The Fiery Furnace
You tie three identical silk handkerchiefs together and place them
into a “fiery furnace” container. When you remove them, a fourth,
different-colored silk is tied between them.
1. Make a pouch by sewing 2 dark silks together
on all 4 sides, except for about 1" on each side
of 1 corner.
2. Tie the contrasting silk to one of the open corners,
then stuff it inside and position its opposite corner
just inside the opening.
If the contrasting silk (the “load silk”) is obvious
peeking out of the pouch, then dye or magic-marker
its corner to match the outer silk (Figure A). My
dad used blue silks and a white load silk with a
Tie a corner of an undoctored silk to the corner
of the pouch silk opposite the opening (Figure B),
then pretend to tie the corner of the pouch silk to
the other undoctored one, but actually tie it to the
contrasting silk loaded inside (Figure C).
Stuff the silks in the jar. For the “fiery furnace”
effect, turn the lid upside down on top, and then
pour in and ignite a bit of lighter fluid.
Afterward, take the silks out and keep them
bunched up in one hand. Then pull vigorously,
which will extend the load silk and make it seem
like it was always there.
The 3 blue silks represent Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abednego from the Old Testament story of the
Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3: 1– 30). Each time you say the
names, you should hold up the corresponding silk to
emphasize the fact that there are 3 and only 3 silks.
“A long time ago there was a king named
Nebuchadnezzar who had three favorite advisors,
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar liked these advisors so much, it made
his other advisors jealous. They wanted to get rid
of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and started
working on a plan.
“They realized that Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego only worshipped God, so the evil advisors convinced the king that he was as important
as a god, and that people should worship a statue
of him. What’s more, they said, anyone who didn’t
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worship this idol should be burned in the Fiery
“The king liked this idea, so he passed it as law.
The advisors watched Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego to see if they would worship the idol, and
when they did not, they told the king. This angered
King Nebuchadnezzar, and he called for Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego to appear before him.
“‘Why won’t you worship the idol?’ he demanded.
‘We can only worship the true God,’ they said. The
king said he would throw them in the fire if they did
not comply, but still they refused. Even though he
liked Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, he could
not change his law, so he told the guards to tie them
up and throw them in the fire.”
Stuff the silks into the jar and light the fire,
continuing the story as it burns.
“The king was upset, but he had to watch. He
couldn’t believe what he saw. Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abednego were not burning up — in fact, they
seemed to be walking around as if nothing was happening. But what was even more amazing was that
they were not alone. Right there, inside the fire, was
another person, all in white! How was this possible?”
By now the fire should have gone out. If not, use
less lighter fluid next time. Knock the lid off (it will
be hot) and remove the wad of silks.
“The king told the guards to pull Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego out of the fire (don’t count
the silks this time, keep them in a ball). He rushed to
see them and find out how they had survived. ‘What
happened?’ asked the king. ‘How did you survive?
And who was that in the fire with you?’”
“Calmly, the three answered that their God protected them, because he was always with them.”
Pull the silks apart, revealing the white silk.
For the Hippity Hop Rabbit stencil design, see
Photography by Dan Weiss (A) and David Torrence (B, C, and far right)