The three Hebrew youths were placed in a trying position. Preserving their loyalty to God meant being disloyal to Nebuchadnezzar.

Lesson 3 - Defying the Death Decree

For every Bible truth there is a counterfeit. The devil is determined to deceive God’s people. From the beginning, his work has been one of deception. He is the father of lies (John 8:44). He lied when he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:4), and he has been lying ever since. In contrast, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). His truth exposes Satan’s lies. Truth is worth living for, and it is worth dying for! Our faithfulness to Christ and His truth will finally determine our eternal destiny.

Today’s lesson reveals the cost three young Hebrews were willing to pay for truth. Rather than accept a counterfeit, disobey God, and fall for Satan’s lies, they placed their lives on the line. Their faith led them to the flames, and it led them through the flames triumphantly. In today’s lesson we will discover how we ourselves can have this death-defying faith in earth’s final hours.

Challenged by the Counterfeit: Questions 1-3

Question 1

You will recall in Daniel 2, God gave Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, a dream of the future. In chapter 3, the king builds his own counterfeit image. In opposition to God’s view of the future, Nebuchadnezzar desires to take the future into his own hands. God revealed the future as being dominated by succeeding empires depicted by an image made of gold, silver, brass and iron. But the image Nebuchadnezzar made was all gold, indicating his desire for Babylon to last forever.

Question 2

Nebuchadnezzar summoned representatives from his entire kingdom. The decree was universal. The central issue in this growing conflict centers in worship. The counterfeit and the genuine collide. In a moving drama on the plains of Dura, loyalty to the king meets head-on with loyalty to God.

Question 3

Please note this fact clearly. A powerful world leader passes a universal death decree. The central issue revolves around worship. The penalty for disobeying the command of this powerful world leader, who has united church and state, is death.