Daniel 3

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 Inductive Bible Study

Outline:

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

I. All the people were to worship Neb’s image under threat of death (1-7)

Discussion Questions

What were the dimensions of this image?
What kind of image do you think it was?
Why did Neb want the people to worship this image?
Who was invited?
Do you think all the people worshiping that image at that moment truly believed in it?
So why would they worship it?
What do you think most people would do today in the same situation?
What does this show us about men’s hearts? (They will follow whatever they think will give them more benefit, whether they believe it or not.)

Cross-References

Exodus 20:23, Exodus 20:5 – Do not make images or gods and do not bow down to any other god.
Isaiah 40:19-31 – Idols are mute, deaf, and dumb.
Romans 1:21-28 – Man rebels against the Lord and turns to worship idols foolishly.
Matthew 4:9 – Satan always tries to get people to worship false gods, even Jesus.

Key Points for Discussion:

1. The image was 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide. This could include the base. The proportions were still pretty ugly, almost like a poll.

2. It was almost surely the image of a human and probably the image of Nebuchadnezzar.

3. Politically, one religion could unify the kingdom. It was large kingdom over many areas. Once again, it shows us that Neb is very smart. Many kingdoms have tried the same thing historically.

4. It satisfied Neb’s ego. Like many rulers, his power made him more and more prideful to the point where he literally wanted others’ worship.

5. The culture was quite advanced and featured choirs/bands.

6. Music has a powerful effect, either for good or evil. Satan often uses music to his own ends.

7. The people were like sheep. They worshiped because it was to their material advantage to do so not because they really believed. It shows the weakness of most people and their principles. They all had a price. They would all compromise in the right situation. They weren’t willing to take a stand. People are all about pragmatism. If they think it will benefit them, then they will do something. Otherwise they won’t. This is even true of many professing believers in Christ. They think God will give them many things and bless them. When they found out trials may come or other difficulties, they abandon the faith. The motivation is “what can I get?”

II. The accusation against the Jews (8-12)

Discussion Questions

Why do you think the Chaldeans tattle-tailed?
Why would they not bow?
What reasons/justifications could they have given for bowing?
Can you think of similar examples today where “everyone” is doing something that is wrong? (Give recent example of Gu)
What kind of temptations have you faced where the vast majority of your peers were all engaging in a behavior that is wrong?
What kind of reasons do we sometimes give for why we “have” to do the same as everyone else?
What will happen if we don’t?
What should we do? Why?

Proverbs 27:4 – Who can stand before jealousy?

Key Observations:

1. The Chaldeans were jealous and sought every chance to accuse the Jews.
2. They made the accusation as harsh as they could, hoping Neb would punish them and they could get even more reward/position.
3. The Jews didn’t find reasons not to bow. They stood on their principles and were willing to face whatever cost their stand brought them.
4. Satan often uses threats/rewards to try to lure believers to do wrong. He also tries to get us to compromise and worship false things because what you worship is what you will become like.
5. The same methods are still used today because they are effective. Excuses like “everyone is doing it” and “I have no choice” are still commonplace.

Discuss questions and applications to our life.

III. Neb furiously threatens their life and defies the Lord (13-15)

Discussion Questions

How did Neb feel about the situation?
Was he ready to forgive them?
Did he have any real belief in any gods?
Did he respect the God of the Jews?
What often happens when someone defies God? Examples? (Goliath, Titanic Belshezzar, etc.)

Cross-References

Esther 3:5-6 – Haman was enraged Mordecai would not kneel to him.
Exodus 5:2, 2 Kings 18:35 – Two more peoples/nations defy the Lord and later lose.

Observations:

1. Neb once again showed the height of his pride. Someone didn’t immediately cater to him and he threw a furious fit.

2. He was willing to give them another chance, I believe more to satisfy his own pride and show the world he could force anyone to do anything than because he wanted to show mercy.

3. He defied their God. This happens a lot in Scripture and out of it and the punishment for this attitude is normally swift and complete.

IV. The three Jews refuse trust in the Lord and refuses 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? (Give recent talk with Shenzhen brother as example.)

Cross-References

Matthew 10:19-20 – The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say.
Psalms 27:1-2, Isaiah 12:2, Luke 1:37 – The Lord is our strength. We need fear no man.

Observations:

1. They didn’t even consider giving in. It was never an option. In like manner, we should never consider the rewards or threats for us to compromise. Have the right principles and make up your mind to do it ahead of time and never negotiate. There is no negotiation on God’s clear commands. Once you start to negotiate, you’ve already lost the battle (Eve).

2. It’s not necessary to give a reasoning or defense. It’s not necessary to try to talk others into agreeing with us. We need to just do what is right.

3. They were willing to give their lives for it. They knew God could save them, but even if they knew 100% ahead of time, God wouldn’t, then they would still stand up for the belief. 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. I’ve met many professing believers who 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. They are in it for the materials.

4. Their faith was deep. They had rock solid faith in the Lord and in His power. They knew who was really in control. Knowing that the people in front of us are under the authority of God and that the final sovereign authority is God Himself is half the battle. Our teacher, parents, boss, friends, may seem powerful or important now, but they won’t once we face the Lord. Our primary responsibility is to serve the Lord, not men. Give recent example of Shem. This is something that many Chinese believers will face.

V. Neb raises the heat and carries through with his threat (19-23)

Discussion Questions

Did Neb 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 Neb and his attitude here?

Observations:

1. It wasn’t a false threat. With Daniel it was “worked out”, but sometimes these things cannot be worked out. Sometimes there is no recourse, but to refuse and let the chips fall where they may.

2. Neb’s anger slaughtered the people who were serving him.

VI. The Lord completely 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

Isaiah 43:2 – The Lord will be with His faithful in the midst of waters or fire.
Hebrews 11:34- Quenched the flames. Reference to these three men and their faith.

Observations:

1. The Lord Himself was with them in the flames. When we have faith in God, He will always honor that. Regardless of what we face, He will be with us in it. He will show us His compassion and mercy. His plans are best.

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

3. God’s miracles are not halfway done. They are complete. There could be no doubt about the miraculous nature of this event because of the evidence of the clothes, hair, ropes. The fire burned the part holding them and didn’t touch the rest. God’s miracles leave no room for coincidences.

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

Discussion Questions

Is this the point where Neb 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, 34:22 – The Lord with take care of those who trust in Him.

Observations:

1. Neb acknowledged the Lord, but it was still as one impressive God among many gods. He wasn’t repentant yet.

2. God had a plan in this for the whole kingdom. The decision of the three to stand up for their faith for a time made life easier for the rest of the believers scattered across the kingdom. Our right decisions can help others and can help break bad policies and bring shame to bad actions. If everyone goes with the status quo nothing will change. But through the faithful, God can bring change.

3. What once again looked like not only a career killer, but a life killer, for the three men, ended up being a career booster. They prospered more than ever before. Neb may have thought it was he himself doing it, but God was holding the strings!

Study Daniel 3

Email