Set your mind on this story for the next few minutes and really, truly attempt to get in character with what I am about to share. The following is an inspired story which I was given after my daily study time in the book of Daniel.
Imagine being the CEO of ConocoPhilips Oil Company, the nation's 3rd largest oil company. You are blessed with a great job with a host of benefits. You have the fleet of corporate jets at your will, a new Mercedes every year, a large home in Texas, one in the Cayman's and another in Bamff. You have house servants that cook and clean for you. You play golf on the finest courses, drink the finest wines and wear only the finest garments. Not only do you have nice things, you have power. You are in control of a significant portion of the US's oil production. You have power in Washington, DC with the lawmakers. You get to rub elbows with all of the top professional athletes and musicians. Life is, well, exquisite.
Then, one day, the Sheik's from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the rest of that region of the world form an alliance and proudly proclaim, "We will not sell you one single barrel of oil unless you bow down and worship Allah."
One simple act and you can maintain your incredible lifestyle with all of it's perks and gratuities. Or, object and see the life as you know it taken from you instantly...
The 3 wiseguys (as I like to call them) in the book of Daniel, Shadrack, Meeshak and Abednego, were faced with a similar decision. Worship this golden idol or die a fiery death in the King's furnace. We all know they stood up for the God in Heaven and survived the fiery death. But, think about what those last few moments before they were dropped in the furnace were like inside their minds. What must they have been thinking, or praying, or screaming?
There are very few, if any, times in our lives when we are faced with decisions to follow God or pay the consequences like the 3 wiseguys were faced with. We are, however, challenged every day to follow his lead and live as he has proclaimed for us to live, without sin. And, the consequences of not doing so are exactly the same except not today, but for eternity!
I am not a learned biblical scholar but I can't help but see the symbolism in the story of the 3 wiseguys and their escape from the fiery furnace. The principle rings true throughout the Bible- only the God in Heaven can save you from the fiery eternity of Hell. Do you know Him?