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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)

TITLE: Even if ...
By Pat Guy


Their death song had begun.

Every instrument known to man performed its melodious part in celebration to please the king … and jubilant he was on this day of dedication. Ninety feet of gold reflected his image for miles unto the horizon – a beacon of pride – a beacon of warning for citizens and travelers alike … on the plains of Dura, in the province of Babylon – the greatest kingdom in the world.

The music played on … harps, lyres, flutes and zithers. Master musicians quaked in fear of releasing one discord, but there were three administrators who trembled at the harmonious beauty that filled their ears and heart, for it would be their last song to hear.

Government officials of all levels had been summoned and the decree had been heralded throughout the provinces, “ O peoples, nations and men of every language … as soon as you hear the sound of all kinds of music, you must bow down and worship the golden image … whoever does not … will be immediately thrown into the blazing furnace.”

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood among the miles of bodies prostrate before the lustrous image and were immediately summoned before an angry king.

“Is it true …?” the king seethed. “That you do not serve my gods or worship my image of gold? Fall now and worship the image I made!”

The music played on … harps, lyres, flutes and zithers, resonating in the palace walls reminding the men of their faith, strengthening their stand before the king. The chill of fear lifted with each breath of prayer.

Peace loosed their tongue. “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you … if we are thrown into the furnace, our God is able to rescue us from your hand. But even if He does not, we will not serve your gods or worship your image.”

Royal fury bellowed its indignation, “Soldiers! Tie them up! Heat the furnace seven times more! Now!”

Tongues of fire leaped and lapped at the furnace walls – the crackling whip of Hades reached out and consumed the king’s strongest soldiers as Shadrach, Meshach and Abendnego fell from the grip of dead men into the pit.

The king’s eyes gleamed and waited … gleamed and …

He leaped to his feet and exclaimed above the roaring wind of fire, “Weren’t there three men firmly tied? Look! I see four men walking around unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods!”

The music played on … and the word spread.

Fear could not keep the king from stepping over bodies still smoldering to reach the opening of the blazing furnace – not questioning why he, himself was not consumed, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

Not a hair on their heads was singed, not a hem of their robes was scorched, nor was the smell of fire upon them.

Wonder transcended all peoples, nations and men of every language.

Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abendnego who has rescued His servants. They trusted in Him even if they were to give up their lives to serve only Him. No people of any nation or language shall say anything against their God.”

Murmurs ceased; and all turned towards the fiery furnace … where three men had been destined to die … where the Son of God walked … where He set the men free.

The plains of Dura, in the province of Babylon – the greatest kingdom in the world … were silent.

Based on Daniel Chapter 3

© 2007

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This article has been read 1389 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shari Armstrong 03/15/07
One of my favorites. I loved the way it kept moving, building -and the music kept playing :)
Linda Watson Owen03/16/07
And what a creative choice- the fiery furnace story for this topic! I would never have thought of it. Interesting that you had the King be unscathed too. Makes me want to revisit that story in the Bible. I really enjoyed this one. Thank you!
Joanne Sher 03/16/07
One of my very favorite bible stories. This is expertly done, with amazingly vivid description and an amazing atmosphere throughout. Bravo!
Amy Michelle Wiley 03/17/07
Wonderful descriptions! I found the use of so many ellipses a tad distracting, but otherwise splendid!
Donna Powers 03/18/07
Very well done. I loved the way you emphasized the music in this story.
Jacquelyn Horne03/19/07
Excellent rendition of an age-old Bible story. Well written.
Jan Ackerson 03/19/07
This story sends me to my knees every time, with its "even if He does not..." What a perfect recognition of His perfect holiness! And you've done a marvelous job re-telling it with the emphasis on music. Superb!
Catrina Bradley 03/19/07
Great retelling of this familiar story! My favorite line: Peace loosed their tongue. It has a great ironic flavor, usually peace makes be still - I love this look at what the Peace of God can do.
Sandra Petersen 03/19/07
Pat, you brought this event of fearless faith to life! Some beautifully descriptive phrases here: "the crackling whip of Hades reached out and consumed the king’s strongest soldiers," "Fear could not keep the king from stepping over bodies still smoldering to reach the opening of the blazing furnace."

I had never thought before you wrote it why the king was not consumed by that fire. Great observation!

A wonderful job yet once again.
Sharlyn Guthrie03/19/07
The way you began with the death song helped the story to flow. It was as if I could hear the noise and excitement throughout. Then silence. Music is a powerful backdrop for this familiar tale.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/19/07
I love how you retold this Bible story. Even though I knew there would be a fourth Man, I had chills when I read it. Excellently done!
Laurie Glass 03/19/07
Where do you get your ideas? I wanna sign up. :) Beautiful descriptions. Great job.
T. F. Chezum03/19/07
Great job retelling one of my favorite childhoos stories. It has a nice flow and good dialogue. Great job.
Jen Davis03/19/07
A wonderfully retelling of scripture and written in such a fascinating way. Very nice work!
Myrna Noyes03/20/07
I love Bible stories retold, and this is no exception! Your powerful, descriptive imagery carried me along to the end! good job! :)
Sara Harricharan 03/20/07
Wow. This is a new view on an old story. I liked how the music built up along with the suspense and the mention of 'Hade's whip'. That was pretty realistic I think, from the King's POV. Wonderful writing! ^_^
Loren T. Lowery03/20/07
This is one of my favorite Bible stories because there is so much to discover. Your writing has opend yet a new door. Great job.
Betty Castleberry03/20/07
I *love* this retelling of one of my favorite Bible stories. Your descriptions are wonderful,and you did an excellent job of showing the faith of three men. Very well done.
Tiffany Secula03/21/07
What can I say except WOW!

This was so wonderfully written. You captured the moment so amazingly!

Teriffic Job!
LaNaye Perkins03/21/07
I love the way you told this Bible story. Especially the way you would emphasize the music playing in the background. I really enjoyed it. Well done!
Julie Arduini03/21/07
I never would have been so creative to put this favorite Bible story in synch with music. This is Master's level work for sure. I loved it.
Joanney Uthe03/21/07
Great retelling of a favorite. I like how the king stepped over the dead bodies, ignoring the fact that he too should have been consumed by the flames. Great writing.
Linda Germain 03/21/07
What else is left to say but, "Amen and Amen!" Excellent.
terri tiffany03/22/07
Wow Pat - one of your best written! I loved this - once again you made Bible times come alive for me. I hope this one goes into your collection as well:) CONGRATS!
Laurie Glass 03/22/07
Congrats on making it into EC!
Sara Harricharan 03/22/07
Congrats on the EC!
Loren T. Lowery03/22/07
So glad to see your EC Placement. Loved your story.
Marilyn Schnepp 03/24/07
Congratulations Pat!! A Masterpiece indeed! Love re-told Bible stories, and you did this one proud..injecting the music over and over for topic-sake. Very nice and a well-DESERVED EC!
Venice Kichura03/26/07
Yes, this is truly a masterpiece, Pat! You have a definite flare with Bible stories as well as poems, etc.

You are soo gifted and your writing ministers to me as well as many others. A well-deserved congratulations on another win!