Explore God's Word Daily

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In God's place (Daniel 3 v 1-7)

Nebuchadnezzar has learned a lesson about the God of Daniel being the true God. But it doesn’t seem to last long. This episode in chapter 3 is all about how the true God is able to save. We’ll look at it over a few studies.

The set up
Read Daniel 3:1

• What connections are there between Nebuchadnezzar’s actions here and his dream of chapter 2?
• Who comes to this dedication ceremony?

The dream of chapter 2 had put forward the idea of kingdoms being represented by statues. Now we see an awesome and impressive gathering as Nebuchadnezzar's statue is unveiled.

The command
Read Daniel 3:4

• Who does the herald address?
• When are they to worship the statue?

Babylon was made up of people from different nations and languages. They would have been brought to Babylon just as the Jews were, and would each have had their own religion. But now a centralised, universal religion had been commanded. The music that was to be played was clearly recognisable—the result was that it would be obvious if anyone wasn’t obeying.

The response
Read Daniel 3:7

• What is the response from the people?
• Why is it a “sensible” reaction?

The political weight of the king and the threat of being burned alive must have been pretty persuasive! Here’s a frightening example of religious coercion, where everyone is forced into worship of the one same god.

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TIME OUT
What we see here in Daniel is around us today in different forms. Here are two examples:
• Islamic countries requiring adherence to Islam and persecution of anyone who resists—the imposition of a religion.
• Western countries saying you are free to worship as you wish so long as you agree your religion isn’t the right one— the imposition of “tolerance”. That form isn’t imposed by law yet but is all around us in the west.
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PRAY THRU
Pray that God would enable you to see and reject popular worldviews which seek to replace the true God with worshipping someone or something else.
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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About Explore God's Word Daily

Explore God's Word Daily helps you open up the Bible to be refreshed and encouraged in your walk with God. "Explore" is the daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company (www.thegoodbook.com). Contributors include: Dr Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York; Mike McKinley, Senior pastor of Guilford Baptist Church; Tim Chester, author and pastor of Crowded House, Sheffield, UK; Mark Meynell, Senior Associate Minister at All Soul’s Langham Place, London, UK. Editors: Tim Thornborough and Carl Laferton.

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