Unit: Extreme Savior!
Bible Text: Daniel 3
Theme: Jesus, our Extreme Savior, has Extreme Power!
Memory verse: Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
Hello boys and girls! Today we are starting a new unit called “Extreme Savior!” The word extreme means: amazing, wonderful, out of the ordinary, better than the best! Jesus is all of these and more! I hope you will join us for all 5 lessons, and learn some of the amazing ways Jesus shows us His Extreme Power in our lives, through the stories in this series.
Today’s story shows us Jesus’s Extreme Power. He is more powerful than anybody! That’s because He is God! The story we are learning today is from the Old Testament part of the Bible. That means it is from before Jesus was born as a baby on Earth. But how can that be? How can somebody be alive before they were born?
You see, Jesus is God, and God has always existed and will always exist! When Jesus came to Earth as a baby, He had been alive before that; He just chose to become a little baby and grow up on Earth so He could show us the way to God. He did this by dying on the cross for our sins, and three days later, coming alive again.
Only Jesus and His Extreme Power can do that!
If we accept what He did for us and ask Him to forgive us for our sins and come into our hearts, we can go to live with Him eternally in Heaven when we die. Jesus has Extreme Power over sin, and death, and Hell too, and He can have Extreme Power in our lives if we let Him in!
Our story is about three young men named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were Jewish, but they had been taken captive and were now living in far off Babylon. Babylon was a wicked city that worshiped many idols and false gods. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego worshiped the True God! The All-Powerful God! The one we worship! They loved God and obeyed Him even when people all around them didn’t. Because of their obedience to Him, God had blessed them and had given them important positions in Babylon.
One day, the King of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar, decided to make a huge statue of himself. It was made of gold and it was 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide. He set it up where everybody could see it. Then Nebuchadnezzar made a very strange law!
The law said that whenever anyone heard the sound of any musical instrument, they had to bow down and worship the statue of King Nebuchadnezzar! What a strange law!
But, the people of Babylon all seemed to have no trouble obeying the law… all the people except Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They would NOT bow down and worship the statue.
Do you know why?
Because they loved the True God! Our God! They knew that God had a commandment that says “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” That means we are not to worship any false gods or statues. It also means that we are not to let anything in our life be more important than God. He is to be the most important thing in our life!
Is He the most important thing in your life? I hope so!
Well, when there is a law, there is usually a punishment for breaking the law. The punishment for breaking Nebuchadnezzar’s strange law was a big one. DEATH. Not just any death… this was a scary death of being thrown into a huge fiery furnace. No one could survive that!
Some other people who worked for King Nebuchadnezzar knew that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had not bowed down to the big gold statue. They went and told the King. When King Nebuchadnezzar heard this, he was VERY mad!
“WHAT?” he said. “Bring them to me!”
When they were brought to the King, he asked them “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my god’s or to worship the gold statue that I have set up? I will give you one more chance. If you bow down and worship the statue that I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments, all will be well. But, if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. What god will be able to rescue you from my power then?”
Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we be thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, your Majesty. But, even if He doesn’t, your Majesty can be sure that we will NEVER serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up!”
Now Nebuchadnezzar was even MORE mad! He was furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The Bible says that even his face became distorted, or changed, with rage!
Nebuchadnezzar ordered that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than normal. Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the fiery furnace. The furnace was SO hot, that the flames leaped out and killed the strong men who had thrown Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the roaring flames.
But Jesus is not powerless, boys and girls! In fact, He is the All-Powerful One! That means He is more powerful than anyone or anything!
Suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up and excitedly said to the people around him “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”
“Yes indeed your Majesty! That’s right!” They all answered.
“Look” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, untied, and walking around in the fire! The fire is not burning them! And the fourth man looks like the Son of God!”
Even Nebuchadnezzar could see that Jesus had the power to protect Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the flames of the fiery furnace!
Now Nebuchadnezzar called into the furnace, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fiery furnace. The fire had not touched them! Not a hair on their heads was singed; not any part of their clothing had been burned, and they didn’t even smell like smoke! The King and all the people were amazed!
Then the King spoke to all the people and said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has rescued His servants who trusted in Him!”
Now King Nebuchadnezzar made a new law. He said, “If anyone whatever their race or nation or language, speaks against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, or Abednego, they will die, and their houses will be crushed into heaps of rubble! For there is no other God who can rescue like this!”
What Nebuchadnezzar was saying was that the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego was the Most Powerful God in the world. But, sadly, Nebuchadnezzar was not yet willing to believe that he was the ONLY God. He was not yet willing to accept the Son of God, Jesus, as His Savior.
But, he would!
In the very next chapter of the Bible, in the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar does come to understand that God, our God, is the only God. The All-Powerful God, the only one who can save us from our sins.
Do you know this? Have you asked The Extreme Savior to forgive and take away your sins? You can do that today!
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