The Expository Files.


God Answered Nebuchadnezzar

Daniel 3:15

He defeated the world's mightiest armies, managed its wealthiest empire and built one of its most beautiful cities. During more than 40 years as king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar accomplished much. But one day, he was humiliated by three faithful Jews.

Nebuchadnezzar is known for the elaborate pagan temples he built in Babylon. It is not surprising that such an accomplished king would invite all his government officials to witness the dedication of the impressive image of gold that he erected. As he looked with pride at the image, 60 feet high, he ordered that all present bow down to worship it.

When the king learned that three men had directly disobeyed his order, he was furious. He gave them a second chance, but they still would not bow to the image. When Nebuchadnezzar became furious, they calmly replied that, whether God saved them or not, they would not serve the false god. The king challenged their faith: "And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?" (Daniel 3:15).

God answered Nebuchadnezzar's challenge with an unforgettable display of Divine power that humbled the mighty king of Babylon. Soldiers threw the three disobedient Jews into a fire that was so hot that the soldiers died when they approached the fire. But as Nebuchad-nezzar peered into the furnace, he saw four men - the three he had condemned and one sent by God to protect these faithful servants.When Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego came out of the furnace, Nebuchadnezzar realized that God had answered his challenge. He ordered that the name of Jehovah be respected in all his kingdom, and realized that God had answered his question: ". . . because there is no other God who can deliver like this" (Daniel 3:29).

Sin tries to take hold in our lives and challenges us as Nebuchadnezzar challenged the servants of God. Who can set us free? There is only one correct response (Acts 4:12).

By Dennis Allen
From Expository Files 5.4; April 1998