“Then Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought before him. When they were brought in, 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? 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. 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?” Daniel 3:13-15
We don’t know if Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had ever played fast and loose with what was right, but we do know that they had some pretty solid training in God’s law. When those three responded to the king, he blew up. His pride was wounded, his will had been crossed, and he was so mad he exploded. King Nebuchadnezzar is an interesting study. He was a man of superlatives: the biggest image, the most expensive gold, the most lavish party. He could put on a real show. When he pronounced judgment, it had to be the worst he could think of, and that was being burned alive in the furnace. But if that weren’t enough, he said, “Throw in the coal! Make it seven times hotter! Turn on the heat!” Then he picked the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up the Hebrews so they couldn’t move. The king was so furious that he was out of control.
Nebuchadnezzar’s challenge, “Who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” showed amazing arrogance, given that he had seen the true God’s superiority over Babylonian gods in interpreting his dream. But the king refused to believe that the God of the Jews would be able to deliver these three men from his hand. Nebuchadnezzar apparently felt supreme in his power and did not expect any god to interfere. This was an arrogant and blasphemous claim. The claim to possess human power so great that there was no divine power to which the victim could turn for help is a claim that shows that Nebuchadnezzar was not living in reality.