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It was finished at last. The gigantic golden statue King Nebuchadnezzar had ordered to be made stood tall— as tall as an eight-story building! The next day many rulers who served Nebuchadnezzar gathered in the valley. They stared up at the huge golden statue.

The rulers also stared at a large furnace near the statue. Soldiers were building a big fire in it. “Why are they doing that?” people whispered.

Finally a man stood before the crowd. “People!” he shouted. “Listen to the king’s command! When the musicians play, you must bow down and worship the king’s golden statue. Anyone who doesn’t obey will be thrown into this blazing furnace!”

Suddenly the music burst forth. Everyone fell down. Everyone except Daniel’s three frirends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They couldn’t worship a statue! Some men saw them and hurried to the king. “Look!” they exclaimed. “Those three Hebrews did not bow down!”

King Nebuchadnezzar’s face turned red with anger. “Bring them here!” he ordered.

The guards rushed to obey. “So you did not bow down to worship the golden statue!” the king shouted at the three Hebrews. “I will give you one more chance. But if you don’t bow down and worship the statue, you will be thrown into the blazing fire! Who will help you then?”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood straight and tall. “O king,” they said, “our God is able to save us. But even if He decides not to, we will never worship your gods or the golden statue!”

“Make the fire seven times hotter!” King Nebuchadnezzar shouted angrily to the soldiers. “Tie up these men and throw them into the furnace!”

So the guards threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the roaring fire.

King Nebuchadnezzar watched the fire. He soon jumped up and shouted, “Didn’t we put three men into the furnace? I see four! And the fourth looks like the Son of God!

“Shadrach! Meshach! Abednego! Come out!” the king called.

The young Hebrews stepped out of the fire. The rulers crowded around. They couldn’t believe it! Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not burned. They didn’t even smell like smoke!

“Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego!” the king exclaimed. “Their God saved His servants from the fire. No other God can save people like this!”