Morning Light – Daniel 03

Today: [Daniel 03] Finding the Fourth Man in Your Fire. In Daniel 3 we find Nebuchadnezzar seeking to overthrow God’s plan for the ages revealed in the dream Daniel interprets. Daniel interpreted the king’s dream in Daniel 2 as revealing four kingdom eras throughout human history. The king comes up with his own idea of one image of solid gold, demonstrating his intent to overthrow the plan of God. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to bow to the king’s image and find their fourth man in the fire as they stand up against the king. Every one of us will have at one time or another in life those who demand we submit to them or else. This message is an encouragement for those times.
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[Dan 3:1-30 KJV] 1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height [was] threescore cubits, [and] the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, 5 [That] at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: 6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down [and] worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews. 9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever. 10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image: 11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, [that] he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in [his] rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, [Is it] true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; [well]: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who [is] that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
In chapter 2 of Daniel we see the Lord giving the king a dream that reveals his kingdom as represented by an image with a head of gold – the preeminent and most glorious world empire at the apex of history. The dream also reveals other kings that are to come after Nebuchadnezzar but notice the king’s reaction in this chapter. At first he falls at Daniel’s feet but next he ponders about the other kingdoms and decides to exclude them. He doesn’t humble himself to the word of the Lord through Daniel but instead as the people at Babel in Gen. 6, the king builds an image ENTIRELY of gold as though he will overthrow the revealed will of God.
This level of presumption is why Jesus told his disciples that he taught in parables:
[Mat 13:10-13 KJV] 10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
We tend to think if the pagan world beyond our borders could only see and know the truth of the kingdom that things would be different. Here in Daniel 3 we see the sad reality. Truth in terms of information and doctrine, or even revealed mysteries in a dream does not change men’s hearts. Facts do not change men’s hearts. The king in Babylon was a recipient of direct and profound information from the throne of God Himself and it only served to provoke his towering narcissism to rise against the very God who reached out to Him. In John 14:6 Jesus made the following statement:
[Jhn 14:6 KJV] 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Our truth is a person and His name is Jesus. Dogma does not save us. Apologetics or Christian debate will not win the lost. Creation science will not convert the transgressor. Only a demonstration of the Spirit and Truth of who Jesus is in His Person, indwelling our lives will convince the gainsayer and turn their hearts toward the cross. Intellect and that which proceeds and originates with the intellect has NO saving power. Mysticism or deep truth has no power to redeem. Only the revealed person of Christ in all His glory can turn the hearts of men to repentance and saving faith.
In verse 6 we see the threat the world always imposes when we refuse to accept their opinion of themselves. In our day we need to make a differentiation between approval and acceptance. God will accept a man’s right to make choices that exclude Him from grace. Man’s ability to choose does not constitute liberty but rather accountability. In all the world and the culture we live in there is a demand that we acknowledge not only man’s freedom to think and act as he wishes but to deny ourselves that same right by repudiating our right to see the end of all such as turn away from the living God. Even in the church – timidity has grown on this matter until accountability and eternal consequences are marginalized in our pulpits to the point of being eliminated altogether. Make no mistake – the hell men exclude for themselves they will prepare for you as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar. Here is a king shaking his fist in God’s face yet threatening and verily imposing upon every other person in his realm the demand that they agree with his own flawed assessment of himself. In this environment we ourselves stand as did the three Hebrew children. What will be our response? In other words as an apostolic leader said years ago – do we keep smiling and say nothing?
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we [are] not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be [so], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [us] out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: [therefore] he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. 20 And he commanded the most mighty men that [were] in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, [and] to cast [them] into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their [other] garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, [and] spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, [and] spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come [hither]. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. 27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. 28 [Then] Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed [be] the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.
Notice the answer that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego give to the raging king. They would not be careful in their answer to the king. Do you have a raging Nebuchadnezzar in your life? They rail and spew and live their lives and conduct their conversation any way they please but if you give the slightest hint that there is anything but full approval and submission – the consequences will be dire indeed. This can be a spouse, a parent, a sibling or even your own children. Maybe it is a boss or God forbid a pastor or spiritual leader. It is time to dare Nebuchadnezzar to do his worst. When the devil does his worst God will do His best and He will be your fourth man in the fire!
Notice that the only casualties in the flame were the bonds with which the three men were held captive by the king. Are you in bondage? Have you been pressured not to speak up, not to talk about the things of God, not to follow after the things of God on pain of threatening circumstances? Do your children or relatives threaten to estrange themselves from you or to make you suffer in some way because of your testimony? Jesus said He didn’t come to bring peace but a sword. What is the sword? The sword that as the flame, looses you from the fear of man and sets you in naked and total opposition to the spiritual bullies in your life that are trying to rob you of your joy and destroy your testimony.
It is time to rise up against the raging Nebuchadnezzar in your life. There is promotion for you on the other side of obedience. There is freedom for you on the other side of facing your fear and challenging the obscene demands of the strutting little Napoleons in your life. Make your step of obedience today and as the three Hebrew children – you too will meet the 4th man in you fire.

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