Summary: Many critics attack this chapter because it contains the record of a miracle. Not one line in the narrative is myth or fiction. It is the pure truth because it is divinely inspired. But because many have trouble believing in miracles, they attack this cha
They did not bow, they did nor bend nor burn.
Many critics attack this chapter because it contains the record of a miracle. Not one line in the narrative is myth or fiction. It is the pure truth because it is divinely inspired. But because many have trouble believing in miracles, they attack this chapter as they do all miracles. Therefore they come to the conclusion that this book never took place.
Lets move on now to THE DESCRIPTION OF THE IMAGE 1. The first thing we notice is the similarity of this chapter and chapter two. For in both chapters we are confronted with an image. The difference is in chapter two the image was a dream had by Nebuchadnezzar. In this chapter Nebuchadnezzar had an image built. One may ask, what the image in this chapter represents since the one previous was a symbol of things to happen. It could, if it represents anything, a Babylonian god, the power of Babylon or Nebuchadnezzar himself.
The question is, why did Nebuchadnezzar do this? Actually, we aren’t given the reason why. We can only venture a guess. It is doubtful he had forgotten what Daniel told him in chapter two about the image in his dream. Some twenty years has past since the dream, but the Word of the Lord had not passed his memory. You remember Daniel told the king his kingdom would fall and another one would rule, the interpretation of the dream. Of course it would not be as strong as his but would come. Did he think he would not die but live on to hold the reins of power? Whatever prompted him to construct the image of gold, he behaved exactly the way some Christians behave today. That is to cling to his earthly possessions. They hold to their possessions as though they will have them forever.
Something else we need to consider in this chapter and that is the man Daniel is not mentioned in chapter 3. We are not told of his whereabouts and activities during this time. Because of his high position he could have been sent by the King to one his conquered cities to look out after the affairs there. I strongly doubt that the king would have had the image built if Daniel had been in town. Nebuchadnezzar had that much confidence in Daniel. With Daniel elsewhere, the king had lost his spiritual leader.
Next we notice THE DEDICATION OF THE IMAGE, 2-5. The dedication of the image was no little affair. All the nations that were subject, weather captives, slaves or whatever, were ordered to the ceremony. You can only imagine the crowd of people from all over the empire. It was, for the king, one of the greatest days in Babylon. With the orchestra in place, waiting for the signal to begin playing their instruments. I am not sure whether the people summonsed to the dedication were told it was going to be religious or not. It could be that that was an on the spur decision.
But notice THE DEMANDS AT THE DEDICATION SERVICE, 4-7. The reason I believe the intention of the dedication wasn’t known to the people is now we have the real motive. Not that it would have made any difference to most of them anyway.
The demands were strict and the punishment for all who rebelled so severe that none dare refuse to participate. This is Satan’s way of getting people to worship him rather than God. Revelation tells us that Satan will sit man on the throne in the tribulation and those who refuse to worship and take the mark will be killed. The demand was clear either bow or burn. And so the people bowed. Nebuchadnezzar was then recognized as the head of state and the head of religion.
I would imagine the sight of the people bowing at his image swelled his head with much pride. He must have thought if the times of the Gentiles can begin with Babylon, why can’t they continue with Babylon? Even though Daniel told back in chapter 2 that Babylon would give way to another rule. this was Nebuchadnezzar’s reply to God.
In verses 8-15 though we have THE DEFIANCE OF THE FAITHFUL THREE. If you thinking was that Daniel’s friends only followed his lead thing again. Daniel wasn’t with his friends at this time yet they took a stand themselves.
Daniel and his friends were the only Jews that were appointed to positions of leadership for the king. The Chaldeans were jealous of these men and no doubt knew before hand how these friends of Daniel’s stood. They wasn’t hard to pick out. Imagine as thousands bowed to the image, here was three only three who stood to their feet. Did they stick out? I imagine they did. but the same ones who had the death sentence back in chapter 2 if it were not for Daniel and his friends were the ones who went to the king. It was the prayers of those three and Daniel that saved them from being killed. No, they were motivated by the demon of jealousy.