The Story of Daniel



The Fiery Furnace






Oh, oh!


King Nebuchadnezzar was at it again.


This time he had a giant statue set up in the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. It was made of gold, and taller then a nine story building.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar called all his royal officials - the satraps, the prefects, the magistrates, the treasurers, judges and counselors, and all the officials of the provinces - to come to the dedication of the golden statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up in the plain of Dura.

A herald announced in a loud voice, “People of all nations, races, and languages! When you hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the trigon and drum and all the musical instruments, you are commanded to bow down and worship the golden statue King Nebuchadnezzar has set up in the plain of Dura. Whoever hears the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the trigon and drum and all the musical instruments, and does not fall down and worship the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up in the plain of Dura - they shall be thrown into the fiery furnace.”

And so, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the trigon and drum and all the musical instruments the people of all nations, races and languages fell down and worshiped the golden statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up in the plain of Dura.

All except Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

They worshipped God alone.

One day under the hot sun, the king’s magicians, sorcerers and wisemen saw that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not fall down and worship the golden statue (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were the Babylonian names King Nebuchadnezzar had given Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah).

They were jealous of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego because they knew that God was with them. This was a perfect chance to get rid of them.

And so the magicians, sorcerers and wisemen reported to the King.

They said, “O Great and Mighty King, may you live for ever! You have made a decree that whenever people of all nations, races, and languages hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the trigon and drum and all the musical instruments they are to fall down and worship the golden statue you have set up in the plain of Dura. And whoever hears the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the trigon and drum and all the musical instruments, and does NOT fall down and worship the golden statue you have set up in the plain of Dura shall be thrown into the fiery furnace.”

“Yes, this is so,” said the king.

“Your Majesty,” said the magicians, sorcerers and wisemen, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego do not worship the golden statue you have set up in the plain of Dura.”

King Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage.

He ordered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought immediately before him.

The King bellowed, “Is this true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that when you heard the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the trigon and drum and all the musical instruments, you did not fall down and worship the golden statue I have set up in the plain of Dura? Listen to me! When you hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the trigon and drum and all the musical instruments, if you do not fall down and worship the golden statue I have set up in the plain of Dura, you shall be thrown into the fiery furnace! Who do you think can save you?”

“The God of heaven can save us,” answered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. “His power is greater than yours, and he can save us from your fiery furnace. But even if he chooses not to save us, we will not worship your god, or bow down before the golden statue you have set up in the plain of Dura.”

The king’s face turned red with anger.

He ordered his men to heat the furnace seven times hotter than ever before. And then he ordered his strongest men to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

When the fiery furnace was blazing seven times hotter than ever before, the king’s men tied up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - in their shirts, their robes, and caps and all - and threw them into the fire.

The fire was so hot, it burned up the mighty men who threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into it.

Suddenly, King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet.

“Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the blazing fire?” he asked his magicians, sorcerers and wisemen.

“Yes we did,” said the magicians, sorcerers and wisemen.

“Then why do I see FOUR men - walking around in the fire!” The king said, “They are not tied up, and they are not hurt - and one of them looks like a god!” (Well, it WAS God, as a matter of fact, the one true God!)

So King Nebuchadnezzar went to the door of the fiery furnace and called out, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the One True God! Come out!”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fiery furnace.

All the magicians, sorcerers and wisemen gathered around them in complete amazement. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not hurt by the fire in any way! Their hair was not singed, and their clothes were not burned. There wasn’t even the smell of smoke on them.

King Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He has sent his angel and rescued the men who serve him so faithfully! They disobeyed my orders and did not fall down and worship the golden statue I have set up in the plain of Dura. They risked their lives. They would not worship any other god except their God, and their God has saved them.”

And then King Nebuchadnezzar commanded, “Listen people of all nations, races and languages! Whoever speaks disrespectfully of the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses will be made a pile of ruins!” (You didn’t want to mess with King Nebuchadnezzar!)

“There is no God who can save like the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego!!”





Next time...


King Nebuchadnezzar Has Another Dream
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Paul Dallgas-Frey

Originally written 10/06/00





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