Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
God will stand with us when we stand for him.
Play "The Bible Says" game.
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3: 17-18 (NIV)
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I am sure that everyone here knows how to play the "Simon Says" game. Today we are going to change that up a bit and play "The Bible Says" game. If the Bible says to do something, then you do it. But if the Bible doesn't say to do it, you don't do it. Are you ready?
• The Bible says, "Lift your hands in praise to God." (Raise your hands.)
• The Bible says, "Sing praise to God." (Sing a little bit of a praise song.)
• Bow down and worship idols. (Bow down on your knees.)
I am so glad that I wasn't able to trick any of you into bowing down to worship an idol. You knew that in the ten commandments, the Bible tells us that we should worship God alone.
Have any of you ever heard the story about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?
Today's lesson is about a king named Nebuchadnezzar and three men with the funny-sounding names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
The King had made a gold statue that was ninety feet tall and nine feet wide. He had one of his men go out and tell the people, "Listen to the King's command! When you hear the sound of the musical instruments, bow to the ground and worship the King's gold statue. Anyone who refuses to obey will be thrown into a blazing furnace."
So, at the sound of the music, all the people bowed down and worshipped the gold statue. Everyone except three young Jewish men — Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. When the king heard about that, he was very angry and had the three brought to him.
The king asked them. "Is it true that you have refused to worship the gold statue that I have set up? If so, I will give you one more chance and if you still refuse, I will throw you into a blazing hot furnace."
Do you know what the three men said to the King?
They answered, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
Nebuchadnezzar became furious and told his servants to tie the three up and throw them into the furnace.
Do you know what happened next?
When the King went back to check on Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, he saw four men walking around in the fire unharmed.
Who was that fourth that Nebuchadnezzar saw?
You are right! God was with them in the fire! Nebuchadnezzar released the three men and was amazed that they didn't even smell like smoke! He said to all the people, "Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. No other god can save people this way."
The three men chose to follow God even though they knew it meant they could be hurt or killed. They were not sure God would choose to save their lives, but they knew they had to do what was right regardless of the outcome. Only God could save Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fire and Jesus is the only one who can save us from our sins. His sacrifice on the cross provided the way for us to be saved and have eternal life.
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, give us the courage to do the right thing even when it isn't easy. We know that our hope is in Jesus alone. We put our trust in him, and in his name we pray. Amen.