BOOK OF DANIEL – Acknowledgment

Posted by on Jun 6, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – Acknowledgment

Acknowledgment

One thing I mentioned previously was that the events of the three young Hebrews being thrown into the furnace is spoken of even today. I’m not talking about a church sermon but, in particular, storybooks that are written for children especially, but also in a chance discussion with an adult. Despite the shift in the educational authorities of this world removing God from the classrooms, many adults were exposed to stories such as this one and often remember it. Another, pertaining also to the book of Daniel, that we will go on to discuss, is Daniel in the lion’s den which is, perhaps, even more famous to many. I mention these two examples of actual miracles for a specific reason. That reason is this. Whether or not you believe that these two events actually happened is irrelevant. I am not saying they are not relevant to your eternal future, because they are. But it is irrelevant as to whether you personally believe them or not. Why? Because they did happen.  God had told us so through His word – the Bible. Your choice in believing or disbelieving makes no difference to an event that occurred by means of a miracle by God. The spectrum of such belief or unbelief is wide from those (such as me) who completely believe in the word of God to those who categorically think these events and others are simply fairy tales. In between there are differing degrees of belief or unbelief. But both of those degrees are induced by the thoughts of man. Actually, that also includes the person who categorically does not believe. Sadly, on the scale of those who disbelieve these events or, worse, try and suggest it was a symbol or water down what actually happened includes some who profess to be Christians. Do not be fooled and do not test the content of the word of God because of some man-made thought. We are told in Proverbs 3:5-6 to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (ESV) The Apostle Paul emphasizes this point in Romans 15:4 saying, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (ESV)

In Daniel 3:26 we are told, “Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire.” (NASB)

There are a couple of points in this verse that are not immediately apparent. The first is that Nebuchadnezzar was able to get close enough to the door of the furnace to call out to the three Hebrews. Given the fact that his mightiest soldiers had perished just trying to get to the entrance of the furnace due to the intense heat we could conclude that is was also miraculous in itself in the king getting close enough for the three men to hear his voice. However, the Scripture is silent in this regard, at least here. I say that because we see in Hebrews chapter eleven, which is known as the chapter of Faith, the exploits of several persons. Hebrews 11:32-34 says, “And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 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.” (ESV) Many scholars and theologians consider that verse thirty-four alludes to Daniel in the lion’s den and the power of fire being quenched sometime after the three young Hebrews were thrown into the furnace. How God quenched the power of the fire is only known to God and is not for us to know, other than it was done by miraculous means. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “quench” to “put out or extinguish” or to “put out the light or fire”. If this is what occurred to the furnace by God’s miracle then that would account for Nebuchadnezzar being able to approach the door to call the three men to come to him. If you notice, the Scripture mentions no fear of Nebuchadnezzar approaching the door or sending someone else in case of danger to himself.

The other thing you may not have noticed is the king never calls out to the fourth person to come out. Why? Scripture is silent as to that question but clearly, the miracle was complete. We will see one more reference to this fourth person a few verses later.

Despite the interpretation of his dream previously, Nebuchadnezzar had thought his gods, and even himself were more powerful than the God of the young Hebrews. That all changed by him acknowledging their God as the “Most High God” when he called them out of the furnace. It was a paradigm shift to acknowledge such thoughts and verbalize them. That did not mean he stopped worshipping his own gods but merely that he recognized, by the miracle he witnessed, that the Hebrews God was more powerful than any of his gods and, indeed, himself.