Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

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The Fiery Furnace


By Harrison Woodard

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. — Isaiah 43:2 KJV

Based on Daniel 3:1-30

A long time ago there was a vast empire called Babylonia that was ruled by a great king named Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians had conquered pretty much everything. They even conquered Israel and took the best and the brightest people back to Babylon to serve in Nebuchadnezzar’s court.

Among the captives were three young men named Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Nebuchadnezzar thought these names were just too darn difficult to remember so he changed them to Babylonian names. Hananiah, he called Shadrach. Mishael’s name was changed to Meshach. And Azariah’s name became Abednego.

Now these three men were pretty darn smart. They believed God was real and knew He would always look after them. They talked with God everyday and kept His Word in their heart. And since God was the source of all their wisdom, the three were successful at everything they did.

Now for such a powerful king, Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t very smart. He built this giant golden statue over 90 feet tall and ordered everyone in the empire to come and worship it. Well everyone knows bowing to a statue is just plain silly. There is only one true God and he doesn’t appreciate people worshipping anything other than Him, especially a great big hunk of gold. But Nebuchadnezzar did it anyway. And to make sure everyone would obey the new law, the king said that any person who did not worship the statue would be thrown into a fiery furnace.

So everyone gathered around Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. When the music started, they all bowed down and worshipped it. That is, everyone but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They knew better than following the crowd. God wouldn’t take to kindly to them putting a statue ahead of Him. Besides, they loved God too much to let Him down. So there they stood, praising the one true God while everyone else bowed down.

Some of the king’s servants saw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego not worshipping the statue. They ran to the king and told him that the three didn’t obey the king’s order. Well, Nebuchadnezzar was mad. People didn’t disobey him. He commanded that the three be brought before him for questioning.

“Is it true that you refused to bow down to my golden statue?” asked Nebuchadnezzar.

“Yes, my king,” said the three.

“When the music plays, you will bow down and worship my statue,” demanded Nebuchadnezzar. “If you don’t, you will immediately be thrown into the fiery furnace. And what god will save you from me?”

“If you throw us into the fire, our God whom we serve will save us from your hand. But even if you don’t throw us into the fire, we will never worship your golden statue,” answered the three.

Nebuchadnezzar was furious. He ordered the furnace to be cranked up seven times hotter than usual.

“Throw them into the furnace!” shouted the king.

The soldiers grabbed the three and bound them with rope and tossed them into the flames. The fire was so hot that it killed the soldiers who carried them to the furnace opening.

Nebuchadnezzar was pretty darn glad to see them gone. He wasn’t about to let anyone disobey him. He proudly walked over to the furnace and looked down into the flames.

“What’s this?” asked the king. “Didn’t we throw three men into the fire? I see four men walking around in the flames and one looks like an angel.”

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego!” shouted the king. “You servants of the most high God come up out of the furnace!”

The three climbed out of the furnace and were quickly surrounded by the king’s servants. They examined the men carefully. Not one thread of their clothes had been singed and they didn’t even smell like smoke.

And Nebuchadnezzar said, “Bless the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who has sent His angel to protect them from the fire. I command this day that anyone who speaks evil about the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego will be cut to pieces. For there is no other god that will protect his people in this way.”

Nebuchadnezzar promoted the three and gave them great jobs in his empire. And just as God promises, they were prosperous in everything they did.

 

Some Things To Think About

The three young men weren’t just boasting when they answered the king. They had made a life out of getting to know God and His promises. They knew that God would save them. They had His Word (Psalm 91, Isaiah 43:2) on it! They just spoke in agreement with God’s Word and had enough faith in their heart to believe that what they said would come true. Are you building your life on God’s promises? Why don’t you get started today?

In Nebuchadnezzar’s world, there were many gods. But none had ever taken an active interest in the affairs of men. When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s God protected them from the fire, he knew they were worshipping the real deal. No other god could do what their god did because they weren’t real. The three had spoken God’s Word and instantly an angel was sent to protect them from the fire. God’s angels are still in the protection business. Are you speaking God’s Word and putting your angel to work on your behalf?

 

Faith Building Exercise

Faith comes by continually hearing God’s Word. When you confess (speak) God’s Word out loud you are planting God’s incorruptible seed in your heart (spirit). In time, God’s Word will take root in your spirit (heart) and produce a plentiful harvest of all God’s blessings and promises in your life.

Confess these out loud every day until you believe them in your spirit. They will build your faith. Look up these verses and read them as they appear in your Bible. You can always trust God’s Word because He cannot lie.

 

I love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, and body.
(Deuteronomy 6:5)

God’s favor surrounds me like a shield.
(Psalm 5:12)

I fear no evil because God is with me.
(Psalm 23:4)

The Lord is my light and salvation – whom shall I fear?
(Psalm 27:1)

The angel of the Lord encamps around me.
(Psalm 34:7)

God is my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46:1)

The Lord is my refuge. No harm will befall me and no disaster will come near my house. His angels guard me wherever I go. They lift me up so I will not strike my foot against the stone.
(Psalm 91:2, 10-11)

God holds victory in store for me. He is my shield. He guards my course and protects my way.
(Proverbs 2:7-8)

God gave me authority to overcome all the power of the enemy.
(Luke 10:19)

I always triumph in Christ.
(2 Corinthians 2:14)

 

 

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