There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men…
I. WE HAVE HERE AN INSTANCE OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE. The scene of the text is laid in an Eastern land. It would seem that the will of the monarch was supreme. His word was law; he must be obeyed. And this authority was not confined simply to affairs of state; it seems to have entered into the region of religion too. This is always dangerous. It matters but little when it happens; trouble is almost sure to arise unless freedom of thought and. liberty of conscience are entirely surrendered. It was this arrogant claim which kept many states of Europe in the chains of ignorance and superstition far too long. It was this which fired the soul of Luther, and led him to be a reformer. We state with emphasis that in our judgment no man has a right to come between God and. the soul.
1. Every man should be at liberty to worship God. according to his own conscience and lights.
2. The law should protect every man in the enjoyment of this liberty, providing always that he does not interfere with the enjoyment of the same rights and liberties by others. My freedom of action is to be limited by the rights and liberties of others. The king had. a perfect right to set up his image. But when he sought to compel others to do as he did he interfered with their liberties, which should have been the measure of his own. The law should. protect us all alike in our religion, if we do not interfere with the rights of our neighbours.
3. No man should suffer civil disability because of his religious belief.
4. No man should have preference in civil matters because of his religious profession.
II. WE HAVE AN EXAMPLE OF RELIGIOUS FAITHFULNESS.
1. We must be true to our God, even if we have to stand alone. Living as we do in times when religion is popular, and to attend public worship is respectable, we cannot fully realise all it means to stand alone for God.
2. We must be true to our God,, even if it makes us seem untrue to men. These men had received, much in this kingdom. They were the sons of conquered people, men of an alien and foreign race, the children of captivity, and prisoners of war. Royal favour had spared, and saved them. Sad and. painful as it may be to appear ungrateful to those to whom we are under obligation, we must not dishonour our God. It is better to lose the friendship of man than the favour of God.
3. We must be true to God, even if it brings loss upon us. A religion which costs nothing is worth only what it costs. Did Moses consider what he would gain if he made common cause with his own people, whom God meant him to deliver? It may well be doubted. if anyone ever suffers much in the long run through faithfulness to God.
(C. Leach, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not respected you. They don't serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.