The Fiery Furnace (Discussion Questions)

Categories: Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

Read Daniel 3

  • Who was the King?
  • What did the King create?
  • What did the King want the people to do when they heard the music?
  • Have you ever heard music from a cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, or dulcimer?
  • What is a cornet? [horn] Flute? Harp? Sackbut? [in the book of Daniel, it is a string instrument; elsewhere in the Bible, it is a wind instrument with a slide similar to a trombone], Psaltery? [a harp with a soprano register] Dulcimer? [In Daniel, it's more like a bagpipe]. Curiously enough, the line opens with two wind instruments, goes to three string instruments (varied in the number of strings each has), and closes with a wind instrument.

Teachers: If any of these instruments are available for you to bring to church, it adds to the lesson. If possible, make an audio recording of each of these instruments and bring pictures of each one so the children can hear and see the differences. Once you have them recorded, they can be used in the telling of the story. If you have pupils who play a musical instrument, ask them to bring their instruments to class and they can provide the music for that part of the story.

  • What was the penalty if they didn't bow down to the image when the music played?
  • Name the three Hebrew boys who refused to bow down to this image.
  • What were their names before King Nebuchadnezzar changed them? (Dan. 1:6,7) [Shadrach was Hananiah, Meshach was Mishael, and Abed-nego was Azariah]
  • How did the King respond when he heard that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego wouldn't pray to his gods or bow to his image of gold?
  • Anger certainly can make people hot under the collar. Did the King's rage get hot like a fiery furnace? Was he heated 7 times greater than normal?
  • Why is anger bad?
  • Who does anger hurt?
  • How did the three Hebrew boys respond to the King's anger?

Dan 3:17,18 If 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. But 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.

  • Describe what it feels like to stand up to evil?
  • What did it take for these Hebrew boys to willingly submit to the fire rather than compromise their belief and faith in God?
  • Are you faced with those kinds of challenges today?
  • How hot did the King get the furnace?
  • When the King looked into the furnace, what did he see?
  • Who saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego?
  • What was unusual about their appearance when they came out of the furnace?
  • What kinds of things are we tempted to bow down to?
  • Name some fiery furnace experiences that you have faced. [Not that you've actually been put into a fire, but you have been put in uncomfortable circumstances as a result of taking a stand for good.]
  • How have you dealt with difficult situations?
  • Did you think you could come out of it without "the smell of fire?"
  • What would the "smell of fire" be like today? [Any hurt that we carry with us from the past?]
  • What lessons do you learn from the story of the three Hebrew boys?