3:24-25)

b. The Deliverance (3:26-28)

c. The Decree (3:29-30)

B. Message

The Devil tempts us to destroy our faith, but God tests us to develop our faith, because a faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted. A false or weak faith will fail in a time of trial, but true faith takes deeper roots, it grows and ultimately brings glory to God.

We are not sure exactly how many years have passed since Daniel interpreted the dream of the metallic image for Nebuchadnezzar. It is possible that some 23 years have passed by, the king has gone from victory to victory, he has finally destroyed Jerusalem (586 BC) and it is all going to his head.

In Daniel 3 we see just how little the king had learned from the revelation God had made to him. When Daniel explained the meaning of the dream, Nebuchadnezzar fell down before the prophet and worshiped him.

He had many nice things to say to Daniel, and he gave him great rewards; but he was not brought to repentance or humbled in self-judgement before the God who had shown His omniscient power. The king could appreciate the wisdom of Daniel, but he had no heart for the God who inspired His servant.

I wonder how many people are impressed by ministers and ministries of God by remain strangers to the God of these ministries?

I. Daniel’s Friends Would Not Bow (3:1-7)

a. The King’s Pride (3:1)

When Daniel explained the meaning of the metals in the huge image of that dream the king had, he identified Nebuchadnezzar as the head of gold – Daniel 2:38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

Nebuchadnezzar was not content to have his kingdom symbolised as a “head of gold” he wanted his kingdom to be symbolised by an entire image of gold! What was this image – was it a golden statue of the king himself? Not with those dimensions – 90 feet high by 9 feet wide – ratio 1:10 whereas a human ratio is 1:6. Maybe the human form was on a pedestal?

Whatever the image, the fact remains that this towering golden image was erected on a plain where everyone could see it…. Look again at the dimensions of this golden image. Look at the presence of the numbers 60 and 6 – this is the number of man, Antichrist is stamped with this number (Revelation 13:18)

It has been said that Nebuchadnezzar was setting up a state religion – sounds a lot like the last days – one world government , one religion, worshiping an image (Rev 13)

There was definitely an element of pride at work here in the king’s heart. Daniel made it perfectly clear that no empire would last, including Nebuchadnezzar’s. The king’s heart was full of pride because of all his conquests.

Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: [17] A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, [18] An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, [19] A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Pro 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

b. The Politicians (3:2-3)

Here we see the list of officials that were summoned to the opening ceremony of this image. This is a list of the “who’s who” of Babylon. Everybody who was anybody was to be there.

Princes – These were the chief administrative officers in the province

Governors – Possible the princes assistants, or military commanders

Captains – They ruled over the smaller districts in the provinces

Judges – They were chief astrologers / diviners

Treasurers – served as treasurers do today – they were the money men

Councillors – These people were experts in the law, councillor also means lawyer or interpreter of decrees

Sheriff – They were local magistrates

Rulers – miscellaneous officials in the province..

Every level of authority was represented from the top down, and everyone was expected to be present.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had received their invitations too. Remember, at the end of chapter 2 we see them getting a promotion to one of these prestigious positions. They had no way of escape… One question… Where was Daniel?

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