At last the golden image was completed. King Nebuchadnezzar sent messengers throughout all his kingdom of Babylon. All those in authority must come to the plain of Dura to see the great image.
When the people arrived, a command was given. They were told that when the music began, everyone there had to bow down and worship the big golden statue. Anyone who would not bow down would be thrown into a burning, fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were there on that day. They had to be. But they already had a purpose down deep in their hearts. They were not going to bow down to any idol!
At last the important moment arrived! The people who were holding instruments began playing them. All across the whole plain of Dura, people fell to their knees in front of the image. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood straight and tall. They would not disobey God!
Some people who were there saw that the three young men did not bow. They went straight to the king to let him know. King Nebuchadnezzar was very angry when he heard that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had not obeyed his orders. He commanded that they be brought before him.
“Is it true that you have disobeyed me?” he asked. “You will be thrown into a fiery furnace if you will not bow!” he shouted at them.
“Our God is able to deliver us from a fiery furnace,” they told him. “But even if He does not deliver us, we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”
This made the king even more angry. “Heat the furnace seven times hotter!” he commanded. Then he ordered soldiers to grab the three young men and bind them with ropes. The flames leaped out as the soldiers tossed them into the fire. The fire was so hot that the soldiers who threw them in were killed.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not hurt at all! The ropes fell off their hands and feet, and they walked around in the flames. Praises rang in their hearts. They knew God was with them!
Outside the hot furnace, the king stared in amazement. “Didn’t we throw three men, all tied up, into the furnace?” he asked those nearby. “Now I see four men walking around, and the fourth is like the Son of God!” He called for the three young men to come out. Everyone could see that they were not hurt one bit. They didn’t even smell like smoke! Then King Nebuchadnezzar knew that truly these young men served a living and powerful God.
This lesson is about how God spared the lives of three Hebrew boys when they refused to pray to an idol. Discuss with your child how vital it is not to give in to things that are wrong.
It is important to help him see that God will defend and deliver him if he does what is right. To visualize this thought, let him make a small shield. Cut the shape from cardboard and let him cover it with foil. Across the front have him glue letters spelling the words, “Do Right!”
Talk about situations in which he might be tempted to do wrong. (Some examples: temptation to cheat on a test, to tell a lie to protect himself, to disobey.) Ask him to hold up his shield and tell you what he feels would be the right thing to do in each situation.