Today’s passage: Daniel 3:19-30
- Nebuchadnezzar’s fury made him irrational.
- “Seven times” was an expression that would have equated to, “as hot as the furnace can get,” which is believed to be 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (Hot enough to melt several metals).
- The mighty soldiers were unnecessary given the three men’s response. The king lost his own mighty men that day because he lost his temper.
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew that God was able to save them from the fire. Now everyone knew He was both able and willing on that day. This miracle put His power on display in a way the king had not yet seen or considered. Nebuchadnezzar now refers to God as the “Most High God” (Meaning, more powerful than the rest of the gods) and commends these Jews for refusing to obey the his command.
- Nebuchadnezzar identified the fourth man in the fire as an angel. Many biblical scholars believe this could have been the angel of the Lord, the preincarnate Christ.
- Now, instead of being despised, the men were praised for refusing to worship any other god.
- It was then written into law (With alarming consequences!) that no one in all of Babylon was allowed to speak poorly of God.
Questions to consider:
- What was God accomplishing through this miracle? Generally speaking, pagan cultures believed the greater strength of their gods over the gods of other people provided their victories in battle. What was God teaching Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian people?
- What would have been the best response from Nebuchadnezzar and all those who heard about this event? Was the “moral of the story” to stay true to yourself and what you believe? Or was it, there is only one God worthy of obedience and praise?
- God is not going to temporarily save every believer physically through martyrdom the way He did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. If that were the case, there would be no martyrs. But, how has He saved each and every one of them? How has God provide for your salvation and snatched us out of the fire?