Finally, we come back to the verse that prompted this closer look at Daniel 3.
have already seen how Neb’s perception of the god he worships seems
less than god-like. If worship must be coerced, then something must
lacking either with the god one is worshipping, or with the
worshipper’s perception of his or her god.
Then, Neb confronts
the three Hebrew fellows about their failure to obey Neb’s edict. He
threatens them with the fire, "But if you do not worship, you shall
immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace." then follows with
this telling question: "And who is the god who will deliver you out of
my hands?" Daniel 3:15 (ESV).
Nebuchadnezzar seems to be making
a significant assumption. The implication with his question is that
there isn’t a god powerful enough to overcome the forces of nature, in
this case, that of fire.
He has already demonstrated that the
god *he* worships lacks the value to be worshipped in its own right.
Neb then makes the more general implication that there are no gods who
can prevent the horrible death of these three men.
those servants of Neb who are sent to cast the three into the furnace
themselves are burned. It would seem that, if Neb were worshipping a
god with any kind of power over nature, this god could have prevented
the deaths of the obedient military officers.
But Neb seems willing himself to credit nature with more power than any supernatural being possesses.
about you? Think about why you worship. Is it because you have
understood the one you are worshipping well enough to know that your
god is worthy of worship?
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were
clear about their God’s abilities. Note their response to Neb: "Don’t
take our word for it. See for yourself, O king."
1) They knew their God’s power: "Our God is able". (3:17) In other words, He has power over nature.
2) They knew their God’s care: "Our God will" (3:17)
They knew their God’s sovereignty: "But if not" (3:18) His purpose
would prevail regardless. Even if their God chose not to deliver them
from the effect of the fire, His choices are still good, and "we still
worship Him instead of your gods".
Are you confident in the
power, care, and sovereignty of the God you worship? The God of the
Holy Bible, worshipped by Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Paul (Saul) of
Tarsus, Moses, and Daniel – He is worthy to be worshipped.
Perhaps your worship is not all it ought to be…
Perhaps you realize you are worshipping because someone is somehow forcing it on you…
Perhaps you don’t really know *why* you worship at all…
Perhaps you need a better understanding of who it is you are worshipping.