* King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold.
* He gathered all the important people in Babylon for the dedication of the golden image. He commanded that all must fall down and worship the image when they hear the sound of the cornet.
In the previous chapter, Daniel revealed the dream of the king and gave him the interpretation of it. King Nebuchadnezzar, in all of his pride, thought he would make an image of gold to symbolize himself and for the Babylonians to worship. He wanted to change his future, which Daniel prophesied about, by making an image of gold from head to toe as opposed to the image that was in his dream. Apparently, he wanted his kingdom to last forever.
It is easy to fall into the trap of pride. When we feel so blessed by God, it is not hard to place ourselves above others. It's a subtle type of "worship me" thing. King Nebuchadnezzar heard Daniel telling him that God made him king in a very strong kingdom. Instead of giving God the glory, he took the glory to himself. Pride always precedes destruction!
* The cornet sounded and all the people gathered fell down and worship the golden image, except for three young men.The report reached the king that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship the golden image. This made the king infuriated.
* The three friends were summoned before the mad king. The interrogation began. The three did not waste time to answer the king... they plead guilty. They did not fall down and worshiped the idol! More furious, the king ordered that the furnace, which was prepared to burn those who would not worship the golden image, be heated to the hottest possible degree.
* The most mighty men were commanded by the king to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and to cast them into the fiery furnace. And they were thrown into the fire... BUT THE FIRE DIDN'T BURN THEM! Instead, the fire slew the men who cast them into it.
* Astonished, Nebuchadnezzar saw four men in the furnace instead of three! He said that the fourth man had a form like the Son of God!
* The king called the three out and blessed their God. He also promoted them.
* The furnace mentioned was not just a basic oven used for baking. It was most probably a furnace used to process bricks and smelt metals. Nobody would survive thrown in there.
* Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn't bow down before the golden image simply because they were not wimpy young people! They knew the commandments of the most high God and lived by it. They were determined never to worship or to bow to any other god! They didn't even know if God would deliver them from being burned.
* Nebuchadnezzar blessed the three friends' God. But he never made Him his own God!
* Placing ourselves in the shoes of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, do we have the same courage to pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ even if it means death for us to do so? Do we only serve and love God because we know He provides for our needs and protects us from all harm? Do we love him and serve Him because of the blessings we receive from Him?