by Dr. Stephen Scott-Pearson
General Secretary of the Protestant Alliance
Please Read: Daniel Chapter 3

Here in Daniel chapter 3 we have the story of the Persecution, Perseverance, and preservation of three men of God.

I want to look at this chapter and notice four things that may help and encourage us in our stand for god’s truth in these days of religious apostasy and spiritual declension.

I want to notice-
1) The grim situation that they faced.
2) The Great God that they followed.
3) The grand fidelity that they showed.
4) The glorious finale that they enjoyed.


In the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim, King of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon had come up to Jerusalem with his armies and besieged it This was the judgment of Almighty God upon Judah’s apostasy and idolatry. Judah, like Israel, had forsaken God; so now God forsook Judah.

King Jehoiakim received warning from Almighty God but he rejected the Word of the Lord - in fact he burnt the scroll upon which it was written. (see Jeremiah 36) When men reject the Word of God, (individuals, religious denominations, or nations) God deals with them.

The King was Dethroned
Just six years after rejecting the Word of God this man Jehoiakim, in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy, was put to death and he was “buried with the burial of an ass.” (Jeremiah 22:18-19)

The City was Destroyed
Its destruction is graphically described in the Book or Lamentations.

The Temple was Disgraced
Babylonian soldiers stripped it of its wealth and carried its gold, silver, and brass instruments to a heathen land.

The land was left Desolate! The People were Deported!
The citizens of Jehoiakim’s realm were carried away 800 miles into captivity. Among them and along with Daniel, were three young men who were to be called, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were three Jewish captives of noble birth.

They were taken into a materialistic, and sensualistic, idolatrous society. The greatest enemy of the work of God in our society is materialism.

The 19th century was the age of intellectualism, the age of rationalism, when everything was subordinate to finite mind, to human understanding. The 20th and 21st centuries, are certainly not ages of intellectualism but of sensualist. In much of what professes to be Christianity today sensualist, supposed experience, takes precedence over Biblical teaching and authority.

NOW, in the place of their captivity, Babylon, a new theology was being introduced; a new national idol was being set up!

Nebuchadnezzar the King made a great image. It stood 100 feet high, 10 feet wide, and it was completely overlaid with gold. It was set up in the vast plains of Dura in the Province of Babylon, where it might clearly be seen by all and where vast multitudes might gather to worship it.

Man-made religion generally reeks of idolatry and idolatry always indicates man-made religion!

This idolatrous false religion was established by law! Religious liberty was to be curtailed!

It was commanded that the people fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

And so it was that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in a pagan idolatrous society and they were suffering religious persecution, and being intimidated.

ALSO! there were only three of them! The were a tiny faithful remnant!

The whole tide of society which they lived in was running against them. All around them were pandering to the latest religious whim. Everyone, but them, danced to the tune of the piper.

Just like today when all but a few of the Lord’s people are compromising and ecumenising and the few that will not sell their birthright and betray their heritage stand out like sore thumbs!

The Lord’s true people are distinguished from all others and the Lord Jesus Christ said of them-

(John 15:19 KJV) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Let us never be ashamed of being God’s minority!

“We are traveling home to God,
 In the way the fathers trod;
 They are happy now, and we,
 Soon their happiness shall see.”

Let us unapologetically and uncompromisingly decline to follow the blinded multitudes. The situation is very grim! But the prospect is very bright!


Verse 17, “…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.”

These men believed in the power of God!

They had a God able to deliver!

Not only did they believe that He could act, they had faith that He would act - “he will deliver us.”

These men of God would not be drawn by a concert of music, nor driven by a fiery furnace to the forsaking of their complete confidence and reliance in the one true God! (There are many professing Christians today drawn aside by concerts of music. Minstrelsy has displaced ministry in much professed “Christian” worship!)

God was their “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

I believe that these three noble sons of Judah had been raised in Godly homes, (not religious homes, Godly homes!), homes where God was truly revered, worshipped, and glorified. Perhaps these young men had been taught to sing the 115th Psalm-

(Psa 115:1-11 KJV) Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake. {2} Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? {3} But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. {4} Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. {5} They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: {6} They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: {7} They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. {8} They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. {9} O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. {10} O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. {11} Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not need an idol. They knew the one and only true prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God of Heaven! They felt in the very depths of their souls, in the very fibre of their being, that God is able to deliver!

They felt in the very depths of their souls, in the very fibre of their being, that God is able to deliver!

They no doubt remembered how, according to the record of Exodus 14, the fleeing Israelites were (humanly speaking) in a hopeless position. The Egyptian hordes were barking at their heals, there were ranges of unassailable granite mountains on either side of them and the raging foam of the Red Sea before them-when Moses, the man of God, cried to the people: “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today.”

They would have remembered how God opened up a way for His people and dealt with their enemies - “The Lord saved Israel that day…and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.”

Let us rejoice with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that though the situation is grim the prospect is bright! For as the hymn writer wrote-

“Tis the grandest theme through the ages rung;
Tis the grandest theme for a mortal tongue,
Tis the grandest theme that the world e’er sung
Our God is able to deliver thee.”

(Psa 34:15 KJV) The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

God, Almighty God, was their only hope. But what a great and glorious object of hope He is!

(Psa 125:1 KJV) They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.

(Prov 18:10 KJV) The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.


(Dan 3:17-18 KJV) If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. {18} But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

“…we will not serve thy gods”! - These men knew where they stood and they let others know assuredly! They had a stark choice. They had to submit to death or apostatize. These men knew the first commandment -

(Exo 20:3 KJV) Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

These men knew the second commandment -

(Exo 20:4-5 KJV) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: {5} Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

They had heard the Word of the Lord and they heeded the Word of the Lord. That is what we need to do!

They had seen and proved that the Lord honors them that honor Him for back in chapter 1 we read how they, along with Daniel, declined to defile themselves with the portion of the King’s meat which had been dedicated to idols. They had obeyed the Word of God, they had walked in the light of their consciences, they had eaten pulse and drunk water in the will and according to the Word of the Lord, while others ate dainties and drank wine, yet, “their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.” (Daniel 1:15)

Yes, their confidence was in Almighty God, in His Word and ways!

God could deliver them!

God would deliver them!

But if not! - no surrender of principles - no compromise!

They would render to Caesar or, in this case to Nebuchadnezzar, the things that were theirs but to God the things that were God’s!

Like Peter and the other apostles when imprisoned said, so Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said: “…We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)

Like our Protestant Forebears threatened with the fires of martyrdom, so these three brethren, threatened with the fiery furnace, were resolved to be faithful to God and His Truth even unto death being fully persuaded that all things are part of His plan and providence and subject to His power. In essence they said -

“No matter what circumstances come,
 No matter what you say,
 No matter what you do,
 We will not bow the knee!”

That was the spirit of these men that the Lord’s people need to have in these days of widespread religious apostasy and compromise and in the coming days of persecution and trial.

The Scripture warns the believer -

(1 Pet 4:12 KJV) Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

Trust in God! -

“He is able to deliver us”
“He will deliver us”
“But if not”
We will not compromise nor shift from the truth’ - Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him… (Job 13:15)

Let us take our stand upon God’s truth! And stand by God’s truth! Let us show faithfulness and fidelity in God’s service, having complete faith in the power of God and showing complete submission to the will of God.


The faithful people of God can say with Paul: “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom…” (2 Timothy 4:18)

When men and women stand faithfully and fearlessly by God’s truth the animosity and flames of the world’s hatred will be unleashed upon them and sometimes it gets exceeding hot and the wicked that seek the injury of God’s people are themselves devoured by the fires that they have kindled.

These young men taken up and cast into the furnace because they would not conform to the spirit of the age and the ways of the world. They regarded a faithful adherence to God’s prescribed worship one of their first duties and would rather face the fiery trial and torments of the flesh than own that an idol made with hands was a suitable object of worship and veneration. But when the trial came - God was wonderfully glorified.

This fiery furnace was to display in a miraculous and marvelous way, the glory of the One True God, in Babylon. In that furnace of trial and testing these children of God found a anew sense of freedom! Nebuchadnezzar saw them loose and walking in the midst of the fire, unhurt. They gloried in their tribulations. In that furnace of trial and testing these children of God found a new sense of fellowship!

Nebuchadnezzar saw the form of a fourth person “like the Son of God.” How many dear people have been brought nearer to Him, to a new sense of fellowship with Him, through persecution, testing, or trial! At first God appeared perhaps to have deserted His servants. Now He sent wonderful succor to them.

God does not always save His people from testing, trial, and tribulation but He always safely brings them through; often to the amazement, even consternation, of their enemies. Not only was it seen when these servants of God came forth from their place and the time of trial that their bodies were unharmed and not one hair of their head singed but not even the smell of the fire was upon them!

Even that profane, wicked, foolish old King had to observe: “…there is no other God that can deliver after this sort” (Daniel 3:29)

Because they had exhibited a grand fidelity, (while their Jewish compatriots had shamefully compromised), all the Jews captive in Babylon were spectators of the marvelous grace of God to His faithful obedient children.

How greatly their faithfulness and fidelity glorified God and brought others among their fellow captives back to the truth one cannot say; - But we can say this -

Whereas no man has ever yet done good to souls or glorified God compromising, nor have any ever won the respect of the world or their enemies by betraying their religious principles; nor have they who have sold the truth and disobeyed the Word of God ever finished well. - Yet all faithful men of God of all generations have seen the fulfillment of those lovely words in Proverbs 16:7, “When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

(Dan 3:30 KJV) Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

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