Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego



Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Scripture Reference: Daniel 3. A short story, probably well-known to most of the class. In preparation for our craft today (Yes, even teens occasionally like crafts!), have each student write a short children’s version of the story, with as much speaking of the characters and as little by the narrator as possible.


  1. History: When King Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem during the reign of Jehoiakim, he took back with him captives from the nobles and royal family. These included Daniel, whom he named Belteshazzar, and Hananiah (renamed Shadrach), Mishael (renamed Meshach), and Azariah (renamed Abednego). They were brought to his house and given tutors for education and rich foods. But, they were also to be taught to worship the gods of Babylon…


  1. Service References: In almost every major feast, the song of the Three Youths in the Fire is sung. Their faith is exemplary: “The furnace of the Chaldeans, flaming with fire, was bedewed by the presence of the Spirit of God, and the Children sang aloud: ‘O God of our fathers, blessed art thou.’” The furnace becomes the Theotokos, “For this image delivered them from the fire, and they walked in the midst of it unconsumed.” The 3 youths symbolize the Trinity at the exaltation of the Cross: “O ye Children, equal in number to the Trinity…” At Christmas, the Virgin proclaims the unusual nature of the furnace: “In Babylon of old by the command of God, the fiery furnace worked in contrary ways: burning the Chaldeans, it refreshed the faithful as they sang…The blameless Lady was amazed at the height of the mystery…and she said: ‘The heavenly throne is consumed in flames as it holds Thee: how is it, then, that I carry Thee, my Son?’” and in the canon “The furnace moist with dew was the image and figure of a wonder past nature. For it burnt not the Children whom it had received, even as the fire of the Godhead consumed not the Virgin’s womb.” What mystery? On Theophany “The Babylonian furnace, as it poured forth dew, foreshadowed a marvelous mystery: how the Jordan should receive in its streams the immaterial fire, and should encompass the Creator, when He was baptized in the flesh.” What’s the mystery here? In the passion gospels, “The godly youths exposed a monument of godless wickedness, but the lawless assembly is enraged and takes vain counsel against Christ.” What monument? What assembly? On Holy Saturday the entire story is read. And in the Paschal canon, “He who saved the three young men in the furnace became incarnate and suffered as a mortal man. Through His sufferings He clothed what is mortal in the robe of immortality.”  And, on Pentecost, the fire is again referenced. Why?

  1. Craft: In lieu of discussion, we’ll try a craft today. Each student should have a white or tan gardening glove, some scraps of fabric, lace, felt, ribbon, yarn. Turn each finger of the glove into one of the characters and on the palm, felt or fabric paint flames. The students can use the story glove to tell this wonderful story to smaller children while babysitting, at church, etc. Practice telling the story to each other, using different voices for the characters.


  1. Close with prayer: Pray for the courage to stand up for our beliefs as the three youths did for theirs