Bible Lesson: Daniel 3:1-18 — God In Exile — Part A


Online Bible Study
“God in Exile” Daniel 3:1-18


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 #4 Daniel 3:1-18 “God in Exile—Part A”

Review Homework: Did you consider how God has used both “good” and “bad” circumstances in your life to benefit you and others?
What about evaluating how your life is lived? Times like these can really clarify priorities.

Also, let’s continue to ask God to show the world mercy. Obviously, He already has!

  1. At the end of our last lesson Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah had been placed in positions of leadership in the Province of Babylon. These three now take center stage. It seems king
    1. Nebuchadnezzar needs another lesson about the only true and living God.
    2. We are not told about the statute other than its size: 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide and that it was of gold
    3. Perhaps it represented the image Nebuchadnezzar had seen in his dream
      1. And wouldn’t that be ironic–to craft an image destined to be destroyed
      2. Extra Biblical sources tell us that Nebuchadnezzar invested heavily in building projects in general and restoring the temple of Marduk
      3. Marduk was one of many Babylonians gods. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t see any offense in what he was doing
      4. gods tolerate other gods
        Besides success/Victory seemed a confirmation of one’s own god/idol
      5. To accept his gods was “reasonable”
  2. The command is simple: when you hear the musical instruments, bow down and worship the idol
    1. This would show fealty and unite subjects in one thread of worship
      Gotta be careful with what/you worship
    2. I wonder about the musical instruments too: is it music or a cacophony? Is it everyone doing their own thing and just making a racket? Or a symphony? PAUSE to discuss/consider
      1. We don’t know. But spiritually it’s the same thing. Yes, there are different parts to play but without the unified order there is no beauty
      2. As Christians we should bear this in mind. We are not Lone Rangers, each doing as we please without regard to others or a great purpose.
      3. Illustration of the church elders separating their personal preferences from God’s will
  3. Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (or as Nebuchadnezzar calls them Shadrach, Meschak and Abednego) get turned in by some native rulers (no jealousy here!)
    1. Daniel is not mentioned. PAUSE to Discuss possible reasons why.
    2. We aren’t told. Perhaps he is away. Or granted privacy. Unlikely, he complied.
      This text illustrates the necessity of personal responsibility
      Daniel may be the leader but each believer has to have his or her own faith.
    3. COVID 19 has interrupted Sunday worship, Sunday school and Bible Study.
      1. In our age is possible to be dependent on others to “feed” you
        But God wants us to have private time too (indiv/family)
        If our enemies called us out, would we stand firm?
        PAUSE to discuss/consider how personal/private worship builds faith
        These young men had not only an upbringing in faith they had private times for study and worship
        Long term personal spiritual disciplines build faith
  4. King Nebuchadnezzar acts like the king of the world (He is!)
    1. He’s angry to be disobeyed
    2. But he also seems to expect the young men to just bow down (compliance)
      Daniel 3:14b “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good.[c] But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”
    3. They refuse the invitation
      Can you think of a time when you refused an evil invitation? How did it go? Also, discuss, is there anything that important to you? PAUSE
      When you were reading the decree did your spirit object to idolatry?
      That little resistance is the Holy Spirit
    4. Life in Exile
      1. Things are not how we want or even right, but we must live it out anyway
      2. This is what it means to be in the Kingdom of God
      3. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah and thousands of God’s people were living in a foreign land under the rule of a pagan king–but they remained faithful
      4. The truth is that God is with us in exile

1. Make it a priority every morning this week to spend time doing three things: read a Bible passage, pray and worship God. Recording a journal entry with those details is extra credit.
2. Pray for God’s mercy


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