The Fiery Furnace

Gary L. Grizzell

The Old Testament contains numerous accounts of bravery, courage and faith which inspire and motivate us. One such account is in Daniel chapter three concerning three Jewish boys named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

About 580 B.C. King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold 90 feet high and nine feet wide. All peoples in the Babylonian Empire were to fall down and worship when hearing certain musical instruments. The consequence of refusal to bow was to be cast into a fiery furnace (verses 1-7).

As time passed, the three Jewish boys refused to worship the golden image. Members of the guild of astrologers (Chaldeans) told the King (8-12) and he was very angry (13-18). Even though given one more chance to worship the idol, they chose the fiery furnace. This made the king even angrier and he commanded the furnace to be heated up seven times hotter. The crucible became so hot that the mighty men of strength who cast them in burned to death. However, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego fell into the furnace unhurt (19-23).

Seeing them walking around in the fire and a fourth who looked like the Son of God, Nebuchadnezzar called them out. All the princes, governors and captains saw that not one hair on their heads had been singed, their coats were not changed nor had the smell of fire passed on them (24-27).

The king then decreed that all who spoke anything against the God of the three Jewish boys would be cut in pieces and their houses made a dunghill. The king then promoted them in the province of Babylon (28-30).

Lessons For Us Today

1) God hates idolatry (Acts 17:29-30).
2) We must obey God rather than man when man’s law conflicts with God’s law (Acts
3) God steps in and helps in time of trouble to give sufficient strength to overcome the
hardships involved in practicing true religion (Matthew 28:20).
4) The three Jewish boys serve as examples of faith, courage and consecration to God.
5) The effect a godly life can have on a wicked man of power can be seen (Philippians

As Christians go through the fiery furnace of life, we know that God is still in His
heaven and will strengthen, comfort and help us to endure the flames of persecution (I
Peter 1:6-7).

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Author: bible

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