To show the children that God is more powerful than anyone or anything.
You will need:
- Pictures of powerful people eg prime minister, president, queen/king, etc
- Some flame-coloured clothing to wear – reds, oranges, yellows and/or a cardboard headband with brightly coloured flame shapes attached to it to make a hat.
- Familiarise yourself with script of story, if possible learn it.
- Dress in the coloured clothing.
- Ask the children who they think is the most powerful person in the world.
- Let the children look at the different pictures you have brought in and talk about how there was a king in the Bible who thought that he was more powerful than anyone else in the world, but discovered he wasn’t.
- Tell the children that you will pretend to be something in the story and tell them all about it (put on your hat!).
Use the following script to tell the story:
Hello! I don’t suppose you’ve ever met a talking fiery furnace before. I’m a bit special, because something amazing once happened in me. Let me tell you all about it.
I work in Babylon, a country far away from here, whose king was called Nebuchadnezzar. What a name, eh?! I don’t suppose anyone here is called Nebuchadnezzar!
Well, I have a very important job to do. I burn all the rubbish that people no longer want – old vegetable peelings, clothes that are too scruffy and torn even for cleaning rags, never mind for people to wear again, bits of broken things from people’s homes – you know the sort of stuff, anything that can never be used again and is now just rubbish.
One day, as my door was open whilst people were putting in rubbish for me to burn up, I heard three men talking.
‘Have you seen that statue that the king has had put up? Nearly twenty-seven metres high and three metres wide! And it’s all gold! Imagine that! Said one of the men.
‘Yes, Shadrach, and do you know what the king has demanded?’ asked another. ‘That whenever we hear the special music play we must all bow down and worship it.’
‘Worship it?’ cried the third man. ‘Never! We should worship only God.’
‘OK, Abednego,’ said the second man. ‘What do you suggest we do?’
‘Well, Meshach, we must refuse to bow down to the statue, and if the king doesn’t like it, tough! If we are punished for it, God will save us. And even if he doesn’t, we are still not going to bow down to the king’s statue.’
And off they went, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
Some days later, I heard a lot of noise nearby and my doors were pulled wide open. I recognised the voice that was shouting the loudest: it was King Nebuchadnezzar!
‘Put more coals on the fire!’ he commanded. And the men did.
‘More!’ shouted the king. ‘Much more!’ I grew hotter and hotter until I was seven times hotter than usual.
Well, by now I was so hot that I was dangerous. You know how careful you have to be with fire. The doors opened again and I expected the rubbish to be thrown in. But imagine my horror when not rubbish, but the three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were thrown in me instead! They were all tied up and they couldn’t possibly escape. If I could have cooled down quickly I would have done, but I was so hot that the soldiers who pushed the men inside were killed by my heat. And there was nothing that I could do to help them.
And then something amazing happened. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not hurt by my incredible heat. They started to walk around, completely unhurt. And, even more amazing, there was a fourth man walking there with them. Who could it be? Was this their great God who I had heard them talking about?
The king came close to me and shouted, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the most high God, come out!’ And they did, with not a hair on their heads touched by my fire. It was incredible! The king called to everyone to listen to him. ‘Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These men trusted him and he has saved them.’
And that was the end of that. I’m back to burning up people’s rubbish now, and everything is alright again. I thought I was powerful when they heated me up so hot. But I’ll never be anything like as powerful as God.
(Take your hat off!)
- Comment that King Nebuchadnezzar realised that God was far more powerful than himself. Ask the children why. What did God do to show his power in the story?
- Tell the children that Christians believe God is still as powerful as that today.
Invite the children to say ‘Amen’ to this prayer if they would like to:
Father God, thank you that you have the power to do things that no ordinary person can do. Amen.