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The Fiery Furnace

Jesus in the midst of the furnace


We need Jesus to help us stand up for what's right.

Bible Text:

Daniel 3:1-30.


The Great Statue:

Long ago in the land of Babylon there lived a great king named Nebuchadnezzar.  He was very powerful and proud man.  One day, he decided to make a huge gold statue.  The goldsmiths worked for weeks pouring molten gold into moulds and hammering the statue into shape.  At last it was finished and what a job it was to raise it onto its base!

It was enormous and was 27 metres high and nearly 3 metres wide.  The king had made sure that everybody would see it from far away.  King Nebuchadnezzar was very proud of his statue and told all the people that it was their god.

They were to bow down and worship the statue whenever the horns, pipes, flutes, and other musical instruments played.  Anyone who did not bow down and worship the statue was to be thrown into a fiery furnace!

We don't worship statues and false gods do we? (Let the children respond).  No!  We must only worship our Living God!

Three Won't Bow:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were three men from Israel who worshipped our true God.  They refused to worship the idol statue.  And so when the music played and everyone else bowed down to the gold statue, only the three young men remained standing!

King Nebuchadnezzar was furious!  "Bring those three men to me," he roared.  And so the three men were dragged before the king.  "Is it true that you refuse to worship my statue?" he demanded, "The music will play again and this time you'd better bow down!  Or else, if you don't, I'll have you thrown into a fiery furnace!"

If you had been there what would you have done? (Let the children respond).  I bet you would have started to shiver in your shoes at about this point.  In those days the king was all powerful and could kill you for no reason at all, or if he just didn't like the look on your face!

We Refuse to Worship!

Do you think those three men were very brave? (Let the children respond).  Yes they were.  And what did they do?  They just carelessly answered the king and said, "King, you can throw us into the fiery furnace if you want to, for our God can save us!  But even if He doesn't, we won't worship your statue, or even bow down to it!"

The king started to huff and puff and got red in his face.  "Play the music," he roared.  So the music played, "Tra-la-la-la-di-da".   Let's play that music together, "Tra-la-la-la-di-da" (Let the children respond).  The king carefully watched the three men as everyone bowed down to the idol, that is everyone except Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who just stood there smiling!

Heat Up That Furnace!

King Nebuchadnezzar blew his top and thundered, "Stop!  Stop!  Heat the furnace seven times hotter than normal!"  The soldiers rushed to do his orders.  They staggered from the wood pile with huge pieces of wood and stoked and stoked the furnace.  It began to roar and great flames poured out as they threw in the great logs of wood.  And the flames leaped high in the air.

"Tie up those men, and into the furnace with them!" screeched the king as he jumped up and down with rage.  The soldiers grabbed the three and swiftly bound them with ropes and then threw them into the flames.   But the flames were so hot that all the soldiers were instantly killed!

Four in the Furnace!

But, what about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?  The ropes burnt off them and they were free, but they weren't burnt at all!  Do you think that was possible? (Let the children respond).  Well, the king could hardly believe his eyes.  He rubbed them hard.  "Didn't we throw three men into the furnace?" he gasped, "Look, I see four men walking around in the fire, and the fourth one looks like a son of the gods!"

Who do you think was the fourth man? (Let the children respond).   Yes, Jesus was right there protecting Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego!   The astonished king called the men to come out of the furnace.  The three men walked out praising God for they were not burnt at all, and in fact they did not even smell of smoke!

Was that a real miracle? (Let that children respond).  Yes it was and the king shouted, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  "He sent an angel to rescue His servants.  Now listen, I am making a new law right now.  No one in my whole kingdom may say anything bad about the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, for no other god can save His servants like this."

Stand Up for What is Right!

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood for what was right, even though they must have been very scared.  But God saw their faith and rewarded them openly, for the king made them rulers in the province of Babylon.  We need to stand up for what's right as well.  God will help us, just like He helped the three Hebrew men in our story.

They totally trusted God to protect them from the wicked king, and Jesus will protect us too.  All we need to do is to ask Him, and then trust Him to answer our prayers.  Ask God to make you bold and proud to be a Christian.

Let's not forget to say "Thank You" and be grateful that our God loves and cares for us much.  Be brave and stand up for what is right!

God bless.


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