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Bible Lesson: Daniel 3:13-30 — God In Exile — Part B – Petersburg Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Bible Lesson: Daniel 3:13-30 — God In Exile — Part B

by

Online Bible Study
4-26-20
“God in Exile” Part B Daniel 3:13-30

 

How to participate (if possible do this with others so that you can have some Spirit led discussion. If you are alone, it would be a good idea to write out your answer to the questions):


A. Pray and ask God to illuminate the Scripture for application in your life.


B. Read the selected text.


C. Click the streaming audio link. Pause the audio to give yourself time to reflect on any questions. 
[If you prefer you can read the lesson outline below. Just be aware it’s just a lesson plan and not written as an essay]


D. Email or text me if you have questions and/or comments and I will try to post them and my replies in the space below.


E. Do the homework over the coming week.

 

Lesson #5 Daniel 3:13-30 Part B “God in Exile”

4-26-20

Did you make the extra effort to read the Bible, pray and worship? (Who gets extra credit for journaling?)

Read Daniel 3:13-30

INTRO: Last week we considered how even though the Jews were exiled to Babylon as a consequence of their sinfulness and idolatry, God was still with them. When things go well because of a nation’s righteousness even the wicked benefit, when a nation suffers for its idolatry and sinfulness then even the good suffer. Our three heroes are doing what they can to honor and serve God only.

They have been called before the king, who is furious already at their defiance, but he still managed to offer them a way out–just do it now. Last week we noted the refusal and this week we are going to unpack that a little.

  1. Vs 16 “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter (Do you not serve my gods or worship the image?…What god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”)
    1. No defense, excuse or justification. They are going to admit that they won’t.
    2. Vs 17 “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.”
      1. God is able. More than able.
      2. God WILL deliver us from your hand. Jesus said (Mt 10:28), “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
        1. What can your creditors do to you?
        2. What can COVID-19 do to you?
        3. Discuss the assertion that God would deliver them.
    3. I like the NASB wording for verse 18 “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
      1. They’ve made their assertions that God will deliver them from his hand AND that God is able to save them from the furnace, but even if God doesn’t spare them from the furnace they will still only revere Him as God.
      2. They would not serve his gods as deities.
      3. Discuss: What are some things that others think you should worship, serve or prioritize?
      4. This is the ultimate test: God or idols. If you care most about this earthly life you will choose the idols
  2. The rejection of his gracious invitation infuriates Nebuchadnezzar. He uses the power he has to destroy them.
    1. This is most like a large industrial furnace, likely with an open front and/or a large chimney or open top. {Buildings in ancient Babylon were tiled}
    2. Just like the writer details the musical instruments, and types of government officials, here the author details their apparel: trousers, coats and caps
    3. Vs 23 “And these three men…fell bound into the burning fiery furnace”
      1. Discuss, what does the king notice? What was he expecting?
      2. The king says, “But I see four men unbound,walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods”
      3. Who was the fourth? Discuss.
      4. Most accept this to be the pre-incarnate Christ. Jesus was in the fire with them. Just like we noted last week. God joins with us in our suffering and exile. And His presence protects us—in this case physically but always spiritually
  3. Nebuchadnezzer’s power has been displayed as limited–this was a lesson for everyone!
    1. He command recognizes the rightness of their faith, “servants of the Most High God” (No doubt still sees God as one among many)
    2. His court gathers to inspect Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (but still call them by the names of their own gods)
    3. Vs 27 they “saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not signed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.”
      1. Discuss what was burned.
      2. What was burned were the fetters. It’s a great picture of what happens when we go to be with the Lord, the things that bound us will turn to ash and we will be free.
      3. Jesus said God kept track of every hair on our head and would clothe us better than the grass of the field. It was said of Jesus that He wouldn’t extinguish any person’s faith—even if it was just a smoldering wick.
      4. Discuss what reassurance that offers us in this world?
    4. Nebuchadnezzer was impressed. First with God but then also with “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego”
      1. Even Nebuchadnezzer recognizes God is with His people.
      2. Why do we, as believers, ever doubt it?
      3. He makes a decree that no one should speak “against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego”
        1. Discuss, is this faith on Nebuchadnezzer’s part? Do you think he will need additional lessons? What are some other Biblical examples of God dealing with kings? How do those often go?

Next week things are going to get even more personal for Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4. But what we see very clearly in this text is that God is with His people, even in times of difficulty and hardship.

Homework:

  1. Continue to spend private/personal time with God in Bible reading, prayer and worship.
  2. Pay special attention to the “idols” in your life and keep a running list of things that compete for your attention, concern, affection. Ask God to show you if any of these idols coming before Him in your life.
  3. Continue to pray for mercy.
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