Worship Belongs to God
I AM going to ask you an important question. It is so important that the way you answer affects your future life. Who is your God?—
Your God is the one you worship. People all over the earth worship many kinds of gods. Some of those gods are simply carved or made from wood or stone. Others are people well known in sports or music. They are spoken of as “stars” and “idols.” But is it right to give glory to these other gods?—
The Great Teacher said: “It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.”—Matthew 4:10.
So Jesus made it clear. Our worship belongs only to Jehovah God. We cannot give even a little bit of our worship to any other god. There is a thrilling story in the Bible about some young men who knew this.
Their names were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were Hebrews, but they lived in the land of Babylon. The king of Babylon built a huge image of gold. He commanded that when the music was played, everyone should bow down to his image. ‘Whoever does not bow down and worship will at that same moment be thrown into the burning fiery furnace,’ he warned. What would you have done?—
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego usually did everything that the king commanded. But they refused to do this. Do you know why?— It is because God’s law said: ‘You must not have any other gods besides me. You must not make for yourself a carved image and bow down to it.’ So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego obeyed the law of Jehovah rather than the command of the king.—Exodus 20:3, 4.
The king was very angry when he heard about this. Right away he had Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego brought before him. He asked: ‘Is it really so that you are not serving my own gods? I will give you another chance. Now, when you hear the music, fall down and worship the image I have made. If you do not, you will be thrown into the burning fiery furnace. And who is that god that can rescue you out of my hands?’
What would Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego do now? What would you have done?— They trusted in Jehovah. They spoke right up and said to the king: ‘Our God whom we are serving is able to rescue us. But even if he does not do it, your gods are not the ones we will serve. We will not bow down to your image of gold.’
The king was furious. He commanded: ‘Let the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual!’ He ordered his strong men to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Then he said: ‘Throw them into the furnace!’
The king’s servants threw them in. But the furnace was so hot that the king’s own men were killed by the flames! What about the three Hebrews?
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego fell right into the middle of the fire. But then they got up! They were not hurt. And no longer were they tied up. How could this be possible?
The king looked into the furnace, and what he saw made him afraid. ‘Did we not throw three men into the fire?’ he asked.
His servants answered: ‘Yes, O king.’
But the king said: ‘Look! I see four men walking about in there, and the fire is not hurting any of them.’
Do you know who that fourth person was?— It was Jehovah’s angel. And he was there to protect those three faithful Hebrew servants of the true God.
On seeing this, the king came to the door of the furnace and cried out: “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God, step out and come here!” When they came out, everyone could see that they had not been burned. There was not even the smell of fire on them.
Then the king said: ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who saved his servants, because they would not worship any god at all except their own God.’—Daniel chapter three.
Wasn’t that wonderful?— Jehovah was pleased with what those three young men did. And we can learn a lesson from it.
Even today men set up images for worship. Some are made of wood or stone or metal. Would you bow to these images?—
Other images are made of cloth. Have you ever seen that kind of image?— Do you think it makes a difference to God if it is made out of cloth or out of wood or stone?— Would it be right for a servant of Jehovah to do an act of worship before such an image?—
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would give worship only to Jehovah. God was pleased with them. Will you copy their example?—
(Those who serve Jehovah cannot also worship images. Read what is said about this at Isaiah 42:8 and Joshua 24:14, 15, 19-22.)