Daniel 3.18-Shadrach, Meshach And Abednego Tell Nebuchadnezzar That They Will Not Worship The Gold Statue

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Daniel: Daniel 3:18-Shadrach, Meshach And Abednego Tell Nebuchadnezzar That They Will Not Worship The Gold Statue-Lesson # 93

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Wenstrom Bible Ministries

Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom

Thursday June 28, 2012

www.wenstrom.org

Daniel: Daniel 3:18-Shadrach, Meshach And Abednego Tell Nebuchadnezzar That They Will Not Worship The Gold Statue

Lesson # 93

Please turn in your Bibles to Daniel 3:18.

This evening we will study Daniel 3:18, which records Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego telling Nebuchadnezzar that if their God chooses not to deliver them from death, they still refuse to serve the king’s god, namely that they refuse to worship the gold statue, which he erected.

Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king sculptured an image composed of gold, its height ninety feet, its width nine feet. He erected it on the plain of Dura in the province of the city of Babylon. 2 Then Nebuchadnezzar, the king issued an order to assemble the satraps, military commanders as well as the governors, advisers, treasurers, lawyers, judges in other words, each and every one of the dignitaries from the provinces to attend the dedication of the statue, which Nebuchadnezzar erected. 3 Then when the satraps, military commanders as well as the governors, advisers, treasurers, lawyers, judges in other words, each and every one of the dignitaries from the provinces assembled for the dedication of the statue, which Nebuchadnezzar, the king had erected, they stood directly in front of the statue which Nebuchadnezzar had erected. 4 Next, a herald publicly proclaimed with authority: “To all of you nations, ethnicities and language groups, all of you are commanded: 5 At the precise moment when all of you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, dulcimer, drum as well as each and every type of musical instrument, all of you must fall down in order to worship the gold statue, which Nebuchadnezzar, the king has erected. 6 However, whoever refuses to fall down in order to worship, in that very hour, they will be deposited unceremoniously in the midst of a blazing, fiery furnace.” 7 Because of this, at the precise moment when each and every one of the people from the nations heard the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, dulcimer as well as each and every type of musical instrument, each and every one of the nations, ethnicities and language groups fell down worshipping the gold statue which Nebuchadnezzar the king had erected. 8 Because of this, during this time certain Chaldean men made assertions, specifically, they slanderously accused some individuals from the Jewish race. 9 They made a statement to the king and said, 10 “O King live forever! You O king issued a command, namely that each and every person who hears the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, dulcimer as well as drum and in addition every type of musical instrument, must fall down in order to worship the gold statue. 11 However, whoever refuses to fall down in order to worship, they will be deposited unceremoniously in the midst of a blazing, fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jewish men, because you assigned them the administration over the province of the city of Babylon-Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, these men have absolutely no respect for your command O king. By no means do they serve your god, that is, by no means do they worship the gold statue which you erected.” 13 Then, because of rage, yes and a furious rage at that, Nebuchadnezzar issued an order causing Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to be brought into his presence. Consequently, these men were brought into the king’s presence. 14 Nebuchadnezzar asked a question and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, all of you are refusing to serve my god, that is, all of you refuse to worship the gold statue, which I erected? 15 Now if all of you are ready, namely that, at the precise moment when all of you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, dulcimer, drum as well as each and every type of musical instrument, all of you must fall down in order to worship the gold statue, which I erected. However, if all of you refuse to fall down in order to worship, in that very hour, all of you will be deposited unceremoniously in the midst of a blazing, fiery furnace. Now, let’s see, what God exists who has the ability to effect the rescue of all of you out of my power?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, as for us, we are by no means obligated to respond to you concerning this matter. 17 Certainly, our God, whom, we serve, exists in the state of being able to rescue us from the blazing, fiery furnace so that He will cause us to be delivered out of your hand O king.” (My translation)

Daniel 3:18 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (NASB95)

“But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods” is an adversative clause since the conjunction wa, “but” is used to introduce a statement addressed to Nebuchadnezzar by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that stands in contrast to their previous statement in verse 17.

Therefore, the contrast is between Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego affirming their God’s ability to save them from Nebuchadnezzar’s hand with their God choosing not to deliver them.

“Even if He does not” is composed of the conjunction hēn (הֵן) (hane), “if” and this is followed by the negative particle lā(ʾ) (לָא) (law), “not.”

The conjunction hēn means “if” and is a marker to show a mode of certainty and denotes the certainty of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refusing to serve Nebuchadnezzar’s god, that is, refusing to worship the gold statue of himself.

The negative particle lā(ʾ) is negating the idea, which is implied but omitted due to Daniel’s use of the figure of ellipsis, and which idea is found in verse 17 that the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego exists in the state of being able to deliver them from death and as a result Nebuchadnezzar.

Therefore, this negative particle is negating the idea of the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego rescuing them from blazing, fiery furnace and thus, Nebuchadnezzar’s hand.

This word indicates that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not know if they would be delivered by God.

It also indicates that they were not presuming upon God that it was His will to save them from the king’s hand.

It also serves to emphasize the great faith of these three in that they were willing to obey to the point of it costing them their lives.

“We are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” should be translated “we are refusing to serve your god, that is, we refuse to worship the gold statue, you erected” since the noun ʾělāh means “god” rather than “gods.”

The reason is that both statements are referring to disobeying the king’s command to worship the gold statue.

Thus, to refuse to serve the king’s god is equivalent to refusing to worship the gold statue or in other words, the gold statue is the god Nebuchadnezzar set up.

Daniel 3:18 “However, if not, let it be known to you O king that we are refusing to serve your god, that is, we refuse to worship the gold statue, you erected.” (My translation)

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s statement to Nebuchadnezzar reveals the great faith of these three in that they were willing to obey to the point of it costing them their lives.

Daniel 3:18 reveals that their faith, obedience and loyalty to God were unconditional.

The principle of faith operates quite simply: (1) God speaks and we hear His Word. (2) We trust His Word and act on it no matter what the circumstances are or what the consequences may be.

The circumstances may be impossible, and the consequences frightening and unknown but we obey God’s Word just the same and believe Him to do what is right and what is best.

Hebrews 11:1-3 gives a definition of faith and also a description of the nature of faith or in other words, what faith does and how it works.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (NASB95)

The Lord will test the believer’s faith after conversion in order to produce endurance in them (James 1:2-3).

The Lord rewards the believer after his faith has been tested (James 1:12).

Daniel 3:18 records that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were obeying what Paul taught in Romans 12:12.

Romans 12:12: Concerning your confident expectation, all of you continue to make it your habit to rejoice. Concerning adversity, all of you continue to make it your habit to persevere. Concerning prayer, all of you continue to make it your habit to be persistent. (Author’s translation)

Perseverance demands faith in the promises of God.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were trusting in the promises of God.

More than likely they were trusting in the promise found in Deuteronomy 31:6.

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (NASB95)

Perseverance is not “gritting one’s teeth” nor is it a passive acceptance of the circumstances but rather is remaining faithful and obedient to the will of God in the face of opposition or difficulty.

It is steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, and a state and suggests activity maintained in spite of difficulties, steadfast and long continued application.

Perseverance is remaining faithful and obedient to the Word of God despite the obstacles in life such as the old sin nature, self, the cosmic system of Satan.

It is not permitting our adverse circumstances to get us to surrender or quit on the plan of God.

Perseverance is a triumphant confident expectation of reward and blessing in the midst of adversity, knowing like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that even out of evil God guarantees good rather than “grin and bear it” attitude.

Perseverance is that spiritual staying power that will die before it gives in and is the virtue which can endure, not simply with resignation, but with a vibrant confident expectation of reward and blessing.

It also involves doing what is right and never giving in to the temptation or trial and is a conquering perseverance and the ability to deal triumphantly with anything that life can do to us.

It accepts the blows of life but in accepting them transforms them into stepping stones to new achievement and spiritual growth.

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