THE FIERY FURNACE. 013115

Daniel chapter 3, is the story of Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Nebuchadnezzar and the fiery furnace.  My paraphrase goes like this: Three Jewish ‘boys’ (young men) were mid-level officials in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom of Babylon.  The King thought he was important, so he built this gold ‘obelisk’ that was 90 feet high and 9 feet wide. He sent out a decree saying, “When you hear the music, everyone must bow down and worship the image the King set up.”

Shortly, some other officials, who didn’t like our Jewish boys, went to the King and said, “You know that decree, where you said if the people didn’t bow down to the image when they heard the music, they’d be thrown in the fiery furnace? We’ve been watching those Jewish boys, and they don’t bow down.”

The King was hot.  He called them in and said, “I heard that when you hear the music, you don’t bow down and worship the image.  The next time you hear the music you better bow down.  ‘Cause if you don’t, you’re gonna be thrown in the fiery furnace.  And what god will be able to deliver you?”

And the ‘boys’ said, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to answer this. If you do that, our God is able to, and He will, deliver us.  But even if He doesn’t, know this, we don’t serve your gods, and we won’t worship the gold image you have set up.” (that, my friends, is trust in God!)

The King was even hotter.  He had them thrown in the furnace. Almost immediately after they fell in, the King saw four people walking around in the furnace, and the fourth one was “like the Son of God.”  The King called to the ‘boys’ to come out.  The Bible says they were not hurt, they didn’t even smell like smoke!

This is the rest of the story:  in verses 28-29 it says, “Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, 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! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.’” NKJV (emphasis added)

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