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Daniel 3:1-18 | Part One - Stand Up For Your Faith

In chapter 3 of the Book of Daniel, we are peering into the world of the Israelites when they were held captive by the Babylonian empire. Daniel is God’s prophetic mouthpiece to both the Jews and the Gentiles, and was handpicked by the Babylonian empire to serve in the government. Daniel finds favor in king Nebuchadnezzar’s eyes--the king of Babylon--by interpreting a dream he had that no one else was able to interpret, and was promoted to sit in the king’s court. It is with this influence that Daniel petitions the king to place the other three Jews belonging to the tribe of Judah (the tribe and lineage in which Christ was promised), which were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; over “the affairs of the province of Babylon” (Daniel 2:49). It is these three Jews that we will be focusing on in chapter 3.

Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were Jews like Daniel was: they believed in Yahweh, the Living God. Earlier in chapter one, we see the “chief of the eunuchs” give new Babylonian names to Daniel and ‘the three’, being: Belteshazzar (Daniel), Shadrach (Hananiah), Meshach (Mishael), and Aded-Nego (Azariah) (Daniel 1:7). In staying true to the context of the Scripture in chapter 3, I will be addressing the three by their Babylonian names like the Bible does.

1) The way of the world does not bring true life

From the onset of chapter 3 in the Book of Daniel, we see king Nebuchadnezzar create a huge statue of gold, and post it up for all to see (Daniel 3:1-2). The king then required that everyone must bow before the statue and worship it:

“So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” (Daniel 3:3-6).