Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Peter said we shouldn't be surprised or afraid at the painful things that happen in our lives. One way or another, we will all come face to face with a "trial by fire," a moment in our lives when we decide if serving God is worth losing everything.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked through a fiery trial. The three young Hebrew men reached a quality decision before the king: "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. . . . But even if he doesn't, Your Majesty can be sure that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up" (Daniel 3:17-18). The courageous young men had determined that whether the trial burned them or they burned the trial, they were going to serve God!

Once you have decided that you are going to withstand any trial and realize that "these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering" (1 Peter 4:13), nothing Satan throws at you can affect you. In fact, you will find that Jesus is there in the fire with you (Daniel 3:25). The only things you will lose in the fire are your chains, for they will be burned off!

Daniel 2:24-3:30

Daniel Interprets the Dream

24 Then Daniel went to Arioch,ver 14 whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, “Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him.”

25 Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, “I have found a man among the exilesS Dt 21:10 from JudahS Da 1:6; 5:13; 6:13 who can tell the king what his dream means.”

26 The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar),S Da 1:7 “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?”

27 Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about,S ver 10; S Ge 41:828 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.S Ge 40:8; Jer 10:7; Am 4:13 He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come.S Ge 49:1; Da 10:14; Mt 24:6; Rev 1:1; 22:6 Your dream and the visions that passed through your mindDa 4:5 as you were lying in bedS Ps 4:4 are these:S Eze 28:3; S Da 1:20

29 “As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.S Ge 41:2530 As for me, this mystery has been revealedIsa 45:3; S Da 1:17; Am 4:13 to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.

31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue,Hab 1:7 awesomeIsa 25:3-5 in appearance.32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands.S Job 12:19; Zec 4:6 It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashedS Job 34:24 them.ver 44-45; Ps 2:9; S Isa 60:12; Da 8:2535 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them awayPs 1:4; 37:10; S Isa 17:13; 41:15-16 without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountainIsa 2:3; Mic 4:1 and filled the whole earth.Zec 12:3

36 “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king.S Ge 40:1237 Your Majesty, you are the king of kings.S Ezr 7:12 The God of heaven has given you dominionS Jer 27:7; Da 4:26 and power and might and glory;38 in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all.S Jer 27:6; Da 4:21-22; 5:18 You are that head of gold.

39 “After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth.Da 7:540 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others.Da 7:7, 2341 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay.42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle.43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.

44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crushS Ge 27:29; Ps 2:9; S 110:5; Mt 21:43-44; 1Co 15:24 all those kingdomsS 1Sa 9:20; Hag 2:22 and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.Ps 145:13; S Isa 9:7; Da 4:34; 6:26; 7:14, 27; Ob 1:21; Mic 4:7, 13; S Lk 1:33; Rev 11:1545 This is the meaning of the vision of the rockS Isa 28:16 cut out of a mountain, but not by human handsDa 8:25—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

“The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future.S Ge 41:25 The dream is trueRev 22:6 and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrateDa 8:17; Ac 10:25 before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offeringAc 14:13 and incense be presented to him.47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of godsS Dt 10:17; Da 11:36 and the Lord of kingsDa 4:25; 1Ti 6:15 and a revealer of mysteries,S ver 22, 28 for you were able to reveal this mystery.Da 4:9; 1Co 14:25

48 Then the king placed Daniel in a highS 2Ki 25:28 position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men.S ver 6; S Est 8:2; S Da 1:20; 4:9; 5:11; 8:2749 Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon,S Da 1:7; 3:30 while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.Da 6:2

The Image of Gold and the Blazing Furnace

King Nebuchadnezzar made an imagever 14; S Isa 46:6; Jer 16:20; Hab 2:19 of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,That is, about 90 feet high and 9 feet wide or about 27 meters high and 2.7 meters wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.He then summoned the satraps,S Est 1:1 prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officialsver 27; Da 6:7 to come to the dedication of the image he had set up.So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language,Da 4:1; 6:25; Rev 10:11 this is what you are commanded to do:As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp,S Ge 4:21 pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the imageRev 13:12 of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.ver 10, 15Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”ver 11, 15, 21; Jer 29:22; Da 5:19; 6:7; Mt 13:42, 50; Rev 13:15

Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.S ver 5

At this time some astrologersOr ChaldeansS Isa 19:3; S Da 2:10 came forward and denounced the Jews.They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever!S Ne 2:3; Da 5:10; 6:610 Your Majesty has issued a decreeDa 6:12 that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold,ver 4-611 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and AbednegoS Da 2:49—who pay no attentionDa 6:13 to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”S Est 3:3

13 FuriousS Da 2:12 with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king,14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my godsIsa 46:1; Jer 50:2 or worship the imageS ver 1 of gold I have set up?15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what godS Isa 36:18-20 will be able to rescueS 2Ch 32:15 you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and AbednegoS Da 1:7 replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliverS Ge 48:16; S Ps 18:48; 27:1-2 us from it, and he will deliverS Job 5:19; Jer 1:8; Da 6:20 usOr If the God we serve is able to deliver us, then he will deliver us from the blazing furnace and from Your Majesty’s hand.18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.ver 28; S Ex 1:17; S Jos 24:15

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated sevenLev 26:18-28 times hotter than usual20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and AbednegoS Da 1:7 and throw them into the blazing furnace.21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,S Da 1:723 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God,Da 4:2, 34 come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisersver 2; Da 6:7 crowded around them.Ps 91:3-11; S Isa 43:2; Heb 11:32-34 They saw that the fireDa 6:23 had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angelS Ps 34:7; Da 6:22; Ac 5:19 and rescuedS Ps 97:10; Ac 12:11 his servants! They trustedS Dt 31:20; S Job 13:15; S Ps 26:1; 84:12 in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.S ver 1829 Therefore I decreeDa 6:26 that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble,S Ezr 6:11 for no other god can saveDa 6:27 in this way.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.S Da 2:49

Daniel Interprets the Dream

24 Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, whom the king had ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream.”

25 Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king and said, “I have found one of the captives from Judah who will tell the king the meaning of his dream!”

26 The king said to Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar), “Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?”

27 Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret.28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed.

29 “While Your Majesty was sleeping, you dreamed about coming events. He who reveals secrets has shown you what is going to happen.30 And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart.

31 “In your vision, Your Majesty, you saw standing before you a huge, shining statue of a man. It was a frightening sight.32 The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze,33 its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay.34 As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain,As in Greek version (see also 2:45); Hebrew lacks from a mountain. but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits.35 The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.

36 “That was the dream. Now we will tell the king what it means.37 Your Majesty, you are the greatest of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor.38 He has made you the ruler over all the inhabited world and has put even the wild animals and birds under your control. You are the head of gold.

39 “But after your kingdom comes to an end, another kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise to take your place. After that kingdom has fallen, yet a third kingdom, represented by bronze, will rise to rule the world.40 Following that kingdom, there will be a fourth one, as strong as iron. That kingdom will smash and crush all previous empires, just as iron smashes and crushes everything it strikes.41 The feet and toes you saw were a combination of iron and baked clay, showing that this kingdom will be divided. Like iron mixed with clay, it will have some of the strength of iron.42 But while some parts of it will be as strong as iron, other parts will be as weak as clay.43 This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay do not mix.

44 “During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever.45 That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.”

Nebuchadnezzar Rewards Daniel

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar threw himself down before Daniel and worshiped him, and he commanded his people to offer sacrifices and burn sweet incense before him.47 The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is the greatest of gods, the Lord over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.”

48 Then the king appointed Daniel to a high position and gave him many valuable gifts. He made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon, as well as chief over all his wise men.49 At Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be in charge of all the affairs of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained in the king’s court.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Gold Statue

King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wideAramaic 60 cubits [27 meters] tall and 6 cubits [2.7 meters] wide. and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.Then he sent messages to the high officers, officials, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the provincial officials to come to the dedication of the statue he had set up.So all these officialsAramaic the high officers, officials, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the provincial officials. came and stood before the statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Then a herald shouted out, “People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king’s command!When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments,The identification of some of these musical instruments is uncertain. bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue.Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

So at the sound of the musical instruments,Aramaic the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, and other musical instruments. all the people, whatever their race or nation or language, bowed to the ground and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

But some of the astrologersAramaic Chaldeans. went to the king and informed on the Jews.They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “Long live the king!10 You issued a decree requiring all the people to bow down and worship the gold statue when they hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments.11 That decree also states that those who refuse to obey must be thrown into a blazing furnace.12 But there are some Jews—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—whom you have put in charge of the province of Babylon. They pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They refuse to serve your gods and do not worship the gold statue you have set up.”

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought before him. When they were brought in,14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up?15 I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments.Aramaic the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.18 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.”

The Blazing Furnace

19 Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual.20 Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.21 So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments.22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in.23 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.

24 But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”

“Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.

25 “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a godAramaic like a son of the gods.!”

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire.27 Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.29 Therefore, I make this decree: If any people, whatever their race or nation or language, speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be torn limb from limb, and their houses will be turned into heaps of rubble. There is no other god who can rescue like this!”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon.

24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.

25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.

26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?

27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;

28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.

30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

32 This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.

47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.

48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.

49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,

That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.

They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.

10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:

11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

22 Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.

27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

1 Peter 4:7-5:14

The end of all things is near.S Ro 13:11 Therefore be alert and of sober mindS Ac 24:25 so that you may pray.Above all, love each other deeply,S 1Pe 1:22 because love covers over a multitude of sins.Pr 10:12; Jas 5:20Offer hospitalityS Ro 12:13 to one another without grumbling.Php 2:1410 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,Ro 12:6, 7 as faithful1Co 4:2 stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.1Th 2:4 If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides,Eph 6:10 so that in all things God may be praised1Co 10:31 through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.S Ro 11:36

Suffering for Being a Christian

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you1Pe 1:6, 7 to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.13 But rejoiceS Mt 5:12 inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ,S 2Co 1:5 so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.Ro 8:17; 1Pe 1:7; 5:114 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ,S Jn 15:21 you are blessed,Mt 5:11 for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.Ac 5:4117 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household;Jer 25:29; Eze 9:6; Am 3:2; 1Ti 3:15 and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?2Th 1:818 And,

“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,

what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”Prov. 11:31 (see Septuagint)Pr 11:31; Lk 23:31

19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will1Pe 2:15; 3:17 should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

To the Elders and the Flock

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elderS Ac 11:30 and a witnessS Lk 24:48 of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed:1Pe 1:5, 7; 4:13; Rev 1:9Be shepherds of God’s flockS Jn 21:16 that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be;2Co 9:7; Phm 14 not pursuing dishonest gain,S 1Ti 3:3 but eager to serve;not lording it overEze 34:4; Mt 20:25-28 those entrusted to you, but being examplesS 1Ti 4:12 to the flock.And when the Chief ShepherdS Jn 10:11 appears, you will receive the crown of gloryS 1Co 9:25 that will never fade away.1Pe 1:4

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselvesEph 5:21 to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility1Pe 3:8 toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud

but shows favor to the humble.”Prov. 3:34Pr 3:34; S Mt 23:12

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.Job 5:11; Jas 4:10Cast all your anxiety on himPs 37:5; Mt 6:25 because he cares for you.Ps 55:22; Heb 13:5

Be alert and of sober mind.S Ac 24:25 Your enemy the devil prowls aroundJob 1:7 like a roaring lion2Ti 4:17 looking for someone to devour.Resist him,S Jas 4:7 standing firm in the faith,Col 2:5 because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.S Ac 14:22

10 And the God of all grace, who called youS Ro 8:28 to his eternal glory2Co 4:17; 2Ti 2:10 in Christ, after you have suffered a little while,1Pe 1:6 will himself restore you and make you strong,Ps 18:32; 2Th 2:17 firm and steadfast.11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.S Ro 11:36

Final Greetings

12 With the help of Silas,Greek Silvanus, a variant of SilasS Ac 15:22 whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly,Heb 13:22 encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.S 1Co 16:13

13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.S Ac 12:1214 Greet one another with a kiss of love.S Ro 16:16

PeaceS Eph 6:23 to all of you who are in Christ.

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Suffering for Being a Christian

12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

14 If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of GodOr for the glory of God, which is his Spirit. rests upon you.Some manuscripts add On their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified.15 If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs.16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?18 And also,

“If the righteous are barely saved,

what will happen to godless sinners?”Prov 11:31 (Greek version).

19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.

Advice for Elders and Young Men

And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you:Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.

In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for

“God opposes the proud

but gives grace to the humble.”Prov 3:34 (Greek version).

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believersGreek your brotherhood. all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.11 All power to him forever! Amen.

Peter’s Final Greetings

12 I have written and sent this short letter to you with the help of Silas,Greek Silvanus. whom I commend to you as a faithful brother. My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.

13 Your sister church here in BabylonGreek The elect one in Babylon. Babylon was probably symbolic for Rome. sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark.14 Greet each other with a kiss of love.

Peace be with all of you who are in Christ.

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.

And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Psalm 119:81-96

כ Kaph

81 My soul faintsver 20; Ps 84:2 with longing for your salvation,ver 123

but I have put my hopeS ver 43 in your word.

82 My eyes fail,S Ps 6:7; 69:3; La 2:11 looking for your promise;ver 41, 123

I say, “When will you comfort me?”

83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,

I do not forgetS ver 61 your decrees.

84 How longPs 6:3; Rev 6:10 must your servant wait?

When will you punish my persecutors?ver 51; Jer 12:3; 15:15; 20:11

85 The arrogantver 51 dig pitsPs 35:7; 57:6; Jer 18:20, 22 to trap me,

contrary to your law.

86 All your commands are trustworthy;ver 138

help me,S Ps 109:26 for I am being persecutedS Ps 7:1 without cause.S ver 78

87 They almost wiped me from the earth,

but I have not forsakenver 150; Isa 1:4, 28; 58:2; 59:13 your precepts.

88 In your unfailing lovever 124; Ps 51:1; 109:26 preserve my life,S Ps 41:2

that I may obey the statutesver 2, 100, 129, 134, 168 of your mouth.

ל Lamedh

89 Your word, Lord, is eternal;ver 111, 144; S Ps 111:8; Isa 51:6; S Mt 5:18; 1Pe 1:25

it stands firm in the heavens.

90 Your faithfulnessS Ps 36:5 continues through all generations;S Ps 45:17

you established the earth, and it endures.S Job 8:19; Ps 148:6

91 Your laws endureJer 33:25 to this day,

for all things serve you.Ps 104:2-4; Jer 31:35

92 If your law had not been my delight,Ps 37:4; S 112:1

I would have perished in my affliction.ver 50, 67

93 I will never forgetver 83 your precepts,

for by them you have preserved my life.S Ps 103:5

94 Save me,ver 146; Ps 54:1; 116:4; Jer 17:14; 31:18; 42:11 for I am yours;

I have sought out your precepts.S ver 45

95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me,S Ps 69:4

but I will ponder your statutes.ver 99

96 To all perfection I see a limit,

but your commands are boundless.Ps 19:7

Kaph

81 I am worn out waiting for your rescue,

but I have put my hope in your word.

82 My eyes are straining to see your promises come true.

When will you comfort me?

83 I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke,

but I have not forgotten to obey your decrees.

84 How long must I wait?

When will you punish those who persecute me?

85 These arrogant people who hate your instructions

have dug deep pits to trap me.

86 All your commands are trustworthy.

Protect me from those who hunt me down without cause.

87 They almost finished me off,

but I refused to abandon your commandments.

88 In your unfailing love, spare my life;

then I can continue to obey your laws.

Lamedh

89 Your eternal word, O Lord,

stands firm in heaven.

90 Your faithfulness extends to every generation,

as enduring as the earth you created.

91 Your regulations remain true to this day,

for everything serves your plans.

92 If your instructions hadn’t sustained me with joy,

I would have died in my misery.

93 I will never forget your commandments,

for by them you give me life.

94 I am yours; rescue me!

For I have worked hard at obeying your commandments.

95 Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me,

I will quietly keep my mind on your laws.

96 Even perfection has its limits,

but your commands have no limit.

81 My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.

82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?

83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.

84 How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?

85 The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.

86 All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.

87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.

89 For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.

90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.

92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.

93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.

94 I am thine, save me: for I have sought thy precepts.

95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.

96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Proverbs 28:15-16

15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear

is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.

16 A tyrannical ruler practices extortion,

but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign.

15 A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor

as a roaring lion or an attacking bear.

16 A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people,

but one who hates corruption will have a long life.

15 As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.

16 The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.

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