Daniel | 1  |  2:1-18 |  2:19-49 | 3:1-15 | 3:16-30  | 4  | 5  | 6 | 7  | 8  | 9:1-19  | 9:20-27 | 10  | 11  | 12  |

These small group studies of Daniel contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Daniel 3:16-30 Bible Study Lesson – Free Commentary And Questions

Daniel 3:16-30 Bible Study Video

Podcast

Outline

I. All the people were to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s image under threat of death (1-7)
II. The accusation against the Jews (8-12)
III. Nebuchadnezzar furiously threatens their life and defies the Lord (13-15)
IV. The three friends trust in the Lord and refuse to give in (16-18)
V. Nebuchadnezzar is enraged (19-23)
VI. The Lord protects them from the fire (24-27)
VII. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges the Lord and blesses the three men (28-30)

IV. The three friends trust in the Lord and refuse to give in (16-18)

Discussion Questions

• Did the Jews consider giving in? Why not?
• What enabled them to stand firm, even in the face of faith?
• Were they willing to give their lives for it, or did they just expect God to save them?
• What should this teach us about the motivation to do right?

Cross-References

Matthew 10:19-20 – When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Psalms 27:1-2 – The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.

Isaiah 12:2 – Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.

Luke 1:37 – For nothing will be impossible with God.

Verse by Verse Commentary

Daniel 3:16-18 – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

This is one of the most remarkable declarations of faith you will ever see.

1. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s declaration of faith –

They didn’t even consider giving in. It was never an option. Their determination was clearly conveyed to the king. Like Daniel in chapter 1, the communication was clear and respectful. There isn’t a hint of rudeness or arrogance. Nonetheless, their resolve was firm.

Application – When the battle lines are drawn, it is essential to declare your position. The longer you allow a temptation to linger in your mind without taking decisive action, the more likely you will succumb to it.

Have the correct principles and make up your mind ahead of time to stand firm. Don’t negotiate. There is no negotiation on God’s clear commands. Once you start negotiating, you’ve already lost the battle (Eve).

2. We have no need to answer you – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were accountable to God. They clearly understood that God was the judge. He is the one on the throne. And He is the one to whom they answered. Although Nebuchadnezzar thought that he was the supreme ruler over all, there is One still higher still.

Application – Understand that each of us is ultimately accountable to God. Many people may seek to set themselves up as the authority over us. And God does establish authority structures. The problem is when people make themselves out to be the ultimate authority, whether that is a government, a boss, or even parents seeking to control grown children. Remembering that God is the one you need to answer to simplifies our decisions and crystalizes what is important.

3. We will not serve your gods or worship the golden image you have set up –

Like Daniel in chapter 1, the three friends decided they were not going to cross this line. It wasn’t a negotiation. Threats to their life would make no difference. Their determination was firm.

Seeing the clarity of their thoughts and speed of reply, they likely discussed their response to the image before the day of dedication even arrived. Their minds were already made up.

These young men had counted the costs and there was no turning back.

Application – It is critical to resolve in your mind not to compromise before you ever face a potentially compromising situation. For example, sex before marriage should be a red line for believers. Don’t wait to make that decision in the heat of the moment. You should make this commitment before God long before you ever face that moment of opportunity/temptation.

4. They were willing to give their lives for it – They knew God could save them, but even if He didn’t, they would still stand firm in the faith. They weren’t like all of the others, merely pragmatically motivated. It wasn’t about what they could get. It was about what was right.

Some professing believers are willing to obey God as long as God blesses them and rewards them. But when trouble comes, they just give up. It’s not worth it to them. Let us follow the example of these three faithful men by committing ourselves to stand firm on the rock even if it costs us something (or everything).

5. Their faith was deep – They had a rock-solid faith in the Lord and in His power, knowing He was in control.

Acknowledging before God that the people around us who exercise authority are themselves under His is half the battle.

Our teacher, parents, boss, and friends may seem powerful now, but they won’t once we face the Lord. Our primary responsibility is to serve the Lord, not men.

6. What is humility – Daniel’s friends were humble. They did not think overly highly of themselves or their own lives. Rather, they realized that God may or may not save them. These three young men saw themselves as God did. While they were valuable in His sight, their lives were less important than God’s divine plan.

Humility is not equal to weakness or groveling. The band spoke boldly and clearly. Having a backbone, the trio stood up straight and refused to bow.

Many think that believers are weak or timid. We see that is not the case. Boldness and humility are complementary, not mutually exclusive. Knowing that your life is in God’s hands and He is completely sovereign (humility) gives boldness.

V. Nebuchadnezzar is enraged (19-23)

Discussion Questions

• Did Nebuchadnezzar respect their decision?
• Do you think people in the world will respect our decision if we stand up for what is right?
• How would you describe Nebuchadnezzar and his attitude here?

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury and the expression of his face changed –

The mighty ruler thought that he exercised total control over all of his subjects. Finding out that they had minds and a will of their own, enraged him. Nebuchadnezzar almost popped a vein he was so angry.

Here is a man who was used to absolute power. Most likely, no one had ever defied him before. Throughout the events of the book of Daniel, we see that God wanted to teach Nebuchadnezzar a healthy dose of humility.

2. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more –

The trio was about to discover it wasn’t a false threat.

Wisdom can sometimes help God’s people avoid this type of showdown. For example, Daniel’s wisdom helped him find another solution to the pagan food problem.

But sometimes, these things cannot be worked out. Sometimes there is no recourse but to boldly take a stand and let the chips fall where they may.

2. Nebuchadnezzar caused the death of the people who were serving him.

Daniel 3:22 – Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Foolish decisions are always harmful. But they cause even more harm when those in authority make them because their poor choices negatively affect many under them.

Application – Don’t make decisions in haste that will hurt those under you (children, employees, students, etc.) If you are angry, it is better to cool off before making a decision. Decisions made in anger often cause regret.

VI. The Lord protects them from the fire (24-27)

Discussion Questions

• Who do you think was walking around in the fire with them?
• Why?
• How complete was the miracle?

Cross-References

Hebrews 11:34 – Quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

Verse by Verse Commentary

Daniel 3:24-25 – Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “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.”

1. The Lord Himself was with them in the flames –

A fourth person was seen walking around amid the fire. This could have been an angel, but more likely was Jesus pre-incarnate.

Isaiah 43:2 – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

God did not abandon His faithful followers. Neither did He allow them to succumb to the pain or death of the fire.

When we have faith in God, He will honor that. Regardless of what we face, He will be with us in the midst of it.

The three friends rightly said that God might not save them. He doesn’t promise to save us from every trouble. The account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is also not a promise that God will always deliver us out of trials.

Many believers have been martyred. Many prophets in the Old Testament were persecuted or killed because of their message. God’s Son Himself was not saved but was delivered over to death.

What God does promise is that He will do according to what is best in each situation (Romans 8:28).

Another promise is that He will be with us and never abandon us.

Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Reflect – How does God show His comforting presence to believers in the midst of trials? How have you personally experienced that?

2. Those who defy God are setting themselves up for defeat –

Pride goes before the fall.

James 4:6 – But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

3. God’s miracles are not done halfway – There could be no doubt about the miraculous nature of this event because of the evidence of the clothes, hair, and rope. No part of them or their clothing gave any indication that they had been even near a fire.

And let us not forget that the soldiers who threw them in (and clearly would have tried to stay as far from the fire as possible) were themselves killed by the extreme heat.

The fire burned the ropes binding them and didn’t touch the rest. God’s miracles leave no room for coincidences. He wanted everyone who saw this miracle to know clearly that He was behind it. They got the message.

VII. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges the Lord and blesses the three men (28-30)

Discussion Questions

  • Is this the point where Nebuchadnezzar becomes a believer?
  • Does he respect their decision now?
  • Do you think God will save us as well?
  • How did God use this event in the kingdom of Babylon?
  • How about in the lives of the three Jews?
  • What do you think they learned from this event?

Cross-References

Psalms 33:18-19 – Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.

Psalms 34:22 – The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the Lord to some extent –

Although he acknowledged god, he only recognized the Lord as one impressive God among many gods. He wasn’t repentant and his story is not yet over.

2. God had a plan for the whole kingdom –

The decision of the three to stand up for their faith made life easier for the rest of the believers scattered across the kingdom. A decree was given that prohibited anyone from even speaking against their God.

Their obedience turned an evil day that looked like defeat for God’s followers into an amazing testimony. All over the kingdom, people heard this incredible story of God’s power. And it wasn’t only spread through word of mouth, but also through official decree direct from the throne!

If the three exiles had compromised like everyone else, the result would have been a terrible lost opportunity for building God’s kingdom.

Our right decisions can help others. Sometimes it just takes one person standing up for truth to bring exposure to bad policies, shame to evil practices, and be a catalyst for change. If everyone goes with the status quo, nothing will change. But through the faithful, God can bring change. Stories of God’s people standing up for what is right can spread the faith, inspire millions worldwide, and ultimately bring glory to God.

3. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were promoted! –

What once again looked like not only a career killer but a life killer ended up being a career booster. The faithful trio prospered more than ever before and were set above many of those who bowed down to this idol. Nebuchadnezzar may have thought he had ultimate power, but God was holding the strings!

Application – Spend some time in reflection. Choose one area where you feel pressure and is hard for you to take a stand. Ask God to show you what you need to do. Pray for strength. And resolve to stand firm.

Daniel Bible Study Guide – If this study is helpful, you can download the complete Daniel study in PDF or get the paperback from Amazon.

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