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Daniel 3 provides us with a metaphor that describes nicely the world in which we live — it is a fiery furnace.  The problem is that if we started shouting to people that there are flames all around them then they would assume that we had gone nuts.  This is not a new metaphor — the people of Israel in Egypt were in the iron furnace (Moses says) and the people of Israel exiled to Babylon were in the burning fiery furnace of Babylon.  Nebuchadnezzar had thrown the three friends of Daniel into an actual fiery furnace because he had become like the idol that he had built.  Nebuchadnezzar and those who blindly followed him show us one way to live in the fiery furnace — which is not living at all.  And the three friends of Daniel show us the other way to live in the fiery furnace.  Those who suffer from an addiction can identify with the people who worshiped the idol in Babylon.  Those who want people to worship our success can identify with Nebuchadnezzar.  And that way of life ends up burning.  So how do we survive the fiery furnace?

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