5 Life-Changing Lessons from the Story of Shadrach Meshach and Abednego

Long ago there were three Hebrews – Shadrach Meshach and Abednego, who lived righteous lives, yet things didn’t go so well for them. They encountered evil, but rather than succumb like everyone else around them, they challenged their situation. At first matters only became worse, but in the end they came through smelling like roses.

The Story of Shadrach Meshach and Abednego

Daniel 3:12-30: “But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 

So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.”

Life isn’t easy, and sometimes it deals you a rotten hand. Don’t succumb to the weight of it all; find hope in the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Because what you need is a miracle in the fire. Here are 5 lessons from the Bible story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that we can apply to our own faith.

They Were Persuaded

Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises (Romans 4:20-21). 

When you read the account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3, one thing is apparent: they were fully persuaded. Nothing could make them bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s statue – no threats, no consequence, no punishment. They were fully persuaded of the promises of God and in their obedience to him (Daniel 3:16-18).

If life has pushed you too far, it is time to rise up with the attitude of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – an attitude where you are fully persuaded.

God can rescue me from cancer… Even if he doesn’t, I will not bow down.

God can restore my marriage… Even if he doesn’t, I will not bow down.

God will cause me to prosper… Even if he doesn’t, I will not bow down.

The Pressure Will Come

You might expect a fully persuaded attitude would cause breakthrough. Not necessarily. When Nebuchadnezzar heard Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s words of defiance, he did not back down either. He turned up the pressure. Things got even hotter (Daniel 3:19).

Things may be heating up in your life – divorce, custody battles, sickness, mental illness. You took a stand for God but things just got worse. You found yourself staring down a fire. A fire like none you’ve seen. You thought God would save you from the fire. You prayed God would save you from the fire. But it remains. 

Don’t despair. Because when the devil turns up the heat, God does too.

The Promise in the Fire

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:1-2).

God isn’t going to save you from the fire. He will bring you through it. When you walk through the fire of cancer, sickness, divorce, financial ruin – you shall not be burned.

Nebuchadnezzar made the fire so hot it killed some of his strongest soldiers (Daniel 3:22). Fire is deadly – for some. But you will not be truly burned. If you are fully persuaded of the promises of God, you will not be destroyed.

You expected the miracle outside the fire. You thought God would save you before things went that far. But for you, the miracle is in the fire.

Like it was for three Hebrews.

Protection in the Fire

When Nebuchadnezzar threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the fire, their chains broke, Jesus walked with them, and they did not smell of smoke (Daniel 3:24-27).

When you walk through the fire, chains will break. Satan has used your situation to keep you living a small and contained life. No longer! Chains break in the fire.

According to the promise of Isaiah 43, Jesus will walk with you in the fire. Whatever the trouble or trial may be, you will have a tangible sense of his presence. Jesus reveals himself in the fire. Watch for deeper revelation and worship experiences in your life.

Promotion After the Fire

When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego exited the fire, they received a promotion. King Nebuchadnezzar saw the goodness and favour of God on their lives and promoted them in his worldly kingdom (Daniel 3:30).

The fire may have been your greatest test, but on the other side you will see promotion. You will experience spiritual promotion, for fire always refines. You may also encounter physical promotion in your job and experience greater favor with those you know. Others will recognize the goodness of God through your faith. 

If the fires of life are threatening, take heart. The miracle of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is a miracle for you too. Be fully persuaded. Believe the promise, so when the pressure increases, you receive protection and ultimately promotion. 

Don’t give up. Your miracle is in the fire.

I’m Sarah Coleman, an Aussie passionate about Jesus & family. Through blogs and books I minister life and encouragement. Download my FREE eBook, Be Amazing: You Know You Want To. Find more of my thoughts at sarahcoleman.com.au.