Daniel 3:16 Index
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.'"
Research Material

" . . . we are not careful . . . "

  • Since the defendants did not deny the truth of the indictment, they saw no need to make a defense. Their case rested in the hands of their God (Daniel 3:17), and they made their answer in complete submission to His will, whatever might be the outcome of their trial. That they were not sure of coming through this experience alive can be seen from their further statement in Daniel 3:18. Had they been sure of deliverance, their reply could be interpreted as revealing spiritual arrogance. As the case stood, their attitude showed their firm conviction that their course of action was the only feasible one, which needed no defense, or even further explanation. (4BC 783-784)
  • These Hebrew youth had learned from the history of God's dealings with the Israelites in times past, that disobedience brought only dishonor, disaster and ruin; and that the fear of the Lord was not only the beginning of wisdom, but the basis of all true prosperity. They therefore calmly and respectfully told the king that they would not worship his golden image, and that they had faith that their God was able to protect them. (SNH 48)
  • Their answer was both honest and decisive. "We are not careful," said they, "to answer thee in this matter" (Daniel 3:16). That is, you need not grant us the favor of another trial; our minds are made up. We can answer as well now as at any future time; and our answer is, We will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Our God can deliver if He so desires; but if not, we shall not complain. We know His will, and we shall render Him unconditional obedience. (US 73)
  • When unconsciously we are in danger of exerting a wrong influence, the angels will be by our side, prompting us to a better course, choosing our words for us, and influencing our actions. (COL 341-342)
  • In vain were the king's threats. He could not turn the men from their allegiance to the Ruler of the universe. From the history of their fathers they had learned that disobedience to God results in dishonor, disaster, and death; and that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, the foundation of all true prosperity. Calmly facing the furnace, they said, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so [if this is your decision], 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.” Their faith strengthened as they declared that God would be glorified by delivering them, and with triumphant assurance born of implicit trust in God, they added, “But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (PK 507-508)
  • When the king was troubled in regard to his dream, these men, with Daniel, had fasted and prayed, that they might understand the dream. The Lord had heard their cries, and he had given to Daniel wisdom to interpret the dream to the king. Thus their own lives and the lives of the astrologers and soothsayers had been saved. Now the very men who had escaped death through the mercy of God to his servants, had been the prime movers in securing the decree in regard to the worship of the golden image. But the three Hebrews made no mention of these things; they knew that a controversy with the king would only increase his fury. (The Youth's Instructor article "Lessons from the Life of Daniel" March 8, 1904)