Study 7 Daniel 3:1-7 A Golden Statue

Study 7 Daniel 3:1-7 (May 27, 2020)

Israeli youth, Daniel and his three friends, were captured and taken to Babylon (Iran) to be trained in Nebuchadnezzar’s service as a wise men, knowledgeable in language, customs, and procedures. In chapter 2 Daniel interprets a terrifying dream had by the king. God wants the king to understand that his kingdom is like the golden head of a great statue; other kingdoms to come will be of less valuable metals. We suspect God is also stating His sovereignty. The king is delighted as Daniel shares how God not only revealed the nature of the dream but also the interpretation. There seems to be no action plan implied. The king honors Daniel. Daniel gets a promotion and praises God.

Today we hear that the king has now built a golden statue, approximately 90 feet tall and nine feet wide, out on the plains. That is ¼ as tall as the Great Pyramid. That is about 1/3 the height of the Statue of Liberty or Big Ben. Impressive. I would suspect the dream may have inspired the statue but that is not stated.

  1. We thought about “inspiration” and “revelation” in light of Daniel’s explanation of the king’s dream. Inspiration can also be a creative, forward, source for projects to be undertaken. The solution to a troublesome homework problem comes to mind and needs to be tried. Perhaps you have had ideas of something to sew, something to do in woodwork, something to grow in your garden. Can you think of one of those creative experiences when you really felt proud of what you produced? Describe that project. ______________________________
  2. What were the hopes and aspirations attached to the project? ______________________________

King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden statue whose height was sixty cubits and whose width was six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent for the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to assemble and come to the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. So the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, assembled for the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

  1. Perhaps you can remember the opening ceremony or dedication of Bethany or some similar event. In Kenya, the tradition at the opening of a house or the naming of a child was that a goat had to be slaughtered, a goat roast and all guests fed. Ah, perhaps we can think of the traditions associated with a wedding. Describe the dedication _________________________________
  2. Who was invited? ____________________________
  3. What food was prepared? ______________________
  4. Who spoke? _________________________________
  5. What was important to you? _____________________

Most of us are not kings nor have inherited that power but let’s read Nebuchadnezzar’s orders.

When they were standing before the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had set up, the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, you are to fall down and worship the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.” Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Lest we be too hard on Nebuchadnezzar, let us not forget what happened to people in our tradition who disagreed with the reigning monarch; religious wars between Catholics and Protestants in England, Ireland; tribal wars in other parts of the world; our political powers arguing about who should be impeached. Elimination of opposition is perhaps more human than we care to admit. It is in stark opposition to this attitude that Jesus’ command to love our enemy. Christianity stands counter-culturally.

  1. Can you think of people who have opposed, thought differently about challenges you faced, and whom you thought you would have liked to disappear, be eliminated from the conversation? How? _____________________________________________
  2. Hmmm, this seems to get to a sensitive subject that we can reflect on safely in sheltering. Are there people I have held a grudge against but am called to forgive? ____________
  3. Whom do I struggle with that I could do a kind deed to this week? What? When? ______________________________

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