In a world constantly trying to squeeze us unto it's own ideas as to what is right & wrong, maybe this chronicle of 3 young men will be helpful.
1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet
tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the
province of Babylon.
2 Then he sent messages to the high
officers, officials, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges,
magistrates, and all the provincial officials to come to the dedication
of the statue he had set up.
3 So all these officials* came and stood before the statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
4 Then a herald shouted out,
"People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king's command!
you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and
other musical instruments, bow to the ground to worship King
Nebuchadnezzar's gold statue.
6 Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace."
at the sound of the musical instruments, all the people, whatever
their race or nation or language, bowed to the ground and worshiped the
gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
8 But some of the astrologers went to the king and informed on the Jews.
9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar,
"Long live the king!
issued a decree requiring all the people to bow down and worship the
gold statue when they hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre,
harp, pipes, and other musical instruments.
11 That decree also states that those who refuse to obey must be thrown into a blazing furnace.
there are some Jews—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—whom you have put
in charge of the province of Babylon.
They pay no attention to you, Your
They refuse to serve your gods and do not worship the gold
statue you have set up."
Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego be brought before him.
When they were brought in,14 Nebuchadnezzar
said to them,
"Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you
refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up?
will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have
made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments.
But if you
refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace.
then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?"
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied,
"O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.
we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able
to save us.
He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.
even if he doesn't, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that
we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set
was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face
became distorted with rage.
He commanded that the furnace be heated
seven times hotter than usual.
20 Then he ordered some
of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
and throw them into the blazing furnace.
21 So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments.
because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the
furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in.
23 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.
suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his
"Didn't we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?"
"Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did," they replied.
"I see four men, unbound, walking around in the
And the fourth looks like a god!"
Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming
furnace and shouted:
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the
Most High God, come out! Come here!"
So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire.
the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around
them and saw that the fire had not touched them.
Not a hair on their
heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched.
They didn't even
smell of smoke!
"Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and
He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him.
They defied the king's command and were willing to die rather than serve
or worship any god except their own God.
29 Therefore, I
make this decree:
If any people, whatever their race or nation or
language, speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and
they will be torn limb from limb,
and their houses will be
turned into heaps of rubble.
There is no other god who can rescue like
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon.