King Nebuchadnezzar told everyone to worship an idol. But Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were courageous and faithful to the true God. What would they do?
King Nebuchadnezzar made a huge golden statue. He called all the officials of his kingdom to come to the dedication of the golden statue he had made (Daniel 3).
He had a man announce to everyone, “When you hear the sound of musical instruments, fall down and worship the gold statue. Those who do not fall down and worship will be immediately thrown into a burning fiery furnace.”
So when the people heard the sound of the musical instruments, they all fell down and worshipped the gold statue.
Facing the king
But Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego did not obey the king’s command. Certain men came to the king and told him that these three young men were not worshipping the golden statue. The king became angry and demanded that they be brought to him.
He asked them, “Is it true you do not worship the gold statue that I made? Now when you hear the music, fall down and worship it. If you do not worship it, you will be thrown into the fiery furnace.” The king gave them one more chance.
But Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego said to the king, “Oh Nebuchadnezzar, our God is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace. But even if He does not, we still won’t worship the gold statue.”
The king became even angrier. He ordered that the furnace be heated as hot as possible. He commanded his soldiers to throw the three young men into the furnace. They tied them up and threw them in. The furnace was so hot, the flames leaped out and burned up the soldiers!
Four men in the furnace?
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego fell down into the burning fiery furnace. As King Nebuchadnezzar watched, he was amazed. He could see four men walking around in the fire.
He said to his counselors, “Didn’t we throw three men into the fire?”
They answered, “Yes, it’s true, king.”
King Nebuchadnezzar said, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:25). Then the king shouted toward the furnace and told them to come out.
Saved by God
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego walked out, but the fourth person disappeared. They were not burned, and their hair and clothes were not scorched. They didn’t even have an odor of smoke on them! All the king’s counselors saw that no harm had come to the three young men, and the fire had not touched them.
The king realized that the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego had saved them. He made a new decree that no one should say anything against their God. King Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and saved His servants who trusted in Him.”
Then he placed these three young men back in power again to help run Babylon.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were willing to die for their faith. They were very brave. They did what God said instead of what the king said, and God saved them out of the fiery furnace. God did an amazing miracle for these three young men who obeyed His commandments rather than obey the king.
Here are some questions to think about or talk about as a family:
- Who do you think was the fourth person in the furnace with the three young men?
- These three young men realized that God could save them from the fiery furnace, but they decided that even if He didn’t save them, they would not bow down to a statue. That would have been breaking God’s commandments. Which commandments were they obeying?
Read more about Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego in our article “Daniel’s Three Friends.”