A Biblical Overview Of Daniel – Part 3

Daniel 3 and 4 is a story of foolishness, pride and complete faithfulness. And, it isn’t just a little foolishness or a little pride or even a little faithfulness. In these two chapters, there are freight trains-full of each, and it’s proof that none of us can be true to God under our own power.

Today, we are going to talk about the heroism of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, and the utter and complete foolishness of King Nebuchadnezzar – who should have known not to do what he did. But like so many, he did it anyway.

But, in the end, great honor was given to God.


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A Biblical Overview Of Daniel – Part 3

We don’t know the amount of time between Daniel 2 and Daniel 3. However, it is long enough for Nebuchadnezzar to have forgotten what he said to Daniel about the God of Israel.

Here is what he said in Daniel 2 after Daniel revealed the dream and then the interpretation of it:

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and incense to him. 47 The king answered Daniel, and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.”

 – Daniel 2:46-47 (NKJV)

This emperor fell on his face in public, before Daniel, and proclaimed that the God of Israel is greater than his own gods. And, Nebuchadnezzar’s experience should have been completely unforgettable. Yet, he did forget. Or, more accurately, he rebelled.

The Personality Cult

Daniel 3 is about this great statue of gold, built by king Nebuchadnezzar, and he wanted everybody and their grandmother to worship it. And, the question is…


You’ll notice that politicians and rulers all over the world do their best to create a personality cult to help support their rule, or their attempt to gain political power. And throughout history, kings and emperors have used this cult strategy. The kings and queens of Europe proclaimed ‘divine right’, and that any opposition to them was opposition to God. And, they made sure that all your money had their image on it.

The Roman emperors were first worshiped as gods with Julius Caesar, although they usually had to die before being fully deified. However, that began to change as each successive emperor chose to reinforce their power by proclaiming divinity. And, the same goes for emperors the world over.

Was this what Nebuchadnezzar trying to do?

Was he trying to strengthen his power by proclaiming himself to be a deity?

Or, was he just attempting to create a new religion, a new cult?

Notice that Daniel 3 does not say that the image looked like Nebuchadnezzar, or was some representation of Nebuchadnezzar. It just says that it was an image.

The only indication that this image represented Nebuchadnezzar, and that worshiping this image was to worship the this king as a god is here:

12 There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”

 – Daniel 3:12 (NKJV)

That was from the accusation made against the three friends of Daniel, in an attempt to have them destroyed. So, this might mean that the image actually depicted Nebuchadnezzar as a god.

The other possibility is that this image was the one that we saw in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 – except that it was all gold instead of gold, silver, bronze, iron and iron mixed with clay. I’m less inclined to believe this possibility, since it would also remind Nebuchadnezzar of who God is.

Having said that, logic might have nothing to do with this in any way.

An Act Of Faith

For Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, there was no way that they were going to worship this image that Nebuchadnezzar had made. They stood firm, willing to die for their faith in God, and that was truly impressive. They knew that God could save them, but might choose not to. But, they knew that their place in eternity was far more important than living out the rest of their lives and then suffering eternal punishment.

When confronted by the king, here was their response:

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

 – Daniel 3:16-18 (NKJV)

Now THAT was true faith. Faith in God and His ability to save them, but also faith in God’s judgment that if they died, it was for a good reason.

Do you have that kind of faith?

My hope is that you do, for that is the only kind of faith that God accepts. If you love anything in this world more than God, including your own life, God will not accept you. With God, it’s all, or nothing. And, I encourage all of you to consider the faith that you have and whether you need to ask God to build your faith.

When the father of a demon-possessed child, begged Jesus to heal his son:

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!

 – Mark 9:23-24 (NKJV)

This has been my cry to God for decades. Lord, I believe; help my unbelief! And, God has always been faithful to bring me through each trial of faith. I have walked the Valley of the Shadow of Death many times. And, each time I have asked God for the faith, that He would see me through. And, He has.

If you feel that you are lacking in faith, ask God. He will give you the faith that you ask for. And, He will show you the corruption and compromises that you must give up, so that you can be the follower of Christ that He requires you to be.

Just remember this:

Sin destroys faith.

If there is sin in your life, don’t expect to have the faith that will see you through the trials and tribulations that we face. If you want God to increase your faith, He will require that you give up the sins that are in rebellion against Him.

Daniel’s three friends walked this path of obedience and faith, and they were saved from the fiery furnace that Nebuchadnezzar threw them into. And God literally stood with them in that fire. And, when Nebuchadnezzar saw this great miracle, and that God stood with these three men, he glorified God and gave this decree:

28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.

 – Daniel 3:28-29 (NKJV)

Daniel 4 And Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream

Then, in Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar has a second dream, and we – yet again – see that he forgot who  God is, and who he should worship. With all that has happened, you would think that this king would have ‘got it’. But, like the children of Israel in the Sinai, he quickly forgot the miracles that he saw and experienced from the Hand of God.

Furthermore, this chapter actually seems to have been written by Nebuchadnezzar himself. In fact, it seems to indicate that it is a letter and proclamation to everyone in his empire. Here’s the first two verses that show this:

1 Nebuchadnezzar the king,

To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

Peace be multiplied to you.

2 I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.

3 How great are His signs,
And how mighty His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And His dominion is from generation to generation.

 – Daniel 4:1-3 (NKJV)

The other clue that Nebuchadnezzar wrote (or dictated) this, is the high concentration of Aramaic in this chapter. Most of Daniel is written in Hebrew, and there is some in this chapter. But, there’s too much Aramaic for a Hebrew speaker to understand properly.

Furthermore, the fact that Nebuchadnezzar is making this public admission to everyone, might – just might – indicate that he finally becomes a follower of God. Maybe. But, let’s get to the point of this chapter, the Dream.

The king dreams about a fantastic tree that was beautiful with wonderful fruit that gave shade and food to all who resided in it and under it. Then an angel comes down – a ‘watcher’ – and decrees that this tree be chopped down and all that benefit from it be scattered. A band of iron and bronze binds the root of the tree, and he is given a heart of an animal – where he eats grass like an animal for seven times.

And, the angel goes on to say:

‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.’

 – Daniel 4:17 (NKJV)

When Nebuchadnezzar wakes from his dream, what is the first thing that he does?

Right, exactly the wrong thing.

He calls in his ‘the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers’. Only AFTER these guys come up empty, does Daniel come in and give the interpretation. And, it’s not one that anyone would like to hear.

Daniel tells the king that his kingdom will be taken from him for seven years, and he will go insane and be like an animal, eating grass for those seven years. And, Daniel tells him that this will last, “till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” (verse 25)

Daniel then tells Nebuchadnezzar what he needs to do if he is to avoid what is decreed to happen to him:

26 “And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.”

 – Daniel 4:26-27 (NKJV)

Daniel uses the word ‘perhaps’ because he doesn’t believe that Nebuchadnezzar will actually repent of his sins and turn towards God.

Does the king do the smart thing?

Of course not.

Twelve months later, Nebuchadnezzar puffs out his chest and proudly proclaims to himself how great he is and all the great stuff he built. And then… boom …a voice from heaven speaks and his kingdom is taken away from him. And, for seven years, he eats grass like a wild animal in the field.

A Little Supposition

Now, put yourself in Daniel’s sandals. He knows what’s going to happen. And, he knows what will happen if any of Babylon’s enemies find out that the emperor has gone nuts. So, if I was Daniel – who had lots of power all by himself – I would quietly set up a way to make sure that no one would ever find out that Nebuchadnezzar was out in the fields eating grass.

I don’t know what that would have been. It could have been a ‘body double’ – someone who looked and sounded like Nebuchadnezzar. It could have been a bureaucratic coverup that made sure that anyone who tried to meet the king wouldn’t be able to. He might even have launched a minor war, claiming that the king was with the army attacking this or that enemy province. Or, all the above.

Of course, all of that is pure supposition. Daniel would have known that the empire would have been preserved anyway, because God said so. But, Daniel wasn’t stupid, and it’s really suspicious how quickly Nebuchadnezzar was able to get back on his throne as if nothing had happened.

Now, that we have that Little supposition out of the way…

The King Comes To Himself And Praises God

Then, after seven years…

34 And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.

35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?”

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

 – Daniel 4:34-37 (NKJV)

Now, does this mean that we will meet Nebuchadnezzar when we get to heaven?

I hope so.

I am not the Judge, so it’s not my decision. But, I would love for everyone who gives honor to God to be given eternal life. But, for Nebuchadnezzar to be granted eternal life, he would have needed to follow Torah. And, we don’t know that he did that.

Faith Must Come With Obedience

Remember that faith without obedience will not grant you the right to heaven.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

 – Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV)

So please. All of you. Obey God. I want to see you in heaven.


Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
שאלו שלום ירושלים


My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you… Hosea 4:6


Keep this ministry alive with a donation.

Subscribe for free to Revelation Six and receive my articles in your inbox:


And, read my two books:



I created five Android Apps that will help you read through the Bible in a Year. You can find them here:


If you miss my rantings about geopolitics, idiocy, resource collapse and incompetent globalism, follow me on Twitter.