Topic: The Men Who Would Not Bow! (Self Assessment 159)
Background: For the past two weeks we have been discussing King Nebuchadnezzar, the sixty cubits high golden image he made, and the decree that all his subjects worship this image or face a death penalty by burning. We also studied about the three Hebrew men who would neither bow to the image nor worship it till they were arraigned before Nebuchadnezzar himself. They still wouldn’t bow, however, so the king had to sentence them to death by burning.
Let us delve deep into our weekly Bible study to see what happened when the three men blatantly refused to bow to the image, even after Nebuchadnezzar had threatened them
Text: Daniel 3: 21- 27
21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Amen
i) In verse 22, we are told that the furnace was so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up the three Hebrew men to the furnace. Yet the men themselves only fell into the furnace. Why is this worth noting, and what does it reveal about the God that the boys had testified of earlier?
ii) In your opinion, why were the three Hebrew men tied before being thrown into the furnace?
iii) Read verses 24 & 25 again:
a. Who do you think the fourth man in the furnace was, and where did he come from?
b. King Nebuchadnezzar realised that the four men were walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed. What is the essence of this detail in the entire event?
c. Why did the king leap to his feet in amazement at this sight?
iv) In verse 26, we are told that king Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” Why did the king address them as such?
v) Contrary to the expectations of the other leaders who gathered around the men when they came out, they saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. What does this reveal about the God we serve? Do you think it would be a wise thing to stand for Him even in the face of opposition?
vi) What have you learnt from today’s discussion? How has the attitude of the three men inspired in you a desire to hold on to your faith even to the point of death?
Next week, we will bring you the concluding part of this series. Kindly make a date!
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