The Israelites were God's people, but they kept turning their backs on God and following things the nations around them thought were gods! Because they kept disobeying God like this, God eventually let them be captured by King Nebuchadnezzar, a king from a place called Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar went through the land and found the smartest and strongest young Israelite men he could, and he took them to a land called Babylon, a really far away place they didn’t know.
It must have been hard for these young men, being sent to a new country where everything was probably very unfamiliar - a different language, culture, and people, away from their family and probably many of their friends. King Nebuchadnezzar took these men with the plan to teach them all about Babylon so they could serve him and help make Babylon a more powerful country.
Three of the men he took with him to Babylon were named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. God was with them and helped them become stronger and smarter than everyone else, because they loved Him. They became King Nebuchadnezzar’s royal servants. But when King Nebuchadnezzar asked them to do something they didn’t agree with, they stood up for what they believed was right and trusted God would protect them! Watch this video to learn more about this story.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not bow down to the king's statue because they would only bow down to God.
They followed the one true God! None of the false gods the other nations followed were really gods. They were just things people had made, like this statue. They couldn't hear the people when they prayed, or help them when they were in trouble. So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego went against the king's order and chose to obey God instead.
Nebuchadnezzar's power was very important to him! So when they refused to obey him, he threw them into a blazing furnace! Can you imagine how he must have felt when he looked in and saw a 4th person? And none of them were being burned at all! When he pulled them out, they didn't even smell like smoke!
God showed His incredible power that day. He rescued Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego because they obeyed Him. But they were willing to obey Him even if He didn't rescue them. They trusted that His plan was the best one, no matter what!