Topic: The Men Who Would Not Bow! (Self Assessment 157)
Background: King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 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.
Let us zoom into today’s discussion and ascertain what the problem might have been then. Especially since all the king’s officials seemed ready to comply with his new orders.
Text: Daniel 3: 4- 12
4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: 5 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. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
7 Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
8 At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.
12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” Amen
i) From history, we discover that kings and emperors of the past liked to build huge structures and magnificent monuments that stood out. Examples are the Tower of Babel, Pyramids of Egypt, Temple of Solomon, etc. Why do you think they saw such ventures important and necessary?
ii) What is the significance of dedication? Why do we dedicate the things we create, receive or achieve? To whom are these dedicated, and for what?
iii) Why do you think Nebuchadnezzar wanted this particular image to be worshipped by all, regardless of their individual beliefs?
iv) Read verses 4—6 again:
a) the proclaimation by the heralds was a command to which group of people?
b) Why do you think Nebuchadnezzar prefered to use the sound of music to induce the worship of the image he had erected? What role can music play in worship?
c) What punishment awaited those who would not comply with this “simple” directive?
v) Read verse 7 again. What happened when the sound of music was heard in the assembly? How does this reflect our compromising nature whenever we are under the pressure of sin, friends or superiors to bow to everything contrary to our faith?
vi) Read verse 8—12 again:
a) Nebuchadnezzar knew nothing about Shadrach and his friends’ defiance of the Law. Some Astrologers told him. Study carefully the nature of their reportage. Why do you think they did what they did, and to what effect?
b) Why do you think these 3 Hebrew men “neither serve Nebuchadnezzar’s gods nor worship the image of gold he set up; especially when the consequences are already decreed?
vii) What have you learnt from today’s discussion? How has the attitude of the 3 men challenged your own faith?
Next week, we will continue with a quest to uncover what happened to these men who wouldn’t bow, and how devastating it might have been for them to face the harsh consequence which awaited them.
Download TODAY’S Devotion app on Google playstore: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.keakster.devotion