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Lesson # Dan. 3:19-23
Study Material - Dan. 3:19-23
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he commanded certain valiant warriors who were in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, in order to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire. 21 Then these men were tied up in their trousers, their coats, their caps and their other clothes, and were cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire. 22 For this reason, because the king's command was urgent and the furnace had been made extremely hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who carried up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. 23 But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up.
In a former time, King Nebuchadnezzar had examined these three men and found them to be wiser than any of his current wise men. In a former time King Nebuchadnezzar was given divine viewpoint through Daniel, and the King promoted Daniel and his three friends because of what Daniel had done (the interpretation of the dream), and his other wise men could not accomplish this. The King Nebuchadnezzar recognized the God of Daniel, the God of Israel, as a God set apart from all other gods and a God much wiser than all other gods. King Nebuchadnezzar was thoroughly familiar with the one true God and had seen the demonstration of His power, where all of the gods of Babylon, all of the gods of the Chaldean empire, could not provide the answer for the simplest dream.
Despite all of this we note quickly ahead in verse 27, just who was present for the execution - all of the other officials who had failed in the earlier dream event. All of the other officials who were 'not' promoted, who were 'not' recognized. Hummm! 'Certain' Chaldeans!
The King Nebuchadnezzar was the ruler of this entire empire, ruler over millions. He had everything a person could possibly want. Yet when these three declined politely to bow down to the idol, an idol made by men, an object that had absolutely nothing to do with the spiritual life, any kind of spiritual life. Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage. He commanded the immediate execution of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. Without trial, without due process, without any kind of representation.
And so it is when Bible doctrine is ignored within society. Tyranny reigns. Sometimes it is subtle, sometimes very obvious. The functions of government fail and the very things that government should be doing (the protection of rights, privacy, and property of its citizens), cease to exist. Freedoms and liberty go out the window, and are replaced with prejudice, tyranny, bureaucracy, regulations, favoritism
Rulers rule by emotion, by their selfish agendas. They rule for crusades, for causes they themselves believe in or have designed. And when they do not get their way, they get even. Sometimes this revenge is very subtle and deceptive as with the 'certain' Chaldeans. Sometimes the reaction is open and obvious as with the rage of the King. Persons in positions of authority, in positions of high rank, have a higher calling. They were appointed to their position by God. God alone appoints all persons to whatever position He sees fit for them. We will see this in Nebuchadnezzar's confession later. But for now, we have three innocents being condemned because they did not comply with the most evil of laws. Because they stuck by their integrity in Bible doctrine.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, did not run as David did when Saul was after him. They did not whine as did Joseph when his brothers sold him into slavery. They did not connive as Jacob did when he got the better of his brother. They stood fast and placed their hopeless situation in Gods hands.
When you face situations in life, you most likely will have options and will not be faced with the kind of situation as these three men faced, unless you travel to some third world country and are captured or taken hostage by ruthless rebels. Then you might be in a similar situation. But these three had no country to rescue them, no country to return to if they escaped. They were surrounded by muscular soldiers, the King, and all their accusers. They were unarmed and not prepared with anything of this earthly world with which to face the situation. They knew of the law. They knew of the furnace which was probably used quite often against other poor slobs that the King or others did not care for.
But they did have one thing that all others did not have. They had spiritual preparation. They studied their scriptures regularly and they were mature believers in the Savior, the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God, whom they knew as Joshua (the Hebrew word), and who we know as Jesus (the Greek word) - the deliverer.
They were seized, bound, and thrown into the fire. He who rendered judgment was struck with awe. Those who accused them were struck with fear. Those who seized them died.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego could have gone on to Paradise, one of the four compartments in the underworld, and there await their resurrection at the Second Advent of Christ. But God had a higher purpose for them. Not that it would help anyone who witnessed their deliverance, but that their story would help each one of us look at our lives and question whether we have advanced spiritually or whether we need some more serious Bible study under our belts.
The world thinks that it can tie you up and control your every movement, but with Bible doctrine, your reality is true freedom. Others may try to put you down for one reason or another. Whether you deserve the criticism or not is not the issue. What does matter in life is whether you are going to change your life to advance in your spiritual life, or pursue a life under the control of your slave master, your sin nature.
The furnace represents all that this world can throw at you, the storm of worldly judgment. The King, the 'certain' Chaldeans, all represent those people who would destroy you because of their lusts, their hates. The idol represents the system, its bureaucracy and all that is thrown into your life to make you stray from Bible study. And last but not least, the thoughts of these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, their thoughts were their strongest defense - Bible doctrine, fellowship, spiritual strength, and finally the application of it all to their situation.
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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