Three Men in the Fiery Furnace
Gospel Art Picture Kit
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon made a large golden image and called all the princes, governors, captains, judges, and other rulers in the kingdom to come to the dedication of this image. As these people stood before the idol, one of the king’s officials cried out that when the music played, everyone was commanded to fall down and worship the golden image. Anyone who didn’t do this would be thrown into a fiery furnace. (See Daniel 3:1–6.)
The music sounded, and the people fell down to worship the golden image. But among the group were three Jewish men—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego—who would not worship the idol. They believed in Heavenly Father and knew that worshiping idols was wrong. Some of the rulers reported this to the king. (See Daniel 3:7–12.)
King Nebuchadnezzar was angry and commanded that the three men be brought to him (see Daniel 3:13). He asked them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?” (Daniel 3:14). Then he said he would give them one more chance. The music would play again, and if the three men fell down to worship the image, all would be well. But if they still refused, they would immediately be thrown into a burning fiery furnace. (See Daniel 3:15.)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego told the king that they knew their God could deliver them from the furnace if He chose to. But even if He did not deliver them, they would never worship false gods or this golden image. (See Daniel 3:16–18.)
This made King Nebuchadnezzar even more furious. He ordered that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual; then he commanded his mightiest soldiers to tie up the three men and throw them into the fiery furnace. The soldiers did as the king asked, and the fire was so hot that it killed them as they threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego into the flames. (See Daniel 3:19–23.)
Suddenly the king, who had been watching, jumped up and asked, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” (Daniel 3:24). His counselors answered, “True, O king” (Daniel 3:24). Then the king continued, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:25).
King Nebuchadnezzar then came near the opening of the furnace. He called, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth,” and the three walked out of the fire (see Daniel 3:26). The other rulers had gathered around and could see that not one hair on the three men’s heads had been burned. They didn’t even smell of fire. (See Daniel 3:27.)
When the king saw this, he praised the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego for delivering them from the furnace. He sent a decree throughout the land that no one was to speak against their God, and he promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego to higher positions in Babylon. (See Daniel 3:28–30.)
King Nebuchadnezzar built a golden statue and commanded everyone to worship it. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego knew they should worship only Heavenly Father and refused to bow down to the idol. The king was angry and commanded that they be thrown into a fiery furnace. He was amazed then to see Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego calmly walking in the hot fire with a fourth man whose form was “like the Son of God.” The king called the three men out of the furnace. They were not harmed. He praised their God for saving them, and sent out a decree that no one should speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.
Artist, William Maughan
© 2002 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA^ Back to top