Daniel 3:1-30  Furnace Faith




So V.1-7 Set the scene for the Chapter – Neb makes a golden Statue and demands to be worshipped

A) What happened between Ch.2-3?


B) Ch.2 review: Dream interpret – 4 kingdomsBabylon Neb – head of gold


Bb) Ends with Neb praising God / promotes Daniel and his 3 friends


C) 2 verses later – building a giant golden Statue and demanding worship – What happened  


D) The Greek Sept begins Ch. 3 this way in the 18th year – Ch. 2 in the 2nd year – so 16 yrs have passed


The dream hasn’t come to pass – he hasn’t been over thrown – But it is still on Neb’s mind

A) Write his own Destiny - Erect his own Statue { Huge - 60 cubits high – 6 cubits wide


B) A cubit was measured from the elbow to the end of the hand; it's approximately 18 inches, 

1) So 60 cubits is 90 ft tall – 6 cubits is 9ft thick – really tall and Skinny – Golden Statue.


C) Proof of dating – Another proof this wasn’t written later after the time of Christ – some critics claim because of the accuracies of the Prophecies.

Babylonian system of mathematics was built upon 6’s.

A) The Greeks system of mathematics was built upon 10’s (like ours). Decimal system


B) Sixty and Six Cubits

1) Six is the # of man – Man is Always short

{7 completion – 8 new beginnings


C) Also Interesting in light of picture in Rev 13 – Another Statue Antichrist – 666 – worship


D) Set up in the Plain of Dura – Flat area outside of Babylon – Seen from a great distance


                So the scene is set up


Question: Should Christians ever disobey the Govt.

A) We are living in two Kingdoms – God’s Citizens – Kingdom of this world


B) Age of tolerance – don’t rock the boat don’t ruffle feathers – Political correctness is favored over Convictions and Conscience


C) How are we believers to act in this type of an environment -

1) Daniel 3 is a good answer to that question how to live in 2 Kingdoms 

2) How to live in a largely non believing world!

              Notice 3 things


A) Picture 1000’s dropping to their faces to the ground, as far as eye could see. And there stood 3!


B) The 3 Champions, The 3 Holy MEN, The Trusting Trio!

1) What a Pledge of Allegiance!

C) Like a sail on a sailboat, “their hearts were set in the right direction”

Psalm 78:8 “And may they not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.”


D) Their hearts were set on God!

1) They were probably trusting in Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.”

I read the other day about a man who being a very religious man decided that he would purchase a statue of Jesus Christ for his home.

Coffee table in the living room { Visible to all. And so


His wife was somewhat distressed, not feeling it went exactly with the decor that was there, She moved it to the den.


Later on the husband moved it again to another area of the house which finally prompted the three-year-old to say, "Can't you decide what to do with God?"


Very profound question.


Where do we Stand? – These men were confident in their Convictions


Think for a minute how easy it would have been to rationalize bowing.

1. They could have rationalized “well God knows our hearts.” – Standing on the inside


2. They could have rationalized “the Jews in the kingdom need us, we are in this prominent position, and if we die – they will be worse off.”


3. They could have said – “well everyone else is doing it and no one back home in Jerusalem will know – so what is the big deal?”


A) But To bow down was an act of worship. So even though it meant breaking the law, the three young men decided they would rather die than violate their God.

Studdart Kennedy, was an Anglican  pastor at Worster in England. He also was a chaplain in World War, and as a chaplain he had to go to the war and he had to leave his family. He had a little son and he wrote a letter to his little son from the trenches of France where he was in the midst of very serious warfare.

Son when you pray for me here is how I would like you to pray:

  "The first prayer I want my son to learn to say for me is not - God, keep Daddy safe. The first prayer I want my son to learn is - God, make Daddy brave and if he has hard things to do, make him strong to do them.

Life and death don't matter, my son, right and wrong do. Daddy dead is Daddy still. But Daddy dishonored before God is something too awful for words. If you want to pray after that for God to keep me safe that would be fine and I am sure your mom would appreciate that too!”


Well, Studdart Kennedy was right. Daddy dead is Daddy still. But Daddy compromised is something awful.




A) Where was Daniel? – Business in another country!


 #2 THEY WOULD NOT BEND – rd V 14-18

A) V. 16-18  contain the only recorded words of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.


B) Speaking with one voice, they make a remarkable declaration of faith.

C) When they say V.16 O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.

1) They are not being disrespectful or Arrogant - They were simply admitting their guilt.

D)"We have nothing to say to you by way of a denial & we have nothing to say to you by way of an explanation

1) No excuse here – We knew exactly what we were doing!


So First, they admitted their guilt.


Second, they affirmed their faith in God. "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, our God whom we serve IS ABLE to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king (Daniel 3:17).

       Proclaiming their Great Confidence in God  


Third, they accepted God’s will in advance. "But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up" (Daniel 3:18). NAS

A) That is a more accurate portrayal of what they are saying here. -


B) It was a declaration of the Sovereignty of God and their decision to trust in his Sovereignty!


C) Our problem is we know how the story ends. 1) Subconsciously we tend to read everything in light of the miraculous deliverance.


D) But that misses an important point. The three young men had no idea that God was about to deliver them. They hadn’t received any advance warning, no special revelation, no angels whispering, "Don’t worry. God is going to deliver you."

A) Nothing like that happened. They recognized that obeying God might not be pleasant to them.


B) And even so, they didn’t make their own obedience contingent on God doing what they wanted

1) As they stood before the king, they knew they might die.


C) Basically they are saying one way or another God is going to deliver us out of your hand and for that reason we are not bowing –

1) We are going to continue to trust God


D) Application for us: We will praise you God even when the prayer is not answered the way that we hoped it would be answered

1) We lost the house

2) Diagnosed with Cancer!


E) Whatever we were praying about didn’t work out the way that we hoped it would.

1) Whatever happens we believe that you are still on the throne and that you have a plan.

F) Encouraged by the Faith of families in the fire!


#1 They wouldn’t Bow!

#2 They wouldn’t Bend!



A) They are Punished rd 19-23


B) Furnace –Usually made of brick or stone. Probably a large furnace used for melting metals or for firing bricks.


C) Both history & archeology reveal cruelty of some punishments under ancient regimes.

1) Burn pp alive in these furnaces

So The King ordered the fire made seven times hotter and then ordered his strongest men to take the three young men and toss them into the furnace.


The flames were so hot that the strong men were more or less cremated on the spot.

They are Preserved 24-25

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?"


They answered and said to the king, "True, O king."


25 "Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." 


Here we see the amazing Care of God for His servants!

A) When Nebuchadnezzar looked into the flames, he expected to see the young men roasting to death.

                   Crispy Critters


B) Instead, he saw them walking around, unharmed and unbound, and a fourth man walking with them, who looks the Son of God

C) Who was the fourth man? I believe it was the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

1) This is an Old Testament appearance of the Son of God coming down from heaven in bodily form.


D) He stepped across the battlements of heaven, walked down the starry staircase, walked into the blazing furnace and said to the flames, "Cool it!" And they did.


That made it very comfortable for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.


Where is Jesus in Daniel 3? He is in the furnace waiting for the young men!

A) Where is Jesus in the midst of your fiery trial?

Your Storm – He is right there


Hebrews 13:5-6

"I will never leave you nor forsake you."  So we may boldly say:  "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

Consider the different types of fiery furnaces that we can find ourselves in as believers - 3 types

A) 1st The furnace of Persecution: Godly in Christ will suffer Persecution

   1) Ridicule ostracized etc


B) Hated Jesus – hate you – Fact Non Christians friends will either get saved or get lost –

1) Ridiculed for Standing for truth!


C) So first there is the furnace of Persecution


Jesus stood with them in the Fiery furnace


“Outside there were three, inside there were four, and outside there were three again. Jesus never manifests himself except inside the furnace, at the very moment when he was needed the most.”


Jesus stood with them in the Fiery furnace

           Jesus stood for Stephen !



2nd There is the Furnace of Warfare: Ephesians 6  

                   Fiery Darts of the wicked one

A) Thought life – Lust / doubting salvation – fear – wicked thoughts -  Temptation


B) Christian life is not a play ground – battleground



3rd there is the Furnace of Fiery Trials – God allows – Life stuff that comes in  James 1:2-4

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.


A) The trial the tribulation is producing something in us / it is accomplishing something / it is productive


B) Basketball in High school running team - preseason conditioning camp was brutal - coach ran us hard –

1) Guys throw up


C) 1st year I experienced excruciating leg cramps - come on me at night while I was doing home work –

1) Scream throw myself back in chair


D) It was a very difficult time - but it resulted in me being in the best shape of my life.

1)  When Basketball was over - and went into Baseball which was my main sport - I was stronger, quicker, and faster.  Incredible


E) The following fall when Basket ball conditioning camp came around I actually looked forward to it because I knew what the results would be


G) Paul says we can glory in trib. Because we know it is producing something in us / it is productive


2 Corinthians 4:17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”


Think of it this way – when a woman gets Pregnant her body goes thru a lot of Changes /

A) morning sickness / puts on weight – stretches – bowling ball


B) Then comes the Labor – (good word) torture might be better.

1) Sweating / pain/ screaming / Absolutely un real –


C) Denise turned into a Different woman {I don’t know this woman – give me my Wife back


D) But the same Baby that causes the pain & the discomfort brings forth Joy after it is born –

1) Amazing how quickly they forget the suffering

              (I want another)  Role the tape)


E) MY Pt is the suffering is transformed into a Blessing!!! 



Notice w hat they lose there in the furnace v.25 I see 4 men loose

A) Note this – they didn’t lose their hair – they didn’t lose their clothes -   their beards –


B) They lost their bonds – the ropes that bound them

C) Trials have a way of breaking us & stripping us of all or our Pretenses

1) If your Child is dying you don’t care so much about – what you are wearing


D) Those who are desperate can’t be Choosy

1) Stripped down to us & God – we finally have to get  



Here is the thing that we need to understand – a true Christian losses are gains in another Shape

A) We lose those things that bound us – Pride / selfishness / Self Confidence


B) We lose those things and we gain a greater sense of who God is

1) We gain a greater sense of what he wants to do in our lives


C) Gain a greater sense of Dependency in our time of weakness

1) Greater sense of who He is


D) And our lives become an opportunity for God to show his strength

1) Platform


Notice also what they were doing in the furnace

A) Note they were walking – Not crying / not crawling / not curled up in a fetal position


B) They were walking – This is a walk

1) The Lord has set us free to walk w/ Him –


D) Sometimes that walk is the most intimate in the Furnace –


Frees us to walk stronger believe trust look back & see the faithfulness of God in each situation


Enables us to take steps of faith



Close: Rd V.28-30


Ironic – “The mighty king who ordered the world to bow before his image now bows before the king of the world!” (Swindoll)


God is Praised

First he’s going to kill them, now he’s going to kill anyone who insults their God.

     They were promoted!

Instead of frying in the furnace, they are now helping run the king’s empire.


That’s a good reward for three young men who refused to bow down.