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Daniel 3 - The King's Image (Sermon Manuscript)

The Original Rogue One  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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When God has big business to get done in the world, allegiance always gets the contract.

Notes & Transcripts

Introduction

Introduction

- The King's Image (Outline)

TLVMoreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained at the royal court.
TLVMoreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained at the royal court.
- The King's Image (Outline)
TLVMoreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained at the royal court.
What a moment in the lives of the young Jewish exiles. With everything on the line God came through and did the extra-ordinary. And, Daniel, well Daniel was the lead on this one so the King brought him up to the highest arena of political leadership in Babylon: the royal court. That is like being part of our President’s inside circle of cabinet members. Daniel does not forget those who helped him get to the top. He does not forget about his three Jewish compatriots who prayed with him and received revelation from God with him. So Daniel asks King Nebuchadnezzar to “hook” his friends up with good jobs. So the king does. They become administrators of the province of Babylon. Not a bad job at all. They were not as high up as Daniel but they had some leadership responsibility and some status.At this moment, I am sure things started to look up. I bet there pats on the back to go around and lots of head-shaking, that head-shaking that says, “things are going to be different now.” I am sure Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were so grateful that there friend did not forget them and got them a sweet job in the government.Well maybe that promotion did not lead to such a rosy outcome. We are going to explore this today in our passage from .Grab your copy of the Scriptures and say it with me like you mean it, “Ha-foke-bah, Ha-foke-bah, De-cola-bah. Ha-foke-bah, Ha-foke-bah, Mashiach-bah. Turn-it and turn-it everything you need is in it. Turn-it and turn-it the Messiah is in it.”
What a moment in the lives of the young Jewish exiles. With everything on the line God came through and did the extra-ordinary. And, Daniel, well Daniel was the lead on this one so the King brought him up to the highest arena of political leadership in Babylon: the royal court. That is like being part of our President’s inside circle of cabinet members. Daniel does not forget those who helped him get to the top. He does not forget about his three Jewish compatriots who prayed with him and received revelation from God with him. So Daniel asks King Nebuchadnezzar to “hook” his friends up with good jobs. So the king does. They become administrators of the province of Babylon. Not a bad job at all. They were not as high up as Daniel but they had some leadership responsibility and some status.At this moment, I am sure things started to look up. I bet there pats on the back to go around and lots of head-shaking, that head-shaking that says, “things are going to be different now.” I am sure Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were so grateful that there friend did not forget them and got them a sweet job in the government.Well maybe that promotion did not lead to such a rosy outcome. We are going to explore this today in our passage from .Grab your copy of the Scriptures and say it with me like you mean it, “Ha-foke-bah, Ha-foke-bah, De-cola-bah. Ha-foke-bah, Ha-foke-bah, Mashiach-bah. Turn-it and turn-it everything you need is in it. Turn-it and turn-it the Messiah is in it.”
What a moment in the lives of the young Jewish exiles. With everything on the line God came through and did the extra-ordinary. And, Daniel, well Daniel was the lead on this one so the King brought him up to the highest arena of political leadership in Babylon: the royal court. That is like being part of our President’s inside circle of cabinet members. Daniel does not forget those who helped him get to the top. He does not forget about his three Jewish compatriots who prayed with him and received revelation from God with him. So Daniel asks King Nebuchadnezzar to “hook” his friends up with good jobs. So the king does. They become administrators of the province of Babylon. Not a bad job at all. They were not as high up as Daniel but they had some leadership responsibility and some status.At this moment, I am sure things started to look up. I bet there pats on the back to go around and lots of head-shaking, that head-shaking that says, “things are going to be different now.” I am sure Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were so grateful that there friend did not forget them and got them a sweet job in the government.Well maybe that promotion did not lead to such a rosy outcome. We are going to explore this today in our passage from .Grab your copy of the Scriptures and say it with me like you mean it, “Ha-foke-bah, Ha-foke-bah, De-cola-bah. Ha-foke-bah, Ha-foke-bah, Mashiach-bah. Turn-it and turn-it everything you need is in it. Turn-it and turn-it the Messiah is in it.”
Rabbi Michael Vowell / General
TLVKing Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide. He set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the authorities of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the satraps, administrators, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the authorities of the provinces assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected. They stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
The Original Rogue One / God: Sovereignty /
TLVKing Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide. He set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the authorities of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the satraps, administrators, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the authorities of the provinces assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected. They stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Main Point 1: Rather than going with the flow of the crowd go rogue because the pull of the crowd is the path to perdition. (develop inductively)The Crowd Obeys Nebuchadnezzar (3:1-7).The Crowds are Summoned (1-3) is historically at the end a rebellion that almost brought down Nebuchadnezzar. is geographically at the outer wall of Babylon at the pedestal of a idol statue. is primarily about Babylon’s political leaders pledging allegiance to this image Daniel had made.The Crowds Here the Edict (4-6)
TLVKing Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide. He set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the authorities of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the satraps, administrators, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the authorities of the provinces assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected. They stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
TLVThen the herald loudly proclaimed, “You are commanded O peoples, nations and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will that same hour be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.”
Main Point 1: Rather than going with the flow of the crowd go rogue because the pull of the crowd is the path to perdition. (develop inductively)The Crowd Obeys Nebuchadnezzar (3:1-7).The Crowds are Summoned (1-3) is historically at the end a rebellion that almost brought down Nebuchadnezzar. is geographically at the outer wall of Babylon at the pedestal of a idol statue. is primarily about Babylon’s political leaders pledging allegiance to this image Daniel had made.The Crowds Here the Edict (4-6)
Main Point 1: Rather than going with the flow of the crowd go rogue because the pull of the crowd is the path to perdition. (develop inductively)The Crowd Obeys Nebuchadnezzar (3:1-7).The Crowds are Summoned (1-3) is historically at the end a rebellion that almost brought down Nebuchadnezzar. is geographically at the outer wall of Babylon at the pedestal of a idol statue. is primarily about Babylon’s political leaders pledging allegiance to this image Daniel had made.The Crowds Here the Edict (4-6)
When God has big business to get done in the world, allegiance always gets the contract.
TLVThen the herald loudly proclaimed, “You are commanded O peoples, nations and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will that same hour be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.”
TLVThen the herald loudly proclaimed, “You are commanded O peoples, nations and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will that same hour be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.”
The Crowds Pledge Allegiance (7).
TLVTherefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and pipes, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and languages fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
The Crowds Pledge Allegiance (7).

Outline

The Crowds Pledge Allegiance (7).
TLVTherefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and pipes, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and languages fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

Introduction

The crowds waste no time doing what they are told.The crowds are not just swearing politically loyalty, this is about worship.The Crowd Notices Some Rogue Elements (3:8-12).The Accusers Address the king (3:8) -
TLVTherefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and pipes, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and languages fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
The crowds waste no time doing what they are told.The crowds are not just swearing politically loyalty, this is about worship.The Crowd Notices Some Rogue Elements (3:8-12).The Accusers Address the king (3:8) -
TLVAt that time certain Chaldeans came forward and denounced the Jews. They spoke up and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! You, O king, made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, must fall down and worship the golden image, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.
The crowds waste no time doing what they are told.The crowds are not just swearing politically loyalty, this is about worship.The Crowd Notices Some Rogue Elements (3:8-12).The Accusers Address the king (3:8) -
TLV - Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained at the royal court.
The Accusation about certain Jews (3:9-12)
TLVAt that time certain Chaldeans came forward and denounced the Jews. They spoke up and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! You, O king, made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, must fall down and worship the golden image, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.
Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained at the royal court.
TLVAt that time certain Chaldeans came forward and denounced the Jews. They spoke up and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! You, O king, made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, must fall down and worship the golden image, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.
What a moment in the lives of the young Jewish exiles. With everything on the line God came through and did the extra-ordinary. And, Daniel, well Daniel was the lead on this one so the King brought him up to the highest arena of political leadership in Babylon: the royal court. That is like being part of our President’s inside circle of cabinet members.
The Accusation about certain Jews (3:9-12)
TLVThere are certain Jews whom you appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego—those men pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serve your gods, nor will they worship the golden image that you have set up.”
The Accusation about certain Jews (3:9-12)
i. They don’t pay attention to you (12a)ii. They don’t serve your gods (12b)iii. They don’t worship the image (12c)The pull of the crowd is the path to perdition.Elizabeth Bibesco famously said, “Irony is the hygiene of the mind.” Irony keeps the mind healthy and on its toes. Daniel knew that when he wrote his stories and there is a bit of irony in this story.The irony is that the crowds will worship anything to escape the fiery furnace of the king all the while not noticing that by showing allegiance to a false god they are on the path to perdition.Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego resist the pull of the crowd because they know it is the path of perdition for them. Regardless of what lies ahead of them.These Jewish men, and us I hope, recognize that the pull of the crowd is really just the pull towards conformity. It is the pull towards conformity, to align your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with those around you. It's a powerful force that can take the form of overt social pressure or subtler influences. As much as we like to think of ourselves as individuals, the fact is that we're driven to fit in, and that usually means going with the flow. Even though we may not agree we go with the flow becauseWho wants to fightWho wants to be singled out (somebody else’s weirdo)What want to give up securityWhat we really loveIllustrate the idea: Have you ever played in a swimming pool and tried to hold a beach all under the surface? Its tendency - you might even says its penchant and desire - is to rise to the surface. You might even say the ball is “restless” when it is held under the water. It keeps trying to sneak up and burst towards the surface. It wants to float to the surface. Apply the Idea: You can try really hard to push down beneath the surface what you really love but in times of crises especially when the crowd puts its pressure on you. What is under the surface will push its way up and burst onto the surface. If what you love is material things, if what you love is comfort, or security, or power, or influence you will not be able to keep it down it will pop up to the surface when the pressure of the crowd is upon you.Transition: The story does not end here, it does not end with the crowd pulling everyone into its flow. It just tells you “what no to do” but not what God is looking for. Lets look at that. Big Idea: When God has big business in the world, allegiance always gets the contract (Develop Inductively)Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego stand out from the crowd (3:13-23)Nebuchadnezzar smokes with fury.
Daniel does not forget those who helped him get to the top. He does not forget about his three Jewish compatriots who prayed with him and received revelation from God with him. So Daniel asks King Nebuchadnezzar to “hook” his friends up with good jobs. So the king does. They become administrators of the province of Babylon. Not a bad job at all. They were not as high up as Daniel but they had some leadership responsibility and some status.
TLVThere are certain Jews whom you appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego—those men pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serve your gods, nor will they worship the golden image that you have set up.”
TLVThere are certain Jews whom you appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego—those men pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serve your gods, nor will they worship the golden image that you have set up.”
i. They don’t pay attention to you (12a)ii. They don’t serve your gods (12b)iii. They don’t worship the image (12c)The pull of the crowd is the path to perdition.Elizabeth Bibesco famously said, “Irony is the hygiene of the mind.” Irony keeps the mind healthy and on its toes. Daniel knew that when he wrote his stories and there is a bit of irony in this story.The irony is that the crowds will worship anything to escape the fiery furnace of the king all the while not noticing that by showing allegiance to a false god they are on the path to perdition.Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego resist the pull of the crowd because they know it is the path of perdition for them. Regardless of what lies ahead of them.These Jewish men, and us I hope, recognize that the pull of the crowd is really just the pull towards conformity. It is the pull towards conformity, to align your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with those around you. It's a powerful force that can take the form of overt social pressure or subtler influences. As much as we like to think of ourselves as individuals, the fact is that we're driven to fit in, and that usually means going with the flow. Even though we may not agree we go with the flow becauseWho wants to fightWho wants to be singled out (somebody else’s weirdo)What want to give up securityWhat we really loveIllustrate the idea: Have you ever played in a swimming pool and tried to hold a beach all under the surface? Its tendency - you might even says its penchant and desire - is to rise to the surface. You might even say the ball is “restless” when it is held under the water. It keeps trying to sneak up and burst towards the surface. It wants to float to the surface. Apply the Idea: You can try really hard to push down beneath the surface what you really love but in times of crises especially when the crowd puts its pressure on you. What is under the surface will push its way up and burst onto the surface. If what you love is material things, if what you love is comfort, or security, or power, or influence you will not be able to keep it down it will pop up to the surface when the pressure of the crowd is upon you.Transition: The story does not end here, it does not end with the crowd pulling everyone into its flow. It just tells you “what no to do” but not what God is looking for. Lets look at that. Big Idea: When God has big business in the world, allegiance always gets the contract (Develop Inductively)Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego stand out from the crowd (3:13-23)Nebuchadnezzar smokes with fury.
TLVFurious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar ordered Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to be summoned. When these men were brought before the king, Nebuchadnezzar responded to them saying, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you don’t serve my gods or worship the golden image that I set up? Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and pipes and all kinds of music you must fall down and worship the image that I have made. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire! Then what god will be able to deliver you out of my hands?”
i. They don’t pay attention to you (12a)ii. They don’t serve your gods (12b)iii. They don’t worship the image (12c)The pull of the crowd is the path to perdition.Elizabeth Bibesco famously said, “Irony is the hygiene of the mind.” Irony keeps the mind healthy and on its toes. Daniel knew that when he wrote his stories and there is a bit of irony in this story.The irony is that the crowds will worship anything to escape the fiery furnace of the king all the while not noticing that by showing allegiance to a false god they are on the path to perdition.Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego resist the pull of the crowd because they know it is the path of perdition for them. Regardless of what lies ahead of them.These Jewish men, and us I hope, recognize that the pull of the crowd is really just the pull towards conformity. It is the pull towards conformity, to align your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with those around you. It's a powerful force that can take the form of overt social pressure or subtler influences. As much as we like to think of ourselves as individuals, the fact is that we're driven to fit in, and that usually means going with the flow. Even though we may not agree we go with the flow becauseWho wants to fightWho wants to be singled out (somebody else’s weirdo)What want to give up securityWhat we really loveIllustrate the idea: Have you ever played in a swimming pool and tried to hold a beach all under the surface? Its tendency - you might even says its penchant and desire - is to rise to the surface. You might even say the ball is “restless” when it is held under the water. It keeps trying to sneak up and burst towards the surface. It wants to float to the surface. Apply the Idea: You can try really hard to push down beneath the surface what you really love but in times of crises especially when the crowd puts its pressure on you. What is under the surface will push its way up and burst onto the surface. If what you love is material things, if what you love is comfort, or security, or power, or influence you will not be able to keep it down it will pop up to the surface when the pressure of the crowd is upon you.Transition: The story does not end here, it does not end with the crowd pulling everyone into its flow. It just tells you “what no to do” but not what God is looking for. Lets look at that. Big Idea: When God has big business in the world, allegiance always gets the contract (Develop Inductively)Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego stand out from the crowd (3:13-23)Nebuchadnezzar smokes with fury.
At this moment, I am sure things started to look up. I bet there pats on the back to go around and lots of head-shaking, that head-shaking that says, “things are going to be different now.” I am sure Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were so grateful that there friend did not forget them and got them a sweet job in the government.
TLVFurious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar ordered Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to be summoned. When these men were brought before the king, Nebuchadnezzar responded to them saying, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you don’t serve my gods or worship the golden image that I set up? Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and pipes and all kinds of music you must fall down and worship the image that I have made. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire! Then what god will be able to deliver you out of my hands?”
TLVFurious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar ordered Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to be summoned. When these men were brought before the king, Nebuchadnezzar responded to them saying, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you don’t serve my gods or worship the golden image that I set up? Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and pipes and all kinds of music you must fall down and worship the image that I have made. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire! Then what god will be able to deliver you out of my hands?”
Nebuchadnezzar fire does not scare Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (16-18).
Well maybe that promotion did not lead to such a rosy outcome. We are going to explore this today in our passage from .
Nebuchadnezzar fire does not scare Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (16-18).
Grab your copy of the Scriptures and say it with me like you mean it, “Ha-foke-bah, Ha-foke-bah, De-cola-bah. Ha-foke-bah, Ha-foke-bah, Mashiach-bah. Turn-it and turn-it everything you need is in it. Turn-it and turn-it the Messiah is in it.”
TLVShadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king saying, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to answer you concerning this matter. If it is so, our God whom we serve is able to save us from the furnace of blazing fire and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. Yet even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image that you set up.”
Nebuchadnezzar fire does not scare Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (16-18).
S.M.A may seem a little disrespectful but that is because what was under the surface trying to push its way up and burst out was their loving allegiance to their God.S.M.A. discerned this was not just about political allegiances to Nebuchadnezzar; no, this was about religious allegiance, this was about worship. In this chapter, the word worship occurs 11 times, the word serve occurs 5 times, a total of 16 usages to hammer home the point that this is about a man trying to command the spiritual allegiances of other mens hearts to a false god. S.M.A would have nothing to do with this.True allegiance is the refusal to allow anything to be removed from the framework that the Torah established.Nebuchadnezzar orders the execution of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (19-23). (Narrate what happens to the end of 23).
TLV
TLVShadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king saying, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to answer you concerning this matter. If it is so, our God whom we serve is able to save us from the furnace of blazing fire and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. Yet even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image that you set up.”
TLVShadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king saying, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to answer you concerning this matter. If it is so, our God whom we serve is able to save us from the furnace of blazing fire and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. Yet even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image that you set up.”
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide. He set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the authorities of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the satraps, administrators, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the authorities of the provinces assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected. They stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
S.M.A may seem a little disrespectful but that is because what was under the surface trying to push its way up and burst out was their loving allegiance to their God.S.M.A. discerned this was not just about political allegiances to Nebuchadnezzar; no, this was about religious allegiance, this was about worship. In this chapter, the word worship occurs 11 times, the word serve occurs 5 times, a total of 16 usages to hammer home the point that this is about a man trying to command the spiritual allegiances of other mens hearts to a false god. S.M.A would have nothing to do with this.True allegiance is the refusal to allow anything to be removed from the framework that the Torah established.Nebuchadnezzar orders the execution of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (19-23). (Narrate what happens to the end of 23).
S.M.A may seem a little disrespectful but that is because what was under the surface trying to push its way up and burst out was their loving allegiance to their God.S.M.A. discerned this was not just about political allegiances to Nebuchadnezzar; no, this was about religious allegiance, this was about worship. In this chapter, the word worship occurs 11 times, the word serve occurs 5 times, a total of 16 usages to hammer home the point that this is about a man trying to command the spiritual allegiances of other mens hearts to a false god. S.M.A would have nothing to do with this.True allegiance is the refusal to allow anything to be removed from the framework that the Torah established.Nebuchadnezzar orders the execution of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (19-23). (Narrate what happens to the end of 23).
TLVThen Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage and the appearance of his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than it was normally heated and commanded some of the mighty men in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego and to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire.
TLVThen Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage and the appearance of his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than it was normally heated and commanded some of the mighty men in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego and to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire.
TLVThen Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage and the appearance of his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than it was normally heated and commanded some of the mighty men in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego and to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego stop the flow of the crowd (3:24-27).
Main Point 1: Rather than going with the flow of the crowd go rogue because the pull of the crowd is the path to perdition. (develop inductively)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego stop the flow of the crowd (3:24-27).
1. The Crowd Obeys Nebuchadnezzar (3:1-7).
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego stop the flow of the crowd (3:24-27).
TLVThen King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and leapt to his feet. He asked his ministers, “Didn’t we cast three men bound into the middle of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Surely, O king.” But he answered saying, “Look! I see four men walking about unbound and unharmed in the middle of the fire, and the fourth has the appearance like a son of the gods!” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and exclaimed, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, servants of the Most High God, come out and come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out from the middle of the fire. When the satraps, administrators, governors and royal ministers had gathered around, they saw that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men. Not a hair of their head was singed, nor were their robes scorched, nor was there a smell of fire on them.

The Crowd Obeys Nebuchadnezzar (3:1-7).

TLVThen King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and leapt to his feet. He asked his ministers, “Didn’t we cast three men bound into the middle of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Surely, O king.” But he answered saying, “Look! I see four men walking about unbound and unharmed in the middle of the fire, and the fourth has the appearance like a son of the gods!” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and exclaimed, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, servants of the Most High God, come out and come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out from the middle of the fire. When the satraps, administrators, governors and royal ministers had gathered around, they saw that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men. Not a hair of their head was singed, nor were their robes scorched, nor was there a smell of fire on them.

The Crowds are Summoned (1-3)

Nebuchadnezzar sees the angel of the Lord (24-25).Nebuchadnezzar and the crowds realize their is a sovereignty greater than the fire (26-27)Refresh the irony definition: “Irony is the hygiene of the mind.”The Aramaic expression la sh’let nora b’gesh-meh’one which is translated “the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men” is very peculiar and exciting.Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego’s allegiance changes everything (3:28-30)
TLVThen King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and leapt to his feet. He asked his ministers, “Didn’t we cast three men bound into the middle of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Surely, O king.” But he answered saying, “Look! I see four men walking about unbound and unharmed in the middle of the fire, and the fourth has the appearance like a son of the gods!” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and exclaimed, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, servants of the Most High God, come out and come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out from the middle of the fire. When the satraps, administrators, governors and royal ministers had gathered around, they saw that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men. Not a hair of their head was singed, nor were their robes scorched, nor was there a smell of fire on them.
is geographically at the outer wall of Babylon at the pedestal of a idol statue. There has been a lot of speculation about where the “plain of Dura” is located. Archeologist and historians have wondered and searched but never found any precise location that matches this location. This has led some to suggest that is one of the reasons why Daniel must have been written by someone other than the historical Daniel. The line of arguing goes on to say that the historical Daniel would have known there is no such place as the ‘plain of Dura” therefore there was no Daniel.
Nebuchadnezzar sees the angel of the Lord (24-25).Nebuchadnezzar and the crowds realize their is a sovereignty greater than the fire (26-27)Refresh the irony definition: “Irony is the hygiene of the mind.”The Aramaic expression la sh’let nora b’gesh-meh’one which is translated “the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men” is very peculiar and exciting.Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego’s allegiance changes everything (3:28-30)
TLVNebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him! They defied the king’s edict and gave up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I hereby decree that any people, nation or language that says anything slanderous against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego will be torn limb from limb and their house made a pile of rubble, because there is no other god that is able to deliver in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in the province of Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar sees the angel of the Lord (24-25).Nebuchadnezzar and the crowds realize their is a sovereignty greater than the fire (26-27)Refresh the irony definition: “Irony is the hygiene of the mind.”The Aramaic expression la sh’let nora b’gesh-meh’one which is translated “the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men” is very peculiar and exciting.Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego’s allegiance changes everything (3:28-30)
TLVNebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him! They defied the king’s edict and gave up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I hereby decree that any people, nation or language that says anything slanderous against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego will be torn limb from limb and their house made a pile of rubble, because there is no other god that is able to deliver in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in the province of Babylon.
I agree with such critical scholars on the point that the historical Daniel would have known there is no place called the plain of Dura. Of course he would have known this he was a court official in Babylon. He would have had to specialize in the boundaries and areas under Nebuchadnezzar’s rule. Could you imagine someone in Washington not knowing where the Great Plains of the United States is located (this area covers the entirety of the states of Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota and parts of the states of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming and reaches into the southern portions of the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.). If the plains of Dura would have been there, Daniel would have known about it.
ii. is geographically at the outer wall of Babylon at the pedestal of a idol statue.
The King’s New Blessing (28)The King’s New Edict (29)The King’s Newly Promoted leaders (30).When God has big business in the world, allegiance always gets the contract.James Smith, “Apocalyptic literature is a genre of Scripture that tries to get us to see (or see through) the empires that constitute our environment in order to see them for what they really are. The point of apocalyptic literature…[is not] just prediction but unmasking - unveiling the realities around us for what they really are.” (p. 39 [brackets mine])While Nebuchadnezzar wanted to believe he was the only sovereign in the world - that is why he made the whole statute out of gold instead of like the pattern found in - the reality is that he is not the sovereign one but a servant to THE SOVEREIGN ONE.The temptation, when the stakes are high, is to convince ourselves that God is not ultimately sovereign or that because He is so sovereign that my allegiance to him does not really count.This is not just a story that unmasks reality it is a plot that predicts. The Image of the Future Beast
TLVNebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him! They defied the king’s edict and gave up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I hereby decree that any people, nation or language that says anything slanderous against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego will be torn limb from limb and their house made a pile of rubble, because there is no other god that is able to deliver in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in the province of Babylon.
The problem is not that Daniel did not know where the plains of Dura were located but that historians and archeologist do not know Aramaic. The name Dura is also the simple Babylonian world for a “wall.” Dura is the word for “wall,” and the letter “a” at the of the word is the article “the” in Aramaic. So translating this phrase directly, instead of leaving it as an unknown palace name, indicates that Nebuchadnezzar set up his image on “the plain of the wall.”
That means this whole episode is taking place in the city of Babylon. Babylon had two walls. An inside wall and an outside wall. The territory inside this inner wall was urban, containing many buildings and streets along with the palace and the largest temple in the city.
Later, Nebuchadnezzar added an outer wall several miles long that extended to the east bank of the Euphrates River and around the city…it served as a parade grounds for the army and a place within the city wall where the troops could set up temporary camp)…
What is more, the city walls were always the places where Babylonians put images of their deities.
All that to say, Daniel was right on His Aramaic and the scholars are looking the wrong place for the plain of dura because it is just simply the plain where the wall was located in Babylon. This was where the events of chapter 3 took place.
TLVThen I saw another beast rising out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast before him, and he makes the earth and all those who dwell in it worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth through the signs he is permitted to perform, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image in honor of the beast who has the sword wound yet lived. The second beast was permitted to give life to the image of the first beast, so that the image of the beast could even speak and cause all who would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He also causes all—the small and the great, the rich and the poor, the free and the slave—to receive a mark on their right hand or upon their forehead. And so no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark—either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is a number of a man, and his number is 666.
is primarily about Babylon’s political leaders pledging allegiance to this image Daniel had made. Notice that all the people that are gathered are political leaders. Later in we will be told that they are political leaders from all the nations that Nebuchadnezzar had either put under his rule by conquest or by voluntary submission. This was an area covering the distance from modern Iraq, to southern Turkey all the way to Egypt. All these political leaders have been summoned to come to Babylon. Why?
The King’s New Blessing (28)The King’s New Edict (29)The King’s Newly Promoted leaders (30).When God has big business in the world, allegiance always gets the contract.James Smith, “Apocalyptic literature is a genre of Scripture that tries to get us to see (or see through) the empires that constitute our environment in order to see them for what they really are. The point of apocalyptic literature…[is not] just prediction but unmasking - unveiling the realities around us for what they really are.” (p. 39 [brackets mine])While Nebuchadnezzar wanted to believe he was the only sovereign in the world - that is why he made the whole statute out of gold instead of like the pattern found in - the reality is that he is not the sovereign one but a servant to THE SOVEREIGN ONE.The temptation, when the stakes are high, is to convince ourselves that God is not ultimately sovereign or that because He is so sovereign that my allegiance to him does not really count.This is not just a story that unmasks reality it is a plot that predicts. The Image of the Future Beast
The King’s New Blessing (28)The King’s New Edict (29)The King’s Newly Promoted leaders (30).When God has big business in the world, allegiance always gets the contract.James Smith, “Apocalyptic literature is a genre of Scripture that tries to get us to see (or see through) the empires that constitute our environment in order to see them for what they really are. The point of apocalyptic literature…[is not] just prediction but unmasking - unveiling the realities around us for what they really are.” (p. 39 [brackets mine])While Nebuchadnezzar wanted to believe he was the only sovereign in the world - that is why he made the whole statute out of gold instead of like the pattern found in - the reality is that he is not the sovereign one but a servant to THE SOVEREIGN ONE.The temptation, when the stakes are high, is to convince ourselves that God is not ultimately sovereign or that because He is so sovereign that my allegiance to him does not really count.This is not just a story that unmasks reality it is a plot that predicts. The Image of the Future Beast
is historically at the end a rebellion that almost brought down Nebuchadnezzar. Early Babylonian Chronicles state that a rebellion took place in Babylon from the month of Kislev (December 15, 595–January 12, 594) to the month of Tebeth (January 13–February 11, 594) in the tenth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. Nebuchadnezzar suppressed the rebellion and also purged his army of those he suspected of supporting the uprising. At the end of that year, Nebuchadnezzar made a trip to his western provinces (e.g., Judah) to collect tribute from his vassals. This trip was probably to enforce his authority in light of the rebellion that he recently suppressed. Moreover, he returned to those western provinces with his army in the month of Kislev the next year (December 4, 594–January 1, 593). He brought his armies back to Babylon with him which is why we get mention of some of his mighty warriors in .
The Ones Who Would Not Worship that Image ()
TLVThen I saw another beast rising out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast before him, and he makes the earth and all those who dwell in it worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth through the signs he is permitted to perform, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image in honor of the beast who has the sword wound yet lived. The second beast was permitted to give life to the image of the first beast, so that the image of the beast could even speak and cause all who would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He also causes all—the small and the great, the rich and the poor, the free and the slave—to receive a mark on their right hand or upon their forehead. And so no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark—either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is a number of a man, and his number is 666.

The Crowds Here the Edict (4-6)

TLVThen I saw another beast rising out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast before him, and he makes the earth and all those who dwell in it worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth through the signs he is permitted to perform, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image in honor of the beast who has the sword wound yet lived. The second beast was permitted to give life to the image of the first beast, so that the image of the beast could even speak and cause all who would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He also causes all—the small and the great, the rich and the poor, the free and the slave—to receive a mark on their right hand or upon their forehead. And so no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark—either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is a number of a man, and his number is 666.
The Ones Who Would Not Worship that Image ()
The Ones Who Would Not Worship that Image ()
TLV
TLVThen I saw another great and wonderful sign in heaven: seven angels who have seven plagues—the last ones, for with them God’s wrath is finished. And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had overcome the beast and his image and the number of his name standing by the sea of glass, holding the harps of God. And they are singing the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and wonderful are Your deeds, Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the nations! Who shall not fear and glorify Your name, O Lord? For You alone are Holy. All the nations shall come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed!”
TLVThen I saw another great and wonderful sign in heaven: seven angels who have seven plagues—the last ones, for with them God’s wrath is finished. And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had overcome the beast and his image and the number of his name standing by the sea of glass, holding the harps of God. And they are singing the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and wonderful are Your deeds, Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the nations! Who shall not fear and glorify Your name, O Lord? For You alone are Holy. All the nations shall come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed!”

Conclusion

TLVThen I saw another great and wonderful sign in heaven: seven angels who have seven plagues—the last ones, for with them God’s wrath is finished. And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had overcome the beast and his image and the number of his name standing by the sea of glass, holding the harps of God. And they are singing the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and wonderful are Your deeds, Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the nations! Who shall not fear and glorify Your name, O Lord? For You alone are Holy. All the nations shall come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed!”
Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “You are commanded O peoples, nations and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will that same hour be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.”
Nebuchadnezzar’s official herald calls out to the gathered political leaders. All of them have been pushed into this area probably between the outer wall and the inner wall of the city of Babylon. I can imagine the herald is probably standing next to the King’s throne that has been moved outside next to the idol. He lifts up his voice in an authoritative and commanding tone. How do the leaders respond?

The Crowds Pledge Allegiance (7).

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego show us a type of those who will not worship the image of any beastly pagan god and receieve a miraculously release. The Book of Revelation shows us a group of people who had the same spirit as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego but they overcame not be escaping but dying in Judaism we call it “kedush ha’shem” they sanctified the Name of God by not bowing to an idol. I have no doubt in my mind these are faithful Jewish believers and non-Jews who have learned to walk out their faith in a Jewish context. They sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. This group recognized Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego’s allegiance but they also recoginzed an allegiance that was even greater. This greater allegiance was Yeshua’s allegiance to his heavenly father. He would not bow down to the image of Rome in the face of death and neither would he compromise his mission when the crowds pressed in hard upon him. He died as an allegiant Jew but he rose from the grave to show us the reality of the confidence that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego had, the confidence that for allegiant Jews the resurrection is our ultimate victory over all the false images and emperors who try to force us to bow at their altars. They sang the song of Moses and the lamb.Do you sing the their song? Or, are you being pulled by the crowd onto their path. Do you sing the song of Moses and the Lamb? If you do it is because you know that when God wants really work to et do

Conclusion

Conclusion

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego show us a type of those who will not worship the image of any beastly pagan god and receieve a miraculously release. The Book of Revelation shows us a group of people who had the same spirit as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego but they overcame not be escaping but dying in Judaism we call it “kedush ha’shem” they sanctified the Name of God by not bowing to an idol. I have no doubt in my mind these are faithful Jewish believers and non-Jews who have learned to walk out their faith in a Jewish context. They sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. This group recognized Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego’s allegiance but they also recoginzed an allegiance that was even greater. This greater allegiance was Yeshua’s allegiance to his heavenly father. He would not bow down to the image of Rome in the face of death and neither would he compromise his mission when the crowds pressed in hard upon him. He died as an allegiant Jew but he rose from the grave to show us the reality of the confidence that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego had, the confidence that for allegiant Jews the resurrection is our ultimate victory over all the false images and emperors who try to force us to bow at their altars. They sang the song of Moses and the lamb.Do you sing the their song? Or, are you being pulled by the crowd onto their path. Do you sing the song of Moses and the Lamb? If you do it is because you know that when God wants really work to get done in this world, allegiance always gets the contract.
TLV
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego show us a type of those who will not worship the image of any beastly pagan god and receieve a miraculously release. The Book of Revelation shows us a group of people who had the same spirit as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego but they overcame not be escaping but dying in Judaism we call it “kedush ha’shem” they sanctified the Name of God by not bowing to an idol. I have no doubt in my mind these are faithful Jewish believers and non-Jews who have learned to walk out their faith in a Jewish context. They sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. This group recognized Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego’s allegiance but they also recoginzed an allegiance that was even greater. This greater allegiance was Yeshua’s allegiance to his heavenly father. He would not bow down to the image of Rome in the face of death and neither would he compromise his mission when the crowds pressed in hard upon him. He died as an allegiant Jew but he rose from the grave to show us the reality of the confidence that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego had, the confidence that for allegiant Jews the resurrection is our ultimate victory over all the false images and emperors who try to force us to bow at their altars. They sang the song of Moses and the lamb.Do you sing the their song? Or, are you being pulled by the crowd onto their path. Do you sing the song of Moses and the Lamb? If you do it is because you know that when God wants really work to get done in this world, allegiance always gets the contract.
Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and pipes, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and languages fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
The crowds waste no time doing what they are told. The response is almost immediate. The band strikes up their tune and all you can hear is the sound of feet shuffling, dust moving, bodies moving towards the ground from a standing position, to a kneeling position with faces first to the ground, then to the idol with hands stretched out in worship to this idol. There is no concern about getting dirt or mud on the pants. Just a large mass of men who were not used to this kind of humiliation being brought to their knees in forced submission as a sign of allegiance to the king of Babylon and his god.
The crowds are not just swearing politically loyalty, this is about worship. Nebuchadnezzar has the full worship team on the stage. He means to do more than just ask for political allegiance, he is asking all of these leaders to have an experience, a moment where the divine idol and the human soul come in contact through music. He means to elevate the experience so that it captures the spiritual allegiances of the soul.

The Crowd Notices Some Rogue Elements (3:8-12).

It seems that not everyone in the crowd was so impressed with this little worship set. Apparently, there were some who did not want to go along with the crowd and the sound of the music.

The Accusers Address the king (3:8) -

TLV
At that time certain Chaldeans came forward and denounced the Jews. They spoke up and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! You, O king, made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, must fall down and worship the golden image, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.
As you are reading this story, you get upset that Jews are singled out. Yet, you kind of go, “I am proud of the tribe.” How did the accusers know they were Jews? It could have been our beards. There are ancient Assyrian reliefs that show Jews being taken as slaves and their beards stand out as important on these reliefs. Maybe, they had some distinctive clothes. Probably, these were Chaldeans who worked with these Jews. Remember, from to almost ten years has elapsed and I am sure that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego had both made some friends and frenemies.
These accusers praise the king and then remind the king. They are classic tattle-tales. They identify the Jews to the king...

The Accusation about certain Jews (3:9-12)

TLV
There are certain Jews whom you appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego—those men pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serve your gods, nor will they worship the golden image that you have set up.”
i. They don’t pay attention to you (12a) - They Don’t Walk in the Advice of the Wicked ()
ii. They don’t serve your gods (12b)
ii. They don’t serve your gods (12b) - They Don’t Stand in the Way with Sinners ()
iii. They don’t worship the image (12c)
iii. They don’t worship the image (12c) - They Don’t Sit with Scoffers ()
There seems to be an intentional echo back to . An echo that shows how loyal these three Jews were to the Torah and to Adonai. They knew there Torah, they knew this was a breach of first commandment regarding idolatry. They knew this was more than just political allegiance, more than just civic duty, this was idolatry. They knew they were in exile, in Babylon, because of idolatry. They were wise in that they decided to not make the same mistakes of past generations.
This is not as easy as it sounds.
The pull of the crowd is powerful and it is the path to perdition.

The pull of the crowd is powerful and it is the path to perdition.

Elizabeth Bibesco famously said,
Irony is the hygiene of the mind
b. The irony is that the crowds will worship anything to escape the fiery furnace of the king all the while not noticing that by showing allegiance to a false god they are on the path to perdition.
Irony keeps the mind healthy and on its toes. Daniel writes here with irony. The irony is that the crowds will worship anything to escape the fiery furnace of the king all the while not noticing that by showing allegiance to a false god they are on the path to perdition. They think they are escaping a fire but in reality they are walking into a fire by giving allegiance to a false idol made by the hands of a man, a king.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego resist the pull of the crowd because they know it is the path of perdition for them. Regardless of what lies ahead of them.These Jewish men, and us I hope, recognize that the pull of the crowd is really just the pull towards conformity. It is the pull towards conformity, to align your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with those around you. It's a powerful force that can take the form of overt social pressure or subtler influences. As much as we like to think of ourselves as individuals, the fact is that we're driven to fit in, and that usually means going with the flow. Even though we may not agree we go with the flow because
d. These Jewish men, and us I hope, recognize that the pull of the crowd is really just the pull towards conformity. It is the pull towards conformity, to align your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with those around you. It's a powerful force that can take the form of overt social pressure or subtler influences. As much as we like to think of ourselves as individuals, the fact is that we're driven to fit in, and that usually means going with the flow. Even though we may not agree we go with the flow because
i. Who wants to fight
ii. Who wants to be singled out (somebody else’s weirdo)
iii. What want to give up security
iv. What we really love
Illustrate the idea: Have you ever played in a swimming pool and tried to hold a beach all under the surface? Its tendency - you might even says its penchant and desire - is to rise to the surface. You might even say the ball is “restless” when it is held under the water. It keeps trying to sneak up and burst towards the surface. It wants to float to the surface.
Apply the Idea: You can try really hard to push down beneath the surface what you really love but in times of crises especially when the crowd puts its pressure on you. What is under the surface will push its way up and burst onto the surface. If what you love is material things, if what you love is comfort, or security, or power, or influence you will not be able to keep it down it will pop up to the surface when the pressure of the crowd is upon you.
›Transition: The story does not end here, it does not end with the crowd pulling everyone into its flow. It just tells you “what no to do” but not what God is looking for. Lets look at that.
Big Idea: When God has big business in the world, allegiance always gets the contract (Develop Inductively)

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego stand out from the crowd (3:13-23)

Nebuchadnezzar smokes with fury.

TLV
Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar ordered Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to be summoned. When these men were brought before the king, Nebuchadnezzar responded to them saying, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you don’t serve my gods or worship the golden image that I set up? Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and pipes and all kinds of music you must fall down and worship the image that I have made. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire! Then what god will be able to deliver you out of my hands?”
If you could hear this story in Aramaic you would have been giggling as I read these verses. Throughout all of most of the action verbs that are connected to Nebuchadnezzar paint the picture of an emperor who has a temper like a raging fire. It is like the fiery furnace is just a physical representation of what is in the king’ heart. He is the kingly furnace of rage.
You should have giggled even if you don’t know Aramaic because when you hear a pagan king say something, “Then what god will be able to deliver you out of my hands?” Yeah, do you remember that says “why do the nations rage” and “he who sits in heaven laughs! Adonai mocks them.” I bet there must have been holy laughter in heaven over Nebuchadnezzar’s words like you and I would laugh out loud if an ant told its friends that there in boot that could crush out its life. There is a boot and its coming.

Nebuchadnezzar fire does not scare Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (16-18).

TLV
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king saying, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to answer you concerning this matter. If it is so, our God whom we serve is able to save us from the furnace of blazing fire and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. Yet even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image that you set up.”
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego do not approach the king like the Chaldeans. Opposite then them, actually. Rather then giving the customary greetings expected of a servant to his king they sound a little disrespectful, dispensing with common courtesies and flowery court language. It is not disprespect of the king that is driving their hearts it is what is under the surface trying to push its way up and burst out: their loving allegiance to their God.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego discerned this was not just about political allegiances to Nebuchadnezzar; no, this was about religious allegiance, this was about worship. In this chapter, the word worship occurs 11 times, the word serve occurs 5 times, a total of 16 usages to hammer home the point that this is about a man trying to command the spiritual allegiances of other mens hearts to a false god. S.M.A would have nothing to do with this.
True allegiance is the refusal to allow anything to be removed from the framework established by the Torah
True allegiance is the refusal to allow anything to be removed from the framework established by the Torah. The Torah says that is is okay to have a golden image of cherubim inside the most holy place on the ark of the covenant. Yet, to have the same images outside of that framework is to commit idolatry. The Torah permits to wear certain priestly garments within the Tabernacle but to wear the same clothes out of the Tabernacle is to commit idolatry. The Torah permits a man and a woman to have relations with one another in the privacy of their own home but to do so in the Tabernacle would be to practice idolatry. The Torah allows for an altar in the Temple but not one in your backyard.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were permitted by the prophet Jeremiah to seek the good of the city () where they were exiled. That is the good of Babylon. They were even commanded that to do otherwise would be to align themselves with false prophets. The Torah established a framework for them to bless the nations they lived in under judgment but the same Torah would not not allow them to bless the gods of the nations they lived in.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego knew that if you stretched the framework established by the Torah watch out for the backlash.

Nebuchadnezzar orders the execution of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (19-23). (Narrate what happens to the end of 23).

TLV
Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage and the appearance of his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than it was normally heated and commanded some of the mighty men in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego and to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire.
Notice that the heat in Nebuchadnezzar’s face changes just the temperature in fire changes. Just good writing. But, it is more than just good writing. That phrase “his face” changed is saying a lot with very little. This whole episode is about an image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up, an image that is static and does not move. An image that once cast stays in its stoic, heroic position. Nebuchadnezzar’s face should not have changed, he is the king, but it does and it does because I think up until this point he thought these Jews were batting on his team. These were the guys who gave him the dream. How could not they not be for him? How could they now be so publically and blatantly resisting his will.
He orders their execution and his mighty men carry out his orders. They grab Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego and the author tells us that on their way to execute these three, the military men were consumed by the raging heat and flames before Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego also “fall” into the fire, bound hand and foot. What happens next is unbelievable.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego stop the flow of the crowd (3:24-27).

TLV
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and leapt to his feet. He asked his ministers, “Didn’t we cast three men bound into the middle of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Surely, O king.” But he answered saying, “Look! I see four men walking about unbound and unharmed in the middle of the fire, and the fourth has the appearance like a son of the gods!”
Nebuchadnezzar sees the angel of the Lord (24-25), the Messiah. Someone may wonder why I say this is the Messiah. I will tell you why. In the Talmud it is recorded that Rabbi Yochanan said the angel is esteemed in last place since it says, “and the fourth has the appearance like a son of God” (b. Sanh. 92B). Hence, in fire Nebuchadnezzar saw the angel behind or serving in last place in front of the three Jewish men. Rabbi Yochanan is right to see the angel in the least esteemed position, the servant position. I would add to Rabbi Yochanan that is not an angel but Nebuchadnezzar says he had the angel’s appearance was like a Son of God. This is royal language you could say, “the angel had the appearance of God’s appointed King.”
Daniel Boyarin, the orthodox Jewish scholar is so helpful to understand the difference between “Son of God” and “Son of Man.” He says, “I will show … “Son of G-d” referred to the king of Israel, the earthly king of David’s seat, while “Son of Man” referred to a heavenly figure and not a human being at all.” - p. 26
“I will show … “Son of G-d” referred to the king of Israel, the earthly king of David’s seat, while “Son of Man” referred to a heavenly figure and not a human being at all.” - p. 26
Ancient Middle Eastern kings always viewed themselves as exalted sons of their gods. Nebuchadnezzar sees in the fire the very one mentioned in . The King of Israel who Adonai himself syas, “You are my Son - today I have become your Father” and it also says, “So now o kings be wise....kiss the son, lest he become angry.” This Son of God Nebuchadnezzar sees is none other than the King from David’s line, the greater son of David Yeshua.
Nebuchadnezzar and the crowds realize their is a sovereignty greater than the fire ()
Daniel 3:26–27 TLV
Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and exclaimed, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, servants of the Most High God, come out and come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out from the middle of the fire. When the satraps, administrators, governors and royal ministers had gathered around, they saw that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men. Not a hair of their head was singed, nor were their robes scorched, nor was there a smell of fire on them.
Remember we said, “Irony is the hygiene of the mind.” We have some more irony here. The Aramaic expression la sh’let nora b’gesh-meh’one which is translated “the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men” is very peculiar and exciting. The words “had no effect” are translating Aramaic words that mean “could not gain sovereignty over.” The key verb (in red) is usually used of political rulers and their lordship over a region of the world (, , , , ). There is no doubt a play on this expression by the author. He wants to communicate God’s sovereignty, and the Kingship of His Son, extends over fires itself and even over the king’s rule.
ii. The Aramaic expression la sh’let nora b’gesh-meh’one which is translated “the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men” is very peculiar and exciting.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego’s allegiance changes everything (3:28-30)

TLV
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him! They defied the king’s edict and gave up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I hereby decree that any people, nation or language that says anything slanderous against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego will be torn limb from limb and their house made a pile of rubble, because there is no other god that is able to deliver in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in the province of Babylon.
a. The King’s New Blessing (28)
b. The King’s New Edict (29)
c. The King’s Newly Promoted leaders (30).
4. When God has big business in the world, allegiance always gets the contract.

When God has big business in the world, allegiance always gets the contract.

While Nebuchadnezzar wanted to believe he was the only sovereign in the world - that is why he made the whole statute out of gold instead of like the pattern found in - the reality is that he is not the sovereign one but a servant to THE SOVEREIGN ONE. Nebuchadnezzar thought that what mattered the most, what was most ultimate was absolute allegiance to him. He did not understand that Adonai will not share his glory with any other being.
While Nebuchadnezzar wanted to believe he was the only sovereign in the world - that is why he made the whole statute out of gold instead of like the pattern found in - the reality is that he is not the sovereign one but a servant to THE SOVEREIGN ONE. Nebuchadnezzar thought that what mattered the most, what was most ultimate was absolute allegiance to him. He did not understand that Adonai will not share his glory with any other being.
In order to get this work done, God needed to find some people willing to be so allegiant to Him they would have to go rogue to the King.

A Reality Unmasked

James Smith, “Apocalyptic literature is a genre of Scripture that tries to get us to see (or see through) the empires that constitute our environment in order to see them for what they really are. The point of apocalyptic literature…[is not] just prediction but unmasking - unveiling the realities around us for what they really are.” (p. 39 [brackets mine])
The temptation, when the stakes are high, is to convince ourselves that God is not ultimately sovereign or that because He is so sovereign that my allegiance to him does not really count. So why not just go with the pull of the crowd. That is the reality that unmasks.

A Plot that Predicts

b. This is not just a story that unmasks reality it is a plot that predicts.
The Image of the Future Beast
TLV
The second beast was permitted to give life to the image of the first beast, so that the image of the beast could even speak and cause all who would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He also causes all—the small and the great, the rich and the poor, the free and the slave—to receive a mark on their right hand or upon their forehead. And so no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark—either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is a number of a man, and his number is 666.
The Ones Who Would Not Worship that Image ()
TLV
Then I saw another great and wonderful sign in heaven: seven angels who have seven plagues—the last ones, for with them God’s wrath is finished. And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had overcome the beast and his image and the number of his name standing by the sea of glass, holding the harps of God. And they are singing the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and wonderful are Your deeds, Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the nations! Who shall not fear and glorify Your name, O Lord? For You alone are Holy. All the nations shall come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed!”

Conclusion

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego show us a type of those who will not worship the image of any beastly pagan god and receieve a miraculously release. The Book of Revelation shows us a group of people who had the same spirit as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego but they overcame not be escaping but dying in Judaism we call it “kedush ha’shem” they sanctified the Name of God by not bowing to an idol. I have no doubt in my mind these are faithful Jewish believers and non-Jews who have learned to walk out their faith in a Jewish context. They sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. This group recognized Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego’s allegiance but they also recoginzed an allegiance that was even greater. This greater allegiance was Yeshua’s allegiance to his heavenly father. He would not bow down to the image of Rome in the face of death and neither would he compromise his mission when the crowds pressed in hard upon him. He died as an allegiant Jew but he rose from the grave to show us the reality of the confidence that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego had, the confidence that for allegiant Jews the resurrection is our ultimate victory over all the false images and emperors who try to force us to bow at their altars. They sang the song of Moses and the lamb.
Do you sing the their song? Or, are you being pulled by the crowd onto their path. Do you sing the song of Moses and the Lamb? If you do it is because you know that when God wants really work to et do
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