D A N I E L.
In the close of the foregoing chapter we left
Daniel's companions, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in honour and
power, princes of the provinces, and preferred for their relation
to the God of Israel and the interest they had in him. I know not
whether I should say. It were well if this honour had all the
saints. No, there are many whom it would not be good for; the
saints' honour is reserved for another world. But here we have
those same three men as much under the king's displeasure as when
they were in his favour, and yet more truly, more highly, honoured
by their God than there they were honoured by their prince, both by
the grace wherewith he enabled them rather to suffer than to sin
and by the miraculous and glorious deliverance which he wrought for
them out of their sufferings. It is a very memorable story, a
glorious instance of the power and goodness of God, and a great
encouragement to the constancy of his people in trying times. The
apostle refers to it when he mentions, among the believing heroes,
those who by faith "quenched the violence of fire," Heb. xi. 34. We have here, I.
Nebuchadnezzar's erecting and dedicating a golden image, and his
requiring all his subjects, of what rank or degree soever, to fall
down and worship it, and the general compliance of his people with
that command, ver. 1-7. II.
Information given against the Jewish princes for refusing to
worship this golden image, ver.
8-12. III. Their constant persisting in that refusal,
notwithstanding his rage and menaces, ver. 13-18. IV. The casting of them into
the fiery furnace for their refusal, ver. 19-23. V. Their miraculous
preservation in the fire by the power of God, and their invitation
out of the fire by the favour of the king, who was by this miracle
convinced of his error in casting them in, ver. 24-27. VI. The honour which the king
gave to God hereupon, and the favour he showed to those faithful
worthies, ver. 28-30.