As we all know that Daniel and his three friends were recruited and lived under the same Babylonian empire of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1:17-20; 2:17-19), why was Daniel not a part of the pack who defied the king’s command to worship the golden statue (Daniel 3:8-18). When they were thrown into the fire, what was Daniel doing who was also living as a ruler and the chief administrator over all the whole province of Babylon (Daniel 2:47-48)? Was it because of his position of rulership along with the king that he was excluded and thus was not compelled to worship the golden Idol?
There are only three possible ways Daniel could have avoided the confrontation. The first is that he bowed before the statue. The second is that he didn’t bow but was not reported. Both of these are highly unlikely, given Daniel’s character and the animosity of the other officials toward Daniel and his friends alike.
The third possibility is the one that most scholars accept, and that is that he was away from the capital city when the event occurred. This would explain his absence from the narrative, and also why the other administrators had the courage to accuse his friends.
If this third view is correct, then the fiery furnace event becomes a model of the Great Tribulation. Nebuchadnezzar represents the anti-Christ who erects a statue of himself and requires everyone to worship it on pain of death (Rev. 13:14-15). Daniel’s three friends are a type of the believing Jewish remnant who remain faithful and are preserved through the fire. And Daniel models the Church, missing throughout the entire event.