Royalty and Ruin


Three Hebrews in the Fiery Furnace

This chapter is based on Daniel 3.

God had given Nebuchadnezzar the dream of the great image so that he would understand the relationship that his kingdom would have to the kingdom of heaven. The dream’s interpretation had given him clear instruction regarding the establishment of God’s everlasting kingdom. “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom. ... It shall ... consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Daniel 2:44. RR 179.1

The king had acknowledged God, saying to Daniel, “Truly your God is the God of gods, ... and a revealer of secrets.” Daniel 2:47. For a time the fear of God influenced Nebuchadnezzar, but his heart was not yet cleansed from a desire to exalt himself. Filled with pride, in time he returned to his idol worship with increased zeal. The words, “You are this head of gold,” had made a deep impression on the ruler’s mind. Taking advantage of this, the wise men of his realm proposed that he make an image similar to the one in his dream and set it up where all could see and admire the head of gold, interpreted as representing his kingdom. RR 179.2

Pleased, he determined to go even farther. His image would not deteriorate in value from the head to the feet, but be entirely of gold—symbolic of Babylon as an indestructible, all-powerful kingdom. RR 179.3

Establishing a dynasty that would endure forever appealed strongly to the ruler before whose weapons the nations of earth had been unable to stand. Forgetting the remarkable acts of God connected with the dream of the great image, and that in connection with the interpretation the great men of the realm had been spared a dreadful and shameful death, the king and his counselors determined that they would work to exalt Babylon as supreme. RR 179.4

Daniel’s interpretation was to be rejected and forgotten; truth was to be misapplied. The symbol God had designed to reveal important events of the future was to be used to conceal the very knowledge God wanted the world to receive. Satan knew that truth unmixed with error is a power mighty to save, but when used to exalt self it becomes a power for evil. RR 179.5