Ananias, Azarias, and Misael – the Furnace of Babylon
Shortly after, the friends of the Prophet Daniel, Ananias, Azarias, and Misael (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego KJV), underwent a great trial of their faith. King Nebuchadnezzar set up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon, a great image of gold. For its dedication all the important and distinguished people of the Babylonian kingdom were gathered. It was declared to all the people that when they heard the sound of the trumpet and musical instruments, they must fall down and worship the golden image. Whosoever did not comply with the order of the King would be thrown into a burning fiery furnace. Upon the sound of the trumpet, all fell to the ground. Only three — Ananias, Azarias, and Misael — failed to worship the image.
The King was enraged, and commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual, and to bind them and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. The flames were so fierce that the soldiers who threw them in the furnace fell dead. But Ananias, Azarias, and Misael remained unharmed, because the Lord sent His angel to guard them in the midst of the flames. They sang, glorifying the Lord.
Nebuchadnezzar sat on a high throne near the furnace. When he heard the singing, he was astonished, then dumbfounded. He rose up in haste and said to his counselors, “But I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not burnt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Then he came near to the furnace and said, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come out and come here.”
When they came, it was seen that the fire had had no power over them, even their coats and hair were not singed, nor did they smell of fire. Nebuchadnezzar, seeing this said, “Blessed be your God, Who sent His angel and delivered his servants that trusted in Him.”
The King forbade anyone, on penalty of death, to speak anything amiss against the God of Israel.
Note: See the Book of Daniel, chap. 3.
(from: The Law of God by Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy)