What does the Bible say?
Read the following passage, which explains what happened once Daniel and his friends (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) were working for Nebuchadnezzar. King Nebuchadnezzar had a huge golden statute made, nine stories tall. Everyone must fall down and worship the statue whenever they heard music playing or else be killed, But Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego belonged to God, would they worship this golden image to stay alive or remain faithful to God?
This story is found in the bible in the book of Daniel, chapter 3.
You can also learn about this story in this video clip.
Nebuchadnezzar became very angry. He called for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So those men were brought to the king. And Nebuchadnezzar said, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, is it true that you do not serve my gods? And is it true that you did not worship the gold statue I have set up? Now, you will hear the sound of the horns, flutes, lyres, zithers, harps, pipes and all the other musical instruments. And you must be ready to bow down and worship the statue I made. That will be good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown quickly into the blazing furnace. Then no god will be able to save you from my power!”
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered the king. They said, “Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves to you. You can throw us into the blazing furnace. The God we serve is able to save us from the furnace and your power. If he does this, it is good. But even if God does not save us, we want you, our king, to know this: We will not serve your gods. We will not worship the gold statue you have set up.”
Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual. Then he commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The king told the soldiers to throw them into the blazing furnace.
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were tied up and thrown into the blazing furnace. They were still wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes. The king was very angry when he gave the command. And the furnace was made very hot. The fire was so hot that the flames killed the strong soldiers who took Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego there. Firmly tied, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego fell into the blazing furnace.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was very surprised and jumped to his feet. He asked the men who advised him, “Didn’t we tie up only three men? Didn’t we throw them into the fire?” They answered, “Yes, our king.” The king said, “Look! I see four men. They are walking around in the fire. They are not tied up, and they are not burned. The fourth man looks like a son of the gods.”
Then Nebuchadnezzar went to the opening of the blazing furnace. He shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, come out! Servants of the Most High God, come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire. When they came out, the princes, assistant governors, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies. Their hair was not burned. Their robes were not burned. And they didn’t even smell like smoke.
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Their God has sent his angel and saved his servants from the fire! These three men trusted their God. They refused to obey my command. And they were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god other than their own. So I now make this law: The people of any nation or language must not say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Anyone who does will be torn apart. And his house will be turned into a pile of stones. No other god can save his people like this.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the area of Babylon.
When were the people supposed to worship the golden image?
Whenever they heard the music being played.
What would happen to someone who was caught not worshipping the image?
They would be killed in a furnace.
Why did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego have the courage to refuse to bow down to the statue?
What did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego do that impressed the king so much?
They had faith that God would save them. They trusted in God and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any other god.
Who did the king praise after the three came out completely unharmed?
How can we find the courage we need to remain faithful to God during times of trouble, pressure or persecution?
It can be very hard when things are tough to turn away from God, but remember that you can pray and ask God to help you at these times. God will help you and take care of you as you do the right thing and are obedient to him. Each time you do what is right, you will start to feel closer to God, and the easier it will be to continue doing what is right.
Activity: Obeying God
You will need: Print off this word document with the templates, scissors, glue, colouring pens/pencils, red/orange/yellow tissue paper.
Colour the pieces (as appropriate) and cut them out. Tear flame shapes out of the tissue paper and stick on to the furnace.
Glue the belts onto the bodies, then the heads, then glue the people into the furnace. Finally glue the rock border on top of the whole thing.
Help us to remain obedient to you even during the tough times.