Daniel 3 (3)
Nebuchadnezzar undoubtedly knew what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego would say in reply to his ultimatum. Like Joshua of old, they had made up their minds in advance of this crisis, and they were not about to change them now, come what may.
Review Joshua 24.1-14.
Read Daniel 3.16-18.
Think it Through
1. Why were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego confident that Nebuchadnezzar did not need an anwer from them to his warning in verses 14, 15? What were they saying? They gave him an answer anyway (v. 18), and it was doubtless the one he knew they would give. Would they have been better off just to go along with Nebuchadnezzar’s demand, perhaps with their fingers crossed? Explain. What does this say to us about how we ought to be known by the people in our Personal Mission Field?
2. Daniel’s friends put their trust in God, regardless of what might happen to them (vv. 17, 18). They understood God to be able to deliver them, whether from the fire or from Nebuchadnezzar’s hand. Do you think they might have had two different kinds of deliverance in mind? Explain. They knew that God was able to deliver them (v.17), but they could not be certain that he would (v.18). But their lack of certainty did not keep them from trusting God. What’s the lesson here for us?
“Look at their faith! We believe, it says, that he is able to save us; but if it should be that our sins prevent him, we still believe in him who will not deliver us. We do not believe in this life but in the future life; nor do we believe in him in order to escape burning here but in order to escape passing from this fire into another fire.” Jerome (347-420 AD)
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end… Hebrews 3.12-14
Father, do not let me fear what people might think of me or do to me; instead, help me to trust in You, and to live before others such that…
Pray Psalm 115.4-11.
Psalm 115.4-11 (Plainfield: Nothing But the Blood of Jesus)
Idols made by men's own hand – ever to Your Name be glory –
see nor hear nor understand – ever to Your Name be glory!
They neither feel nor walk, nor can they speak or talk;
All those who serve them fall, but unto Your Name be glory!
All who trust in Jesus yield – ever to His Name be glory! -
find in Him their help and shield – ever to Your Name be glory!
O Israel, trust the Lord! He helps us evermore!
Fear Him obey His Word: Ever to Your Name be glory!
T. M Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.