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Love of God greater than fear of king

Nebuchadnezzar created a golden image in the form of a man, "whose height was threescore cubits" (about 90 feet), and decreed that everyone must kneel at the sound of the music and worship the image. Those who refused to fall down and worship the idol, it was decreed, "shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace." (Dan. 3:1-6.)

Three men - Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - had privileged status in the king's court. Nevertheless, they loved God more than they feared their king.The king was "full of fury" (Dan. 3:19) when they refused to bow before the image. He ordered that the furnaces be heated seven times more than usual. Daniel's three friends were cast into the roaring flames. The furnace was so hot that "the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego." (Dan. 3:22.)

When the king and his counselors looked into the furnace they saw not just three men but "four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire." (Dan. 3:25.) The king then recognized Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego as "servants of the most high God" and instructed that they "come forth out of the midst of the fire." (Dan. 3:26.)

The king then decreed that anyone who "spake any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort." (Dan. 3:29.)

In his book, Things As They Really Are, Elder Neal A Maxwell of the Council of the Twelve wrote: "The solidness under extreme pressure that was shown by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego is what all of us need. Before they were thrown in the fiery furnace these men said humbly they didn't know whether God would rescue them or not, but they still wouldn't worship the false god, an indication of a settled soul. They knew God was there, that He was the living God, and that He would watch over them - even if they died." (Dan. 3:17-18.)

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