Let’s Look Closer: Nebuchadnezzar didn’t learn the lesson of his dream very well. He was likely trying to avoid the outcome of the interpretation of the dream he had by erecting a statue made entirely of gold. Remember, in his dream; he was the head of gold, so by making the statue entirely of gold, he was saying that his kingdom would continue and never be replaced.
He takes his prideful plan further by requiring everyone to worship the statue. Daniel’s friends would have seen many statues while walking around Babylon, but they were required to worship this one. That’s where they had to draw the line. They didn’t do anything to stop people from worshiping other gods, but they did refuse to worship other gods themselves.
It’s also valuable to note that they did not complain about the requirement or the punishment. If obedience to God meant that they had to be punished, they were willing to suffer. They even said, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve can save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
Takeaway: In 1 Peter 2:20, Peter says, “If you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.” You probably haven’t been thrown in a furnace, but have you patiently endured criticism or ridicule for your faith? Maybe you have been bypassed for a promotion because you refused to lie or lost a relationship because you refused to compromise God’s standards on sex. If so, God was pleased, which matters more than the temporary struggles.