The text for this lesson is Daniel 3
- Just as Jesus was with the three men in the fiery furnace and saved them, so our Savior is with us in His Word and Sacraments, sustaining us when we suffer for His name.
- Law: In sin, I choose what makes the world, my flesh, and the devil happy and try to avoid the suffering or trouble that sometimes comes my way because of my faith in God.
- Gospel: He who once walked unharmed with the three faithful men in the fiery furnace also suffered the fiery wrath of God by dying on the cross to pay for my sins. Through Word and Sacrament, He sustains me through all the troubles I have in this life and assures me of life with Him in heaven.
- Does your identity as a Christian ever seem to be a burden or a threat? Is there anything about being a Christian that you would be afraid to tell others? Is there any kind of ridicule, temptation, or persecution that you are afraid you will have to face someday as a Christian? How would you respond in facing this?
- Our pressures and temptations are surely real. Yet think about who Nebuchadnezzar was, the influence and authority he exercised, and the pressure that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego felt in this particular situation. Look especially at verses 1–7. Work together to describe what this was like, and discuss what temptations were facing the three young men. Oh, and does anybody know what a trigon is?
- How do Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego respond to Nebuchadnezzar? What is at stake? From a secular perspective, how likely is it that Nebuchadnezzar will listen to what they say?
- How does Nebuchadnezzar react to the men’s confession? How does God bring about His good and gracious will, stopping the violence and affirming life? What is the condition of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego after being cast into the furnace?
- Who is this fourth man whom Nebuchadnezzar sees in the furnace? What does this man’s presence teach us about our own situations of temptation and peril?
- What does this account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego tell us about God’s work in situations of our own temptations and persecutions? What is our fundamental and ultimate hope?