SHADRAC2 4'1m*f RT: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience.)

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- (enters wearing ornate robe, crown and
sandals) Good morning. I am Nebuchadnezzar, Emperor of the
Babylonian Empire. The reason I called this press conference is
to make an announcement. (reads) I hereby decree that any person
of any nation or language within my empire who says anything
against the God of Israel will be cut into pieces and his house
be turned into a pile of rubble.

REPORTER -- Why the change of heart, Your Majesty?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- Change of heart?

REPORTER -- Yes. It was only recently that you paid homage to
the gods of Babylon by erecting a ninety-foot idol of gold to
one of our gods. Now, just a few days later, you're paying
homage to the God of Israel. Why?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- Because the God of Israel demonstrated his
great power to me personally.

REPORTER -- Can you tell us how, Your Majesty?

REPORTER -- Does this have anything to do with the three
Israelis who were recently named as provincial administrators?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- Yes, it does. The Israelis in question were
named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

REPORTER -- Is it true that you recently sentenced these
Israelis to death?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- Yes, I did. I had them thrown into the firey

REPORTER -- Can you tell us what offense these foreigners
committed that caused them to be condemned to death?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- Yes. As you know, after I built the golden
idol, I announced a decree that when the religious musicians
began to play the music honoring the idol, all my subjects in
all the nations throughout the empire would bow down and worship
the idol. But these three Israeli administrators were so
dedicated to the God of Israel that they refused to bow down to
any other God.

REPORTER -- So, you condemned them to death in the firey

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- That's right. I was so infuriated that I had
the fire in the furnace stoked with seven times the normal
amount of fuel for the fire. The fire became so hot that it
killed some of the soldiers who were standing guard outside the

REPORTER -- How did the deaths of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
contribute to your change of heart?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- Well, that's just the point. Shadrach, Meshach
and Abednego didn't die in the fire.

REPORTER -- Are you saying that you didn't throw them into the

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- On the contrary. I had them thrown into the
furnace, but all three of them survived the fire.

REPORTER -- How badly were they burned?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- They weren't burned at all. The fire didn't
even singe their clothing.

REPORTER -- It must have been some sort of trick!

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- I would have thought so if I hadn't seen it
for myself. I looked directly into the furnace and saw the three
men walking around inside the furnace with flames all around.

REPORTER -- You saw it with your own eyes?!

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- With my own eyes.

REPORTER -- And you concluded that the survival of the Israelis
was a demonstration of the power of the God of Israel?


REPORTER -- What made you conclude that it was their God who
saved them and not something else?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- Because when I looked into the furnace, I not
only saw the three men alive and well, I also saw a fourth
person in there as well. This person looked like a man but he
had a different appearance. I believe this was an angel of the
God of Israel who was sent to save these men from certain death.

REPORTER -- So, after they survived the fire, you allowed these
men to live?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- Yes, and I restored them to their former
positions as administrators.

REPORTER -- What about the ninety-foot golden idol? Will you
still insist that your people worship the idol?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR -- No. The God of Israel has show himself to be
far superior to the god represented by the idol of gold. I
consider the cost of the labor and materials to build the idol
to be a complete waste. I'm having the idol torn down and the
materials used for other purposes. I have found a true God
worthy of worship. You would all do well to worship the God of
Israel too. (exits) And may the God of Israel bless the empire.

REPORTERS -- God bless the empire.

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