Aug. 12. Daniel’s Friends Thrown into Furnace

Dan. 3:1-30

Nebuchadnezzar constructed a giant image of gold about ninety feet tall and about nine feet wide. He ordered all of the people of the land to fall down and worship his golden image upon hearing the prescribed musical instruments playing in symphony with all kinds of music. Anyone disobeying that order was to be immediately thrown into a fiery furnace and be destroyed.

When he was informed that the Jews, (That is the first or one of the first times that God’s people were referred to as Jews.) Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego had refused to bow down to the image, the king called them for confirmation of the report. They answered, “O Nebuchadnezzar…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and He will deliver us from your hand, O king…nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” The infuriated king ordered the fire to be burning seven times hotter than usual to consume those defiant men.

Because the fire was so hot, the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego into it were killed by the heat. BUT, by the power of God, the three men along with a fourth who appeared in the fire with them were protected to the extent that even their clothing did not smell of the fire.

The king was impressed. He spoke, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him…Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or language which speaks anything amiss against the God…shall be cut in pieces…because there is no other God who can deliver like this.” That pronouncement did not indicate a belief in God as the only true God, but that He was God among many other gods. Instead of dying because of their faith, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were promoted in the province of Babylon.