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Daniel 3: 1 “Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 2 And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 3 So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4 Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, 5that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; 6 “and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 7 So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.”

 

3:1

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

Daniel chapter three opens with a great drama.  Nebuchadnezzar made an awesome image of himself.  It was awesome because of its height and because it was made of gold.  The image was 90 ft. high and 9 ft. wide.  The “gold” of Daniel’s dream motivated this image made of gold. 

3:2

And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Nebuchadnezzar convened eight categories of officials to dedicate his image.  “Satraps” were the highest political officials of the king.  “Prefects” (princes) were military commanders.  “Governors” were civil administrators.  “Advisors” were high ranking judges.  “Treasurers” administered the treasury of the kingdom.  “Judges” administrated the law established by the “advisors.”  “Magistrates” issued judgments of the law. 

3:3

So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

This was a massive demonstration of loyalty to Nebuchadnezzar. 

3:4

Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,

The command of Nebuchadnezzar covered all the national entities, people groups and languages under his rule.  This was a summit representing many nations. 

3:5

that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up;

Nebuchadnezzar commanded public demonstration of loyalty to his rule.  He made elaborate arrangements for this event.  The orchestra incorporated wind instruments (horn, pipes), a reed instrument (flute) and stringed instruments (zither, lyre, harp). 

3:6

and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace

The purpose of the erection of this image was to consolidate Nebuchadnezzar’s authority.  The image was to be the central symbol of his reign.  The addition of “worship” indicates that this event had religious as well as political implications.  Nebuchadnezzar’s subjects were to recognize both his political and religious authority.  Failure to comply meant death – turn or burn. 

3:7

So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

This may be another attempt at forming a one world government and religion.  Worship here is forced worship.  We can find no individual volition here. 

PRINCIPLE: 

God wants loyalty to truth rather than internationalism or religion. 

APPLICATION: 

The three friends of Daniel face a life or death situation.  They either bow before the idol or die.  Their faith shone brighter than the flames of the furnace.  They would rather burn than turn.  People of character can take a stand in the face of adversity. 

Heb. 11:33 “…who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”

Both internationalism and religion are enemies of the truth.  Religion comes from Satan himself (2 Co 11:3,4; 13-15; 2 Ti 4:1).  Internationalism is also from Satan (Ge 11:1-9; Re 17:1-14). 

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