When we fall into error we often want to convince as many other people as possible of our “rightness” in the situation. We want others to join us in our sin so we can feel better about it. Our passage in Daniel 3 really strikes at the question of whose god is God? Who rules history? It’s why this matter of bowing down to the image was more than just a question of bowing down or not bowing down to an idol, although it certainly was that. It was a matter of bowing before the will of God or rebelling against it.
There is no doubt in my mind that Daniel intended to show a relationship between the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (chapter 2), and the image he builds in chapter 3. In the time after the interpretation of the dream, the king kept thinking about what Daniel had said; that is, another kingdom would come in and replace him. For an egomaniacal king like Nebuchadnezzar, the thought of losing power was unimaginable. He set out to change the course of history by solidifying his authority.
The three Hebrew young men showed remarkable courage and conviction as they stood alone before an angry king. It is very significant that while they believed that their God was able to deliver them from the furnace, they said, “even if He does not” (vs. 17).
Belief in a sovereign God doesn’t mean everything will always turn out our way.
Unfortunately, we have the idea that when we come through a very difficult situation we affirm that God is good. But when the bottom drops out and the rug is pulled out from under us and we suffer defeat, or pain, or loss of life we think we need to hide in the corner and hope nobody asks us, “what kind of God does that?” The answer is He is a sovereign God - who in the words of Job both gives and takes away.
While the “fiery ordeals” of your life are not pleasant, they are opportunities to gain a deeper level of fellowship with Christ. We find Him present with us in these times in a way we may not have previously known. Remember, the only thing that the fire burned was whatever the three men were bound with. Sometimes we need to go through the fire so that He can remove whatever is binding us and use us a testimony to change people’s lives.
Pastor Brian Richard