Daniel 3 – Faith Tested by Fire
Read Daniel chapter 3, and then dig deeper into the passage using the following guiding questions.
1. In Verse 2:47, after Daniel explained his dream, Nebuchadnezzar seemed to honour God, saying to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of Kings...” Why then would he build a huge gold statue of himself and order that it be worshiped?
2. Can you think of any recent or current rulers or idols that demand that people bow down and worship them?
3. Nebuchadnezzar threatened death by being thrown in a fiery furnace for those who did not obey. How is this kind of fear used today?
4. Do you think that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were the only Jews who did not bow down to the Nebuchadnezzar statue? What about the other thousands of Jews in exile? What about Daniel?
5. Why didn’t the three men just bow to the statue of Nebuchadnezzar and tell God that they didn’t mean it? (Exodus 20:3, Hosea 13:4) Are you ready to take a stand for God no matter what?
6. The three men are given a second chance to bow to the statue. Why not use one of these excuses? (1) We will bow down but not actually worship the idol. (2) We will worship it just once and then ask God for forgiveness. (3) The king has absolute power and we must obey him. God will understand. (4) This is a foreign land, so God will forgive us for following its customs. (5) Our ancestors set up idols in God’s temple; this isn’t half as bad! (6) If we’re killed, pagans will take our high positions and won’t help the Jews in exile.
7. When they say their God could save them from death in the fiery furnace, do you think they are hedging their bets a bit with their “if not” words in Verse 18? (See Hebrews 7:25)
8. The soldiers who threw the three Jews into the furnace were killed, but the three emerged untouched. God’s deliverance of them was a great victory for the Jews in exile. If we have true faith in God, can we count on Him to save us from horrible ordeals? (Isaiah 43:2, Hebrews 11:1)
9. What do you think of Nebuchadnezzar’s commitment to the Lord (verses 28-29)?
10. What’s the bottom line message of this chapter?