Nebuchadnezzar built a tall gold statue and issued a new law: “When you hear music, you are to fall down and worship the statue.” The penalty for defying this law was severe. “Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire” (Dan. 3:6).
So when music played, all the people bowed down and worshiped the gold statue. Well, almost everyone. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down and worship the statue. They loved and worshiped the one true God. Only He was worthy of their worship.
The Book of Daniel says that the Chaldeans—a group of astrologers and dream interpreters (see Dan. 2:2,4)—took this opportunity to go to the king and tell on Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. But not even the threat of death could convince the three friends to renounce their loyalty to God. The friends’ trust in God enabled them to stand firm no matter what—even as they were tied up and thrown into the fire.
Then something miraculous happened. Nebuchadnezzar saw four men in the fire! They were walking around, unharmed! The Lord not only rescued Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, He was with them.
God was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fire. Only He could rescue them. God rescues us too, through His Son, Jesus. Only Jesus can save us from our sin. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross provided the way for us to be rescued from sin and have eternal life.
Help your kids see that God was good and loving to rescue Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, but He was also good and loving not to rescue Jesus. On the cross, people mocked Jesus: “He saved others; He cannot save Himself!” (Mark 15:31). Jesus was not physically unable to save Himself. He chose to do His Father’s will, and His love for sinners kept Him there. Jesus chose not to save Himself so that He could save others.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
● Babies and Toddlers
○ God helps us obey Him.
○ Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego loved God.
○ God kept the friends safe from the fire.
○ Jesus has the power to save people.
○ How can we obey God? We trust God to help us obey Him.
○ God was with Daniel’s friends in the fire.
○ How can we obey God? We trust God to give us strength to obey Him.
○ God was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fire.
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