I was reading in the book of Daniel yesterday and came across something I wanted to ask you about. In Chapter 1 it tells the story of how Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were being taught in King Nebuchadnezzar's palace. It tells of how they didn't eat the king's meat or wine, but instead drank water and ate vegetables. Then, in Chapter 2 Daniel interprets the king's dream and is promoted to a high position and at Daniel's request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego as administrators over the province of Babylon. Chapter 3 is the story of the fiery furnace, where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refuse to bow to the king's idol and are thrown into the furnace. Of course, the Lord saves them and they are not even singed, but where was Daniel when all this was going on in Babylon? I am certain that he would not bow down to the idol, but where was he?
Answer from Pastor Bob:
Lauren, it is uncertain why Daniel was not present. Here are three possible reasons:
1. Perhaps Daniel was in a different location at the time. Daniel 2:49 mentions that Daniel remained at the king's court, but 3:1 says the idol was set up on "the plain of Dura." Perhaps this was in a different area. Or perhaps Daniel had been sent on a mission and was away at the time.
2. Perhaps as one of the highest administrators, Daniel was immune from the requirement to bow down, whereas Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were lower officials who were not immune.
3. Perhaps Daniel also refused to bow down, but the "certain Chaldeans" (Daniel 3:8) who accused the three men were afraid to accuse Daniel because of Daniel's high position.
I think reason #1 makes the most sense to me, but any of these explanations are possible.