Safe Day 5
But If Not: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper posts are intended to help us go farther into God’s word than a simple surface reading
and are designed to help us discover new tools in the process.
Curious as to why we Dig Deeper? Here’s Why! 

The Passage

Daniel 3:13-18 – English Standard Version (ESV)

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

My Questions

1) Who are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?

2) Why was it so important to King Nebuchadnezzar that these men bow down?

3) How do Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego get out of this situation?

The Tools

A trip to is in order here.

We will get super cozy with this site as we study Scripture together!
Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom!
It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse?
Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage?
Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Findings for Original Intent

1) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were three Israelite men who were taken from Jerusalem when the King of Babylon besieged the city. (Daniel 1:1) King Nebuchadnezzar looted temple vessels, captured the King of Judah, and ordered the chief official to hand pick intelligent young men to serve in the king’s court. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and Daniel were selected and together they rose to places of position within the king’s administration. The assumption is that with power comes a level of protection, but these men are forced to choose between God and king.

2) Disobedience of the king’s order was punishable by death. When King Nebuchadnezzar ordered all to bow down to his statue, there were no exceptions given. The king’s orders must be followed so that all would know who was held all the power and control. Disobedience from any subject made the king look weak and powerless.

3) There is no questioning the loyalties of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their immediate response was that God would protect them and if He didn’t, so be it. Despite physical harm and assured death, these men put their physical safety aside and relied on God to rescue them. They refused to make their choice based on circumstances, which included a fiery furnace heated seven times hotter than normal, but rather on their eternal standing before God! Whether God rescued them or not, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were resolute in faithfully following God and not bowing down to another.

Some Applications for Our Everyday Lives

1) These young men are God’s chosen people even when it comes to exile. The cost of following God is high. For these young men, their faith far exceeded their fear. The choice to follow the one true faithful God went against the natural inclination to protect themselves, to protect against harm. “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill.” (Psalm 3:3-4) God doesn’t promise we will not be harmed but rather that He will give us a faith and hope that prevails through the harm. He is our shield and protector in the midst of every circumstance!

2) The greatest fear of any earthly king is being overthrown. Nebuchadnezzar was in contention with the one true King, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and Nebuchadnezzar didn’t stand a chance. He demanded the loyalty of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They could have relented, they could have chosen life over worship, but these young men knew better, they KNEW their God. The cost of losing their life was worth it to honor the one true King.

3) Our situations should not determine our faith. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:5-6) The waves of life will toss us violently unless our faith is firmly fixed on the one true God who is faithful and present in the midst of our fiery furnace circumstances.

Want To Try It For Yourself?!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers.
Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes
(click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and
embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Safe Week One! Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Looking for other journeys from this theme? Here’s a link to all past studies in Safe!