Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: 3 Teens Take a Stand for God Part I
This is a downloadable free Sunday School Lesson on Daniel Chapters 1-3. All Scriptures are in the King James Version. Please feel free to download (using the link below) and freely distribute or cut and paste from the text version below the link.
As Christians, we all at different times will go through challenges that will test our faith in God and obedience to His Word. In the book of Daniel, Daniel and three of his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were all taken from their homeland in Israel to the Kingdom of Babylon, to serve their King, Nebuchadnezzar. Israel had just been conquered by the Babylonians and now these young adults were being forced to work in the palace of their conquerors. They were thrown into a culture that was completely different from the one they knew. Babylon had different customs, traditions and even different gods. And the King of Babylon and his loyal suspects expected the four youth from Israel to fall in line and follow the Babylonian way, even if it meant going against their own faith:
Daniel 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. …. 3And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; 4Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. 5And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. 6Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 7Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego. 8But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
1. Why did Daniel and his friends not want to eat the Babylonian food? (See Leviticus 11:46-47)
2. Living a Christian life means making your faith in Jesus your main identity and guidance for your life. God cares about our behaviors in big or small matters. Even though we as Christians can now eat whatever we like, there are still ways we can defile ourselves. Read Matthew 15:11.
What does Jesus say defiles us? __________________________________________________
3. When you are in school or out with friends, which of the following ways do those around you fall into sin by what they say (circle 4)?
Cursing Blasphemy (saying “Oh my G–” or the name of Jesus in a bad way) Making Racist comments
Telling inappropriate jokes
GOSSIPING Making fun of others LYING
4. How often do you find yourself joining in some of the actions that defile us (Circle One)?
Very often Often Sometimes Rarely Never
Despite being surrounded by people who wanted to live in a way that was against The Lord, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would not give into peer pressure because they decided that standing up for what they believe in was more important. If you are struggling with the words you speak, you can change for the better. But you have to want God to make the change in you. It starts with prayer and asking for forgiveness for your sins.
10And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. 11Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 13Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. 14So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 15And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. 16Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. 17As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. 20And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
5. How were the four teens blessed for their faithfulness? ____________________________
6. When does God reward us (see Hebrews 11:6)? ___________________________________
7. How many times in the past week did you seek God (prayer, reading your Bible, attending church, talking about God with others)?
10+ 5-9 3-4 1-2 Not much at all
Seeking God not only leads to God’s blessing in our lives, it will help us grow as Christians and be strong in our faith like Daniel and his friends. Write a prayer for yourself on some of the areas you need to work on to defile yourself less and seek God more!
The Golden Statue
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego won the King of Babylon over with their good health and knowledge which God had blessed them with. Things were looking up. That was until the day the King decided to make a golden statue of himself.
1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, 5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: 6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
8. Everyone was required to worship the statue of the King. Go to Exodus 20. Which of the 10 commandments would be violated by doing this? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship the statue of another god. They were in the same situation you will find yourself in time and time again. The world we live in today is a lot like Babylon: full of sinful behavior, little respect for authority and where many people do not care about God. And the media, people and even your own desires will sometimes try to lure you away from God to serve the false god of the world, Satan. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew they were believers and were willing to stand for up for their faith. No matter the consequences. And in this case, they were serious.
16Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 19Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. 20And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 24Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
9. Why were the 3 friends not hurt by the fiery furnace? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
10. How would you rate the faith of the 3 friends in this situation (1-10 with 10 being highest?)
11. How do you rate your faith when you are in situations where people around you are tempting you or trying to get you to sin (1-10)? ___________
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were willing to endure hatred, peer pressure because they put serving God before going along with society’s sin. Think about areas you may need help in when it comes to defiling yourself or falling into sin every week. Write down a prayer to The Lord to be with you during your “fiery furnace” moments.