We Choose Fire: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

By Don

June 28, 2024


Reading Time: 2 minutes

Stories of heroes, battles, and risk-takers inspire us.

This is one of the reasons in my weekly newsletter I share a story of strength every week… hearing a story of someone’s feat of strength and courage helps us get off the couch and get into action.

And God is a great story-teller. Here’s one from Daniel chapter 3, featuring three Jewish exiles living in Babylon.

This story captures the strength of conviction, and the courage required to take a stand despite the risk of death. 

Here’s the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, made a massive golden statue and propped it up in a field. He went through his kingdom and requested that all his rulers and elites gather in front of the statue for worship.

His instructions were simple. At the sound of the music, everyone needs to bow and worship the image. And if you refused, there was a scalding furnace waiting for you.

With that, the elites of the entire kingdom of Babylon bowed before the image.

Except for three men.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to do this, and instead entrusted the outcome of their disobedience to the true sovereign King.

When Nebuchadnezzar learned of their obstinance, he was furious. He dragged them into his presence and gave them a direct order to worship the image, again at the threat of death by furnace.

But again, unfazed by the order and uninterested in idolatry, they refused.

Here’s what they said in response to the king.

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up”

Nebuchadnezzar became even more enraged. He ordered the furnace be heated up 7x more than usual, and he had his three rabble-rousers tossed into the flames.

But to his absolute shock, Nebuchadnezzar sees two things in the furnace. First, the three men were seemingly untouched by the flames. And secondly, and perhaps most shockingly, he sees a 4th man in the furnace.

The three men exited the furnace completely unharmed. Nebuchadnezzar recognizes God’s intervention here. He blesses the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and decrees capital punishment for anyone who speaks against their God in the kingdom.

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