The Fiery Furnace

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King Nebuchadnezzar ordered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to worship a golden image. They would be thrown into a fiery furnace if they refused. But the three men would only worship the Lord. They showed an amazing commitment to living their religion. They trusted in their God. And the Lord did protect them from the heat of the furnace. This comforting story reassures us that the Lord will support all of our efforts to bring our life into a state of worship.

The Story

Read or retell Daniel 3.

Daniel 3:1-3            King Nebuchadnezzar made a large image of gold.

Daniel 3:4-5           He commanded his people to worship the image.

Daniel 3:6               People who refused would be thrown into a fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:12-23        Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship the image.

Daniel 3:24-27        The Lord protected them when they were put in the fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:28-30        Nebuchadnezzar respected their God.

Ideas for discussion

  1. Why were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Babylon? (When the kingdom of Judah was conquered, they taken to Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar wanted them to help him run his kingdom--along with Daniel.)
  2. What did Nebuchadnezzar want everyone to worship? (a golden image or statue)
  3. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not obey the king. Why did they refuse to worship the golden image? (They wanted to worship and serve the Lord alone.)
  4. How did Nebuchadnezzar react when they refused? (He was furious and had the fiery furnace made seven times hotter before they were thrown into the fire.)
  5. This kind of fire represents anger in the Word. Nebuchadnezzar was angry because Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego wouldn’t do what he wanted. Can you think of a time when you were very angry? Did it feel kind of like a destructive fire inside of you?
  6. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stayed calm in spite of the king’s great anger and the furnace waiting for them. They felt a peaceful confidence in the Lord. Is there a time when you have felt a wonderful sense of peace?
  7. Nebuchadnezzar was amazed at what happened in the fiery furnace. Why? (He saw four people walking in the fire unharmed, and the fourth was like the Son of God. The Lord sent an angel to protect them.)
  8. The Lord sends His angels to protect us as well. He is especially close to us during times of struggle or temptation. We can invite His presence by looking to Him, asking for help and reading the Word.  
  9. How might these words bring us comfort on our spiritual journey? “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Read more about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

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