Do you remember what happened Elijah in the last story? Although God sent many prophets, the people continued to worship other Gods. First, God sent northern kingdom of Israel into Exile. (722 BC) 135 years later, the southern kingdom of Judah was taken in exile in Babylon. (587 BC) Some of the younger men taken into exile were chosen by King Nebuchadnezzar to serve in his court. These included Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Today’s bible study comes from the book of Daniel 3: 1-30.
We start of with King Nebuchadnezzar who wanted more control and an Idol that people would worship or claimed as his God. This idol was an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. (Daniel 3:1)
Now the King had his Idol and invited all the people, the people were commanded that as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, Zither, lyre, or harp and all kinds of music they are to fall down and worship the image of gold or the fake Idol. Those that fail to do this will be thrown into the blazing furnace. (Daniel 3:2-6)
All is going well till a group of astrologers came to the King. They called out the Jews mainly Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who are known not to serve your Gods or worship your idol. The main reason was the three appeared to be better than the magicians and enchanters. (Daniel 3:7-12)
Needless to say, the three were brought before the king to answer to these accusations. The three responded that would not serve the King’s God or the idol, and if thrown in the blazing furnace that their God would rescue them but even not we still will not worship your god or idol. (Daniel 3:13-18)
The King was furious with these three and ordered the blazing furnace to be made seven times hotter. He then orders the three captured, bound, and thrown into the fire. (Daniel 3:19-20)
The men that were to throw the three in the blazing fire got close, but the flames were so hot that they killed the soldiers. Meanwhile the three were bound and tied and thrown into the fire. (Daniel 3:21-22)
The King arises and notices four men walking in the fire. He looks closer and starts to call out Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. As they exit the fire, they realize they were not bound or tied, and the fire had done no damage to them at all. (Daniel 3:23-27)
The King realized that God had sent his angel to protect the three. He acknowledged the three had refused to serve his God or worship his idol and even give up their lives only to worship their God. Apart from the three being promoted in Babylon, the King declared that if anyone speaks against the three men’s god that they will be cut into pieces and their houses turned to rubble as no other God can save like this. (Daniel 3:28-30)
1. What did Nebuchadnezzar create and what was his motivation behind it?
2. What was the penalty for a person if they did not fall down and worship the King? Why?
3. Which people group call out the Jews? What was their motivation? (See Daniel 1:20)
4. How did Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego respond?
5. What was Nebuchadnezzar’s response?
6. Discuss the details encompassing the furnace?
7. How did God reveal himself to Nebuchadnezzar through this event?
8. How did Nebuchadnezzar respond to God?
Questions to be answered:
1. What did we learn about God in this story?
2. What do we learn about man/ourselves in this story?
3. What did you learn new in this story?
4. What should I do differently because of this story?