Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego…
The form of the fourth (ver. 3). A sketch of the further developments of the history will well introduce the following topics.
I. THE SAVIOUR OF THE KING'S IMAGINATION. "Like unto a son of the gods." The king was certainly not acquainted with the Hebrew doctrine of the Messiah, and even if he were, the appellation, "Son of God," would not be familiar to him. The deliverer to him was perhaps an angel, but surely a visitant from the unseen.
II. THE REAL DELIVERER. "The Angel of Jehovah," the Angel-God of the Old Testament, the Lord Jesus, in those temporary and special epiphanies which preceded the great Epiphany of the Incarnation. This "coming down to deliver" does not stand alone. Therefore the other emergences out of eternity into time of the Lord should throw light on this; e.g. two appearances to Hagar (Genesis 16; Genesis 21:19-21). Two in the life of Abraham (Genesis 17, 19, 22). Several instances in the history of Jacob (Genesis 28:10-22; Genesis 31:11-13; Genesis 32:24-32; Genesis 48:15, 16). At the burning bush (Exodus 3.; seq. also Exodus 23:20-25; Exodus 13:20-22; Exodus 14:19, 20; Exodus 40:33-35; 1 Kings 8:10, 11; 2 Chronicles 7:1-3). The same august Personage was at Sinai (comp. Exodus 24. and Exodus 33:11-20 with Galatians 3:19). Several manifestations, too, in the desert-life of Israel (Exodus 16:10; Numbers 12:5; Numbers 14:1-21; Numbers 16:19, 42; Numbers 20:6; Exodus 33:3). So in the life of Joshua (Joshua 5:13; Joshua 6:5). See further epiphanies in Judges 2:1-5; Judges 6:11-24; Judges 13.; 1 Kings 8:9-11, Isaiah 63:8, 9. (On the significance of these passages, see 'Mediatorial Sovereignty,' by George Steward, vol. 1. pp. 111-137; Dr. Pye Smith, 'First Lines of Christian Theology,' pp. 248-251.) "The Angel of Jehovah" is none other than Jehovah himself manifested in the Person of the Lord Jesus. The doctrine of the Trinity the only adequate explanation. What Robert Hall said of the Divine Being is sirikingly true of the doctrine of the Trinity: "Inexplicable itself, it explains all besides; it casts a clearness upon every question, accounts for every phenomenon, solves every problem, illumines every depth, and renders the whole mystery of evidence as perfectly simple as it is otherwise perfectly unintelligible, whilst itself remains an impenetrable obscurity." The following are reasons for believing that the Lord Jesus was present in this fire:
1. It was antecedently probable that he would be. Taking into account antecedent appearances, observe the time of the Captivity was a critical epoch in the history of the kingdom of God; the place - Babylonia grand theatre for the manifestation of the Divine. Evil clashed with conscience. The faithful there were helpless. It was for Christ to deliver.
2. It would fulfil a promise a thousand years old (Leviticus 26:14-44).
3. The moral effect of the epiphany would be great - on Jews, heathens; all to the end of time.
III. THE SAME SAVIOUR NOW.
1. The Lord Jesus can be present with us in the fire of our trouble. This depends on whether we give him welcome or not. He waits to come in unto us in our sorrows. Different is the intensity el the fire with different saints, with the same at various times.
2. His presence is relief.
3. Will be ultimate deliverance and perfected salvation. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
WEB: Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his appearance was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: [therefore] he spoke, and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.