Summary: How easily does the world get you to doubt your faith?

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 Chaldean’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

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

One commentator said that there could have been as many as 300,000 people bowing down to this golden image and just 3 people were willing to take a stand. It would have been easy for them to bow – “When in Rome do as the Romans do” or “When in Babylon…”

These three men could have reasoned things out, they could have justified it to themselves – “Babylon’s been good to us, what harm could this do?” Exodus 20:4-6 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: [5] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; [6] And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Their faith was in the true and living God and in the Word that He had spoken to their people. Knowing the history of the Jewish people, they were confident that the Lord was in control and that they had nothing to fear. Isaiah 43:1-2 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. [2] When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Are we part of that minority when it comes to taking a stand for the Lord Jesus Christ? Do we have the same faith in God that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had? Faith means obeying God regardless of the feelings within us, the circumstances around us, or the consequences before us

a. The Threat (3:8-15)

i. The Chaldean’s Report (3:8-12)

The Chaldeans came from South Babylonia; they were a privileged class of people and, because of their high standing in the king’s court, Daniel and his three friends would have belonged to this group of people.

Cast your mind back to the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had. It was the Chaldeans who said that there was no one on this earth who could interpret the kings dream (Dan 2:10-11). You can imagine their faces when Daniel turns up and, through God, does the impossible.

They would not have been too pleased to see Daniel and his friends rise up to their rank in the court, maybe envy and resentment stirred within them especially as these newcomers were Jews who openly made known their faith.

I wonder if these men were just waiting for these upstarts to slip up. They had seen these foreigners rise up the ranks and they were there waiting for these boys to make a mistake so that they could accuse them to the king. “Do you boys plan on bowing down? We’ll be watching you!!!”

You can imagine the glee and the joy with which these men went before the king. They savoured every moment of their revenge… Just 20 years or so ago, these three men that they were accusing had saved these Chaldeans lives.

Remember how the king was going to put to death all the court advisers because they could not interpret the dream, Daniel and his three friends help save their lives and now they are baying for their blood. How quickly people forget.

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

True faith isn’t frightened by threats, impressed by crowds or swayed by superstitions. True faith obeys the Lord and trusts Him to work out the consequences

ii. The King’s Reasoning (3:13-15)

Verse 13

If the aim of the Chaldeans was to wind up the king (make him mad) then they succeeded. The word rage in Chaldean means violent anger. Nebuchadnezzar had conquered many cities, many nations but he could not conquer himself. Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

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