Daniel 3:8-19 Video Devotional

Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. – Daniel 3:8-19

Either Nebuchadnezzar’s repentance was very short-lived, or it wasn’t really repentance, but more of an acknowledgment. Yet, even then, it is obvious that the king’s arrogance knows no bounds. He sets up a statue of himself to be worshipped by all the people! This is a situation that I almost wish was something he was duped into by an evil henchman, but no. All we know about this story is that Nebuchadnezzar built the statue and was key on everyone bowing down to it.

With that, we can see in verse 8 that the three friends were set up to get caught. People had been looking for a way to take those guys down as the leadership of the Babylonian province, which they gained through Daniel’s suffering over the dream and its interpretation. They were earning influence in their own right, but up until now, they had mostly followed Daniel. In this story, however, they were on their own. The king was mad at those 3 individuals (though I would love to know where Daniel was during this trial) and they were going to have to stand up to this on their own.

Showing their own personal dedication to God, the 3 friends do just that. And although you cannot read into their language any tone of anger for frustration, it is clear their response really ticked Nebuchadnezzar off. So filled with rage was he that he had the furnace turned up seven times its normal heat!

This was their moment – they got the chance (again, notice this is completely disconnected from anything resembling a fault of their own) to stand up on their own against the king, holding fast to God and expecting to die. They stood. They suffered. All for the righteous call of God.

For all of us, there comes a time when the spotlight finally falls directly on us. We will have to stand up and face something ourselves – no more hiding behind your dad’s overcoat. These three friends, who for the most part had been content to follow Daniel, were now called to the carpet by the king himself. They willingly walked into the furnace. I don’t think anyone is being asked that exact question today, but maybe something smaller?

Notice they do not argue with the king, telling him he is wrong. They willingly go to the slaughter, knowing the outcome would most likely be grim. They turned the other cheek. What will you do with the spotlight is on you? The only thing you can do is what you’ve practiced. If you are faithful in the small things, you will be faithful in the big things. Practice well!