God is able to deliver
1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold 90 feet high and nine feet wide: he set it up in the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 Then king Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather together the princes, the governors, the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image that king Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces were gathered together to the dedication of the image that king Nebuchadnezzar had set up; they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4 Then a herald cried loudly, To you they command, O people, nations, and languages, 5 That at the moment you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, singing symphony, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the golden image that king Nebuchadnezzar has set up: 6 And whoever does not fall down and worship will be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace the very hour.
- God made us; we don’t make Him
- Daniel had explained the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel chapter 2: Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold.
- By this image he has proclaimed himself the all instead of just the first king.
This image would never do anything but stand in one spot whereas God gives life and breath to each person each day.
- This king was leading the whole world to hell.
- Exodus 20:4-6You are not to make yourself any carved image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 You are not to bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of those that hate me; 6 And showing mercy to thousands of those that love me, and keep my commandments.
- John 14:6Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 8 At that time certain Chaldeans came near and accused the Jews. 9 They spoke and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever. 10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man that hears the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, is to fall down and worship the golden image: 11 And whoever does not fall down and worship, that he would be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have disregarded you: they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. 13 Then Nebuchadnezza, in his rage and fury, commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So they brought these men before the king.
- When plans made in pride are thwarted anger is the result.
14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said to them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready, when you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the image that I have made, good: but if you do not worship, you will be cast the very hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; who is that God that can deliver you out of my hands? 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to answer you in this matter. 17 If it is so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, know this, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image you have set up.
- There is no force or power on earth or heaven from which God cannot deliver.
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury so that his face became distorted with rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: he commanded that they heat the furnace seven times hotter. 20 And he commanded that the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their mantles, their hose, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 For this reason and because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
The Son of God was with them in the furnace
23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 24 Then king Nebuchadnezzar was astonished. He rose up in haste and spoke. He said to his governors, Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said to the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, Look, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
- Revelation 1:13-15And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and wrapped about the chest with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace, and spoke saying, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the most high God, come out and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came out of the midst of the fire. 27 And the princes, governors, captains, and the king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power, the hair of their head was not singed, neither were their coats changed nor had the smell of fire come on them.
- Isaiah 43:2-3When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; neither will the flame kindle on you. 3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spoke, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and has changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve or worship any god, except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree that every people, nation, and language, who speak error against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, will be cut in pieces, and their houses will be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver like this. 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.
- God can and will deliver you from everything you desire to be delivered from.
- What we lose in our trials are the false things that bind us and keep us from closeness with God.
- Psalm 75:6-7 promotion does not come from the east or from the west or from the south. 7 But God is the judge: he puts down one, and sets up another.
- Psalm 96:5 All the gods of the nations are idols but the Lord made the heavens.
The King of Heaven rules
1 King Nebuchadnezzar to all people, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. 2 I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God has done toward me. 3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation. 4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace: 5 I saw a dream that made me afraid, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. 6 So I made a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me to make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in and I told the dream to them; but they did not make known to me its interpretation. 8 But at last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and I told the dream to him, saying, 9 O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no secret troubles you, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation of it.
- Belteshazzar was the name the Chaldeans gave Daniel when they took him captive to Chaldea.
- Magicians were not magicians like we have today, performing tricks, but the scientists and learned men of their day.
- God had put His man of truth in charge over them all.
10 These were the visions of my head on my bed; I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. 11 The tree grew, and was strong, and its height reached to heaven, and its sight to the end of all the earth: 12 Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all: the beasts of the field had shade under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in its branches, and all flesh fed themselves from it.
God has holy ones watching us
13 I saw in the visions of my head on my bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one came down from heaven; 14 He cried aloud and said this, Cut down the tree, cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: 15 But leave the stump of his roots in the earth with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: 16 Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given to him; and let seven times pass over him. 17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: in order that the living may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whoever He will, and sets over it the basest of men. 18 I, king Nebuchadnezzar, have seen this dream. Now you, O Belteshazzer, declare its interpretation, for all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation: but you are able, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.
- Seven times is seven years.
- Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
- Matthew 18:10 Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones: for I say to you, That in heaven, their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
- 1Peter 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they did ministered the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel to you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was shocked for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spoke and said, Belteshazzar, don’t let the dream or its interpretation trouble you. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to those that hate you, and its interpretation to your enemies. 20 The tree that you saw, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and could be seen by all the earth; 21 Whose leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and on whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: 22 It is you, O king, that have grown and become strong: for your greatness has grown, and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the end of the earth. 23 And whereas the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven, and saying, Cut the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of its roots in the earth with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, until seven times pass over him;
The Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will
24 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which has come upon my lord the king: 25 They will drive you from men and your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field. They will make you eat grass like oxen, they will wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times will pass over you, until you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whoever he will. 26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; your kingdom will be secure to you, after you know that the heavens do rule. 27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you; break away from your sins by doing righteousness, and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; maybe there can be a prolonging of your prosperity. 28 All this came upon king Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, and said, Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?
- Nebuchadnezzar was taking credit that belonged to God.
- God had given him the kingdom and prospered him.
- God also gave him twelve months after the warning to make it right.
- Romans 11:36 of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.
31 While the word was in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from you. 32 And they will drive you from men, and your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field: they will make you eat grass as oxen, and seven times will pass over you, until you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whoever he will. 33 The same hour the thing was fulfilled on Nebuchadnezzar: he was driven from men, ate grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until his hair was grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. 34 And at the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that lives forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: 35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are counted as nothing: and he does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stop his hand, or say to him, What are you doing?
- Galatians 6:7 tells us the awesome fairness of God in that He gives all to reap what they sow and that he uses our own wickedness to correct us—Jeremiah 2:19
36 At the same time my reason returned to me; and my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom; and my counselors and my lords sought me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to humble.
- James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.
SUMMARY: Daniel 3-4
- God is able to deliver
- The Son of God was with them in the furnace
- The King of heaven rules
- God has holy ones watching us
- The Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will