- From furnace to palace. Is it possible to read this story of the image of gold without feeling a heart throb of excitement? Should it be as thrilling to us now as it was to believers in the day when it happened? Why do you think Nebuchadnezzar was so “sold on himself” that he failed to accept the conclusion of his dream as interpreted for him? How can you and I be sure we wouldn’t give in to that temptation? Where is Daniel in this story?
- The golden image. Are you ever amazed at the availability of gold in ancient days? What special qualities made gold ideal to represent wealth and beauty belonging to Nebuchadnezzar? Comment if you can on enticements the evil one makes to help us represent ourselves as marvelous individuals. Explain how the numbers, 666, fit into this story, Or do they? No doubt you’ve never been tempted to bow down to a golden idol. Is that the only way Satan is able to entice us to abuse the holy relationship God longs to have with us?
- The test of fire. Why couldn’t the three young men have gone along with the celebration? Everybody was bowing down, but couldn’t that have been just a symbol without meaning? Maybe they could have hummed a hymn to Jehovah while they appeared to be bowing to the Babylonian god. But what did they do? True or False: The three young men knew they would be rescued, and this knowledge that sustained them. Does God always rescue us from harm when we trust Him? Why or why not?
- Thrown into the fire. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? To see three healthy and hearty men seized and tossed into the raging fire of the furnace prepared to kill them. What beautiful miracle took place just then? Do you ever wonder how those men felt when they landed in the furnace but instead of being burned to death, what was their experience? True or False: all who trust in God and worship Him will be spared persecution and other harmful acts of Satan? Discuss.
- The faith of the three men. What important lesson did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego leave for us today? Does God’s answers to our prayers assure us that we’re on the heavenward path? Did these three men know that their faith in God would be rewarded as it was? If not, why did they continue in their obedience to Him? What is the lesson for you and me in this story?