Do NOT bow to idols!
I.CONSIDER THE IMAGE Daniel 3:1
1.Its value- an image of gold
2. Its size approx. 90 feet high and 9 feet wide
3. Nebuchadnezzars motives for setting it up:
a. Political At the end of chap. 2 we read of Nebuchadnezzar confessing to Daniel, Truly your God is the God of gods Daniel 2:47. Maybe in order to prove to his people that he was not turning Jewish he had to set up this false god.
b. Pride In chap. 2 God gives Nebuchadnezzar a dream in which he is pictured as the head of gold on a statue representing the great kingdoms of the world. Here in Daniel 3, we seem to have Nebuchadnezzars revised version of his dream, as influenced by his own sinful pride. Here not only the head is gold, but the entire image is made of gold!
Compare Daniel 2:46-49 with Daniel 3:1-7
How would you describe Nebuchadnezzar in each passage?
What is his spiritual condition?
What is his attitude toward God?
What is his attitude toward himself?
II.CONSIDER THE COMMAND TO WORSHIP THE IMAGE Daniel 3:2-7
1.It extended to all:
a.Regardless of position – :2-3
b.Regardless of national or ethnic background – :4
2.It commanded obedience of all:
a.Music was played to make obedience easy :5
b.Fire was threatened to make disobedience difficult – :6
3.It received obedience from almost all – :7
III.CONSIDER THOSE WHO DISOBEYED THIS COMMAND Daniel 3:8-30
1.They disobeyed in spite of many seemingly good reasons to obey:
a.Not to obey meant the certainty of being thrown into the fiery furnace; Nebuchadnezzar was not making an idle threat – :6, :15, :19
b.Though required to bow to a false god, no heart or feeling was required with this bowing. They were not asked to renounce the one true God.
c.This was a one-time thing! Afterward they could repent and ask Gods forgiveness.
d.They might think it beneficial to go along with this little ceremony. Maybe their showing respect for a Babylonian deity would open Babylonian hearts to the Jewish God.
e.The king they were under had (seeming) absolute power. What they did they could argue they did under duress. Surely, God would forgive a sin they never really meant to commit?
f.Though they were captives in a foreign country, King Nebuchadnezzar had shown them great kindness, advancing them to high positions within the government, now, not showing respect for his god, showed them very ungrateful!
g.If they obey they save not only their own lives but their positions in government, from these positions it might be argued they are able to do a great deal of good, not only for themselves, but for their people, and ultimately for the cause of God.
h.There was peer pressure! Everyone else was bowing! – :7
i.Their friend Daniel was not with them.
2. They disobeyed with little concern about the matters I have mentioned above, they were firm in their convictions. What caused them to be so firm in their convictions?
a. They knew their God – Daniel 11:32 “And by smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.
b. They had more fear of God than they did of Nebuchadnezzar or his furnace Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
NAS Matthew 10:28 “And do 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 hell.
3. Note the results of their obedience to God:
a. They were delivered from the pain of the fire – :19-25
b. They won the praise of their former adversary – :26-30