To see Daniel 3:18-30 without my comments click HERE.
The refusal to bow to the idol of Nebuchadnezzar by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego made King Nebuchadnezzar angry to the point where he wanted the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than it normally is and these three men thrown in. The anger that Nebuchadnez had for these men was because they lived the laws of Father Yahweh and were hated because God was both with them and inside of them; John17:21-23 and John 15:18-20.
He told Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in verse 15; “...who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” said King Nebuchadnezzar as he was to soon find out. The Bible tells us that whosoever exalts themselves shall be debased; Luke 14:11 and in Romans13:1. Although these three men were put in a position over the affairs of Babel/Babylon they knew that this idol of the king's was just exactly that, just an idol that can do nothing for you and has no value at all, just like all idol's do, and they decided to burn rather than bow.
King Nebuchadnezzar ordered his strongest men to bind Shadrach, Mechach, and Abednego and throw them into the furnace. Their clothes in this passage are described in verse 21. It lists their clothing from the largest article of clothing to the smallest which is their “...coats, hosen, and hats...” The detail that I take from this verse is that these men were not bare footed with sandals as most believe everyone wore sandals in the bible, but rather were wearing the traditional knee high socks of the Hebrew dress. Varieties of this type of dress are still worn in some places in both Ireland, Scotland, and some places in North West India where the Scythian Israelites brought civilization to the Indians 200 B.C.-400 A.D.
Traditional clothing of the Hebrew-Israelites included a Loin cloth with an overcoat, knee high socks, and a hat. On the left shows the coat, in the middle it is worn around the waste with a belt, and to the right it is over the shoulder ready to protect from rain or wind. This style of clothing eventually evolved into the kilts and stockings which we are more formilure with today.
The strong men that were tasked with putting Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fire were killed by the Bitumen which is abundant in this area, which was undoubtedly used to heat the furnace. Bitumen when burned produces sulfur and other chemicals that are deadly in large quantities. The three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell down into this toxic fire and Nebuchadnezzar saw these men plus one other walking around in the fire comfortably without the ropes that were used to tie them with. Nebuchadnezzar knew that the fourth man in the fire was the “Son or God” v. 25 (by “Son of God” it is understood that it was the word, or the mouth piece of Father Yahweh that is used to communicate with us; John1:1-5.)
Nebuchadnezzar came to the mouth of the furnace and called for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to come out of the fire. When they did there were no effects of being in the fire, they did not even smell like smoke nor sulfur. Nebuchadnezzar then made another decree that no person will worship any other God than the the God of these men who is the one and only true God, and if anyone talks amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego they will be destroyed and their house will also be destroyed.
One may ask how did Nebuchadnezzar know what the Son of God looked like? This is simply because Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego undoubtedly were talking to Nebuchadnezzar about their God, the wonderful works he does and how he interacts with them.
I also want to interject my opinion on how I believe that God was able to save them from the fire, and that is by changing the time frame that they were actually in the furnace. This is because all time is one and it is quite easy for God to put these three men in a different time frame than what Nebuchadnezzar was viewing them from because Father Yahweh is not limited by time. I believe these men were moved to a time before the fire in the furnace was started or after. I know this is kind of confusing, and to understand what I am talking about a little better read my post “All Time Is One” by clicking HERE.
Although I named this post “Bow or Burn” it's important to understand that the three men Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did neither one. They remained faithful to Father Yahweh's test and were delivered. Praise the Lord for the Examples of these men!