Today’s passage: Daniel 3:8-18
- In this context, the Chaldeans were wise men who served Nebuchadnezzar and had been saved but also humiliated by Daniel’s and these three men’s service to the king.
- King Nebuchadnezzar may have been particularly frustrated after having been willing to “worship” their God and have them not return the favor. His understanding of deity was polytheistic (Many gods). From his perspective, they were being both rude and directly disobedient.
- By asking, “Who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” Nebuchadnezzar reveals his low view of the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Perhaps he only viewed God as the revealer of dreams.
- The gods of polytheistic cultures all have certain responsibilities that coincide with specific powers. The king was about to learn much more about the true God!
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were willing to obey God, whether He preserved their lives or not.
Questions to consider:
- Why was Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s choice the right one? What would have made it hard and scary? What truths from Scripture would have made it easy and safe (Even in their potential death)?
- How did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego speak to the king, even in their explanation of why they would not bow down? Were they arrogant and smug or were they respectful?
- How does this passage encourage us toward missions? Should we think that it is right and good for different cultures to worship other gods or to not worship at all? Is it culturally appropriate for us to go to other nations and participate in their worship in order to “learn their culture”? What do the people of the world need?