Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!”
The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, Babylonian names given to Jewish princes Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, is one of the most famous examples of faith in the Bible. When Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar ordered everyone to bow down and worship a gold image, these three Jewish men knew that obeying the king would mean disobeying God’s Second Commandment. In bold obedience to God, they refused Nebuchadnezzar’s command (Daniel 3:16-18). They knew that God had the power to save them from the fiery furnace; but they determined that even if He didn’t, they would obey God.
The furious king ordered the furnace heated seven times more than normal. The heat was so intense, the guards perished as they threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego into the flames.
But God intervened, and the “fire had no power” on His servants. “The hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them” (verse 27).
In response, the shocked king blessed God and paid tribute to these men with whom he had been so angry just a while before.
For more about the Second Commandment, see “Second Commandment: You Shall Not Make a Carved Image.” For more about Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, see “Daniel’s Three Friends.”