1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Pastor Ben’s Commentary:
Today’s story is pretty incredible. We’ll finish the story tomorrow, but today starts it out.
-Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were three Jewish young men, probably teenagers, who were chosen by the king of Babylon to be trained by the best of the best of Babylon. Babylon was the super-power in the world at this point in history, and had invaded Israel and brought the best young men back to Babylon.
-These three boys had to go to a land that was hostile to the way that God had called them to live.
-This became intense in today’s passage, when these guys had to bow to an idol/statue of a king and swear allegiance to this man over God.
-In the passage we find out that these guys are rightly accused of not bowing to the statue when everyone else did.
1. Living by faith must be intentional. These 3 guys have something in common with us. We live in a culture that is more and more hostile to those who want to follow God. If we are going to live the way God wants us to, we have to make a conscious decision not to allow anything to come before God.
2. We have to be aware of the fact that there are people who want our allegiance over God. There are people who are intentional about trying to destroy your faith in God. Not everyone in the media, in the education system, in government, and in your life are, but many in these arenas are in highly influential way.
We’ll read about what happened to these boys tomorrow!
Are you being intentional about your faith in God? Go against the flow!