Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 177

Standing for God in Times of Crisis, June 19

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. But if not, ... we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Daniel 3:17, 18.

Nebuchadnezzar's wonderful dream caused a marked change in his ideas and opinions, and for a little time he was influenced by the fear of God; but his heart was not yet cleansed from its pride, its worldly ambition, its desire for self-exaltation. After the first impression wore away, he thought only of his own greatness, and studied how the dream might be turned to his own honor.

The words “Thou art this head of gold” made the deepest impression upon Nebuchadnezzar's mind. He determined to make an image that should excel the original. This image was not to deteriorate in value from the head to the feet, like the one he had been shown, but was to be composed throughout of the most precious metal. Thus the whole image would represent the greatness of Babylon, and he determined that by the splendor of this image the prophecy concerning the kingdoms that were to follow should be effaced from his mind and from the minds of others who had heard the dream and its interpretation. From the treasures obtained in war, Nebuchadnezzar “made an image of gold” ... and issued a proclamation, calling upon all the officers of the kingdom to assemble at the dedication of this image, and at the sound of musical instruments, to bow and worship it....

The appointed day came, and at the sound of entrancing music the vast company “fell down and worshipped the golden image.” But the three Hebrew youth, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (we have no record of Daniel's being present), did not dishonor the God of heaven by paying homage to this idol. Their action was reported to the king. Angered, he called them before him and by threats endeavored to induce them to unite with the multitude in worshiping the image. Courteously yet firmly they declared their allegiance to the God of heaven and their faith in His power to deliver them in the hour of trial.

The king's wrath knew no bounds. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than it was wont. And without delay the Hebrew exiles were cast in. So furious were the flames that the men who cast the Hebrews in were burned to death.—Manuscript 110, 1904.

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