I want to focus on verses 15-18. Most of the times that I have heard this story taught, it has been said that the 3 boys said that if you throw us into the furnace our God is able to deliver us. But even if He doesn't, we still won't bow to your statue. That is the part that I want to revisit. If you really stop and think about that explanation, it doesn't make sense. If God doesn't deliver them, of course they aren't going to bow down to the statue. They aren't going to do anything because they would be dead. I think it can be explained in a better way.
So, let's look at the last part of verse 15
but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
The king is pretty bold there saying that there is no god that can deliver someone out of his hands. Then...
17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
But if not....even if you show mercy and don't throw us in right now and give us another chance... be it known unto you O king, we are still not going to bow. We are not interested in cutting any deals. We serve and bow to God only. And He will deliver us out of your hand.
And if you read the rest of the story you will of course find that God did indeed deliver them!!
Grace and peace,