A Statue, an Orchestra and a Furnace

Daniel 3  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
The great King Nebuchadnezzar had already had two lessons in the greatness and power of the God of heaven, but he still had not learned how powerful the true God was. You and I have certainly had some lessons of His great power too, but let us try to be better learners than the great king who decided to show off his own power.
The king only seemed to like great things. All his ideas were big, so the statue he decided to build was about as tall as an eight-story building. Then, he had it completely covered with glistening gold. At its base he had an orchestra of musicians with musical instruments, and around this he gathered all the important men in his great empire for the statue’s dedication. Their orders were to bow down in worship before this awesome statue as soon as the orchestra began to play. This was the first day of the dedication, so it was a tremendous national celebration. Everybody was there.
This crowd included Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who were some of the important men in the government. Like Daniel, their hearts were true to the true God who said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.  .  .  .  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them” (Exodus 20:3,53Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3)
5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (Exodus 20:5)
). They were not going to disobey their God.
When the orchestra began to play around the huge, golden statue, everyone else bowed down, but those three young men remained standing. Their names were noted by the officers.
This is a long-ago story, but although the music and the worldly gods are different today, the crowd and what they want you to do are the same. Who obeys God and His Word today? Do you? Or do you follow the crowd?
The three men were at once accused of disobeying the king’s order and brought before the king. He was furious! The three young men stood before the king unafraid, because they trusted their God’s greater power. They answered, “O Nebuchadnez-zar.  .  . our God whom we serve is able to deliver us  .  .  .  but if not  .  .  .  we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” They already knew that the penalty was to be cast alive into a burning, fiery furnace, but even that did not turn them away from obeying God, because they knew Him. The better we know Him, the more we trust Him.
Their answer so infuriated the king that he ordered the furnace to be overheated seven times, and he commanded the strongest men in his army to tie up the three men with ropes and throw them into the furnace. The furnace was so raging hot that the strong men themselves died from the blast of heat as they threw them in. The three young men fell down inside the blazing furnace.
I suppose the king wanted the satisfaction of seeing them burn up, and as he sat watching them in the furnace, he saw God’s wonderful surprise. He stood up and called to his officers in amazement! “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?  .  .  .  I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire  .  .  .  and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
The king then came to the blazing furnace himself and gave his personal command to the three young men to come out to him, and they obeyed. The great crowd of officers who looked them over could find nothing burned except their binding ropes that had burned off. Their hair and clothes had not burned, and there wasn’t even the smell of fire on them!
Did you know that our God can do this for you too? He can save you from the fiery penalty of your sins. He knows that you are a sinner, but since the Lord Jesus has already paid the penalty for sin, God is able to forgive your sins forever, if you will come to Him for forgiveness. Why stay away any longer from the God of such love and such power? The mightiest of men had no power at all against the king’s fire. But God did! And no strength of man can save you from the fiery judgment of God for your sins. But since Jesus died for sinners, He has promised that anyone who hears His Word and believes “shall not come into condemnation [ judgment]; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:2424Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)). What a wonderful promise, and it won’t cost you anything!
The king finally gave honor to the true God who delivered the three men, and his new orders were that no one should speak a word against Him. However, the king still did not claim that God as his own or trust Him for himself.
Do you? It is not enough to say “Yes” when you think of His power, if you have never come to Him to have your sins forgiven. Is He the God who gave His Son to die for you? You might go to an eternity in hell saying, “He saved others,” if He has not really saved you.