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The Fiery Furnace

Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego and the fiery furnace.
Contributed by Moody Publishers
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Hindi
King Nebuchadnezzar was the powerful ruler of the vast Babylonian Empire – Slide 1
Within the royal court were people of many different nations and customs - people who had been conquered and then chosen to help King Nebuchadnezzar rule his empire. – Slide 2
One day King Nebuchadnezzar summoned the rulers of the various provinces to gather together. He watched them assemble from his royal pavilion. This was a special occasion and no-one would dare not to come. – Slide 3
The King stood up. The great moment had arrived. – Slide 4
Trumpeters sounded a fanfare. – Slide 5
And the herald whose job it was to make the royal announcement stepped forward with a big scroll in his hands. – Slide 6
The captains, princes and governors all stood quietly waiting to hear the announcement from the King. – Slide 7
‘All people, nations and languages hear the Kings command,’ the herald announced. Then he went on to say that the King had made a gigantic statue in his own likeness. – Slide 8
The statue was 90 feet (30 metres) tall and made of gold. This was to be their god. At the sound of the musical instruments everyone was to bow down and worship the golden image. – Slide 9
The next thing they heard put fear in the hearts of the bravest men. ‘Anyone who does not fall down and worship the image of the King shall be immediately thrown into a fiery furnace.’ – Slide 10
So when the musical instruments played … – Slide 11
… the people fell down and worshipped the golden statue just as the King had commanded. – Slide 12
Two Chaldeans were worshipping close together when suddenly one of them saw something that made him tug at the other one’s robe in an effort to get his attention. – Slide 13
‘Look,’ the Chaldean said. ‘It’s just as we thought. The three of them see, they are not bowing down. They are refusing to worship the golden image. – Slide 14
The Chaldean was right. Three young princes, the rulers of the capital city itself were openly disobeying the King. – Slide 15
The three men had been brought as captives from the distant land of Judah. Their names had been changed but because of their abilities they had been given high positions in the Kingdom. – Slide 16
Hananiah meaning ‘beloved of God’ was called Shadrach or circuit of the sun. – Slide 17
Mishael’s cherished name was changed from ‘one who is like God’ to the heathen name Meshach meaning ‘sun god’ – Slide 18
And Azariah whose name meant ‘the Lord is my helper’ came to be known as Abednego ‘the god of commerce’. Nebuchadnezzar may have changed their names but their hearts remained the same. These men believed in the Lord God Almighty and to bow down before an image was something God had told them never to do. – Slide 19
The two Chaldeans lost no time in reporting what they had seen to the King. They were jealous of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. – Slide 20
So they slyly reminded the King that these men who had refused to bow down were the very men the King had placed over the affairs of Babylon. – Slide 21
‘How dare these men disobey me!’ shouted the King. ‘Bring them here at once. – Slide 22
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were hurried to the royal pavilion. And when the king asked them if it was true they had not bowed down to the golden images they told him it was true. – Slide 23
So the proud and mighty ruler of the Babylonian empire decided to give the men a second chance to bow before the image. If they did he would forgive them. – Slide 24
The brave young men replied, ‘Our God is able to deliver us, but even if He choses not to, we will never serve your gods or worship the golden image. – Slide 25
The King was furious. He commanded the furnace be heated up seven times hotter. – Slide 26
And he ordered that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be taken to the furnace and be put to death for their willful disobedience. – Slide 27
It wasn’t long before the furnace was made seven times hotter than it usually was. – Slide 28
And the three young Jewish men were securely tied. – Slide 29
Then one by one they were thrown in the midst of the flames. – Slide 30
Shadrach whose real name meant ‘beloved of God’ was thrown into the flames. – Slide 31
Meshach whose Jewish name meant ‘one who is like God’ was hurled into the furnace. – Slide 32
Abednego, whose real name meant ‘The Lord is my helper’, joined them. – Slide 33
When the soldiers had thrown them in the furnace they turned to run from the terrible heat. – Slide 34
But the flames leaped out of the blazing furnace and burned them to death. – Slide 35
And then the King saw something that made him jump to his feet. He could not believe his eyes. – Slide 36
Forgetting about his dignity the King ran with the rest of the people to get a better look. – Slide 37
‘Look!’ shouted the King. ‘Do you see what I see?’ – Slide 38
‘Didn’t we throw three men who were bound into the flames? – Slide 39
‘I see four. And they are loose and walking around. The fourth man looks like the Son of God.’ – Slide 40
King Nebuchadnezzar knew in his heart that the Lord God Almighty was the true and living God. He called for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to come out of the fire. – Slide 41
The people were amazed as the three Hebrew boys walked out of the furnace unharmed. – Slide 42
Not a single hair was singed. They did not even smell of smoke. – Slide 43
King Nebuchadnezzar fell to his knees and cried, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who has delivered his servants who trusted in Him.’ – Slide 44
Shortly afterwards a new decree was read to all the nations under Nebuchadnezzar’s rule. No one was to speak against the God of the three brave Jewish men. – Slide 45
And Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were promoted to higher places within the Kingdom but their real happiness was in their freedom to worship God. – Slide 46
Slide 47