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Lesson # Dan. 3:9-12
Study Material - Dan. 3:9-12
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9 They responded and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king: 'O king, live forever! 10 'You yourself, O king, have made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe, and all kinds of music, is to fall down and worship the golden image. 11 'But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. 12 'There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.'
Now these 'certain' Chaldeans who influenced the King into carrying out this huge project including the penalties, here remind the Kind that it was 'he' who made the decree, not them. It was the King who gave the order to have the statue constructed. It was the King who gave the order for the penalty of disobedience. It was the King who gave the order that the signal for obedience to the image was to be the playing of all these instruments - 'the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe, and all kinds of music...'.
Why so many instruments? Why so much noise or music? Ever been to a small town with several churches? And when they all ring their church bells, you can't but help hear them, and not only in the town, but in the nearby countryside as well. So, there were many instruments, probably played from high towers, such that everyone could hear them and no one would have an excuse.
The plot was set to trap Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. But how did these 'certain' Chaldeans know that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were not in compliance with the order of the King? They would have to be watching (spying) on them in order to know for sure. Their accusations are directed against the Jews in general (they were obviously prejudiced against the Jews), and they were identifying these three, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, specifically.
Now there had to have been millions of people in the empire. There had to have been tens of thousands of Jews within the empire. Do you really think that 100% of everyone who was alive and breathing then, actually fell down and worshiped the image? I seriously doubt it. The empire ranged far and wide, with many peoples, many cultures, many languages. To get them all to comply would be nearly impossible. Note also, that in chapter 6, when we get there, we will see the King Belshazzar getting assassinated. This empire is not a love everyone and everything is rose petals environment. King Nebuchadnezzar partly did the image thing to reinforce his power and authority. The throwing of people into the furnace is something that has been used as a form of execution before. This was not new. The King had his enemies, and the politics and deceptions of the day were old hat as well.
This plot was hatched not to enhance the empire, nor was it done for the good of the empire. It was done to satisfy the hatred of a few people, against just three men. Hate knows no limits. People in power have unusual responsibilities to honor that power of their office and not to abuse it or use it for their own private selfish agenda. However all too often we see people who seek high office and power for just that reason. They are not interested in fairness or justice, or the rights of those whom they represent, but they are instead only interested in some private crusade, or, as in this case, revenge, and using their position they can impose great trauma on their intended victims.
This is not a new concept. It happens today throughout the world, and not only is it not limited to government affairs, but it is rampant in even the smallest of social clubs and circles. Power lust and hatred know no limits, whether great or small, it makes no difference. If someone is out to get you, then their arrows and breathing fire of gossip reach out in their attempt to consume you.
Your defense? Your residence in fellowship with God of course, but equally as important, your spiritual growth and continued advancement. Through that God throws up an even greater fire wall, a wall of fire as a shield if you will, in defense of you. A wall so great that it is able to repel and prevent the penetration of any and all attacks directed against you.
These 'certain' Chaldeans also used truth in their attack against the three men. '... they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image...', and this is a true statement. They did not comply with the law with regard to the local religious beliefs. Throughout the centuries there have been powers that have attempted to control societies through the combination of religion and government, to the great peril of the common folk. Even today there are countries in this world that follow this practice. One of the great evils of history is a result of the combining of religion and government. These functions should be separate and independent of each other. Neither controlling the other. But when we see one trying to control the other, great injustices occur, freedom of choice is lost, and tyranny raises its head.
Often those who promote deceit will use truth mixed into their plot in order to give their plan the appearance of truth. Only the person who is savvy to life and truth, can discern between the real truth and that which is shaded with deceit. Only the person who has significant Bible doctrine in their soul has that real capability.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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