Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 9:13-20.
Read: Daniel 3&4 - As you read in the NLT translation, note 1-3 insights/questions that arise.Reflect: The statue was clearly an indicator that Nebuchadnezzar had not retained a lot from his encounter with Daniel in the previous chapter. Not only does he build one, but makes it of gold, probably to imply that his empire would last forever. He had already faced several threats to his empire, including one mutiny that involved him fighting an attacker man to man in his throne room. The Greek historian Herodotus (b. 484 BC) wrote of the great statues in Egypt and Babylon, including one solid gold statue the Babylonians had at the entrance to their temple. There was a common practice to also cover statues with gold (Isaiah 40:19; 41:17 & Jeremiah 10:4). The word used for image in 3:1 was sēlēm, which also can mean idol. The statue was (60 cubits x 6 cubits) 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide, which would have been nearly taller than anything else in Babylon. It would have been the same height as the Second Temple (Ezra 6:3). The use of gold, of course, was very similar to Solomon’s use (2 Chronicles 3:4-10). The height was significant and a parallel can be drawn with the story in Esther. Haman built a gallows that was higher than anything else impinged – 50 feet (Esther 5:14;7:10). Interesting that the fire pit of the Hebrew boys was the same fire pit the accusers were thrown into, as the gallows that Haman made for Mordecai was used for Haman himself.
Respond: Pray for humility.
Research: Google - “Golden statue of Zeus.” In the 1960s the President of Ghana built a large statue of himself in front of Parliament. The inscription was “Seek ye first the political kingdom and all other things shall be added unto you.” It was destroyed in the bloodless coup of 1966. Read A Short History of Africa, by J. D. Fage. Death by fire was common as noted by ruler Rim Sin (1750 BC) and in Jeremiah 29:22. When they are bound to be thrown in the fire, the root word is “kpt,” the same word used when Isaac was bound and the same term used for binding sacrificial animals.