God’s Word Is Alive
Would You Worship an Image?
What if the penalty for not worshiping is execution? Would you worship an image then? That was the situation faced in ancient Babylon over 2,500 years ago.
NEBUCHADNEZZAR the king has a huge gold image some 90 feet (27 m) high set up in the plain of Dura. Then he calls together his government officials from all over the country to worship it. Three worshipers of Jehovah named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, as you can see, are among those present.
A representative of the king shouts that all should “fall down and worship the image of gold that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.” If you had been there, what would you have done? Everyone falls down and worships except Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They remain standing because they know it is against God’s law to worship an image.—Exodus 20:4, 5.
The three worshipers of Jehovah God are brought before King Nebuchadnezzar. “Is it really so,” he asks, “that you are not serving my own gods, and the image of gold that I have set up?” Then he says: “If you do not worship, at that same moment you will be thrown into the burning fiery furnace. And who is that god that can rescue you out of my hands?”
Faced with such a threat, what would you have done? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, as you can see, speak right up and say: “If it is to be, our God whom we are serving is able to rescue us. . . . But if not, let it become known to you, O king, that your gods are not the ones we are serving, and the image of gold that you have set up we will not worship.”
The king is furious. He commands: ‘Heat up the furnace seven times hotter than usual! Bind them up and throw them in!’ But what happens to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? They fall right into the middle of the fire. Then they get up and start walking around.
When the king looks in, he sees four persons walking around unharmed instead of just three! The fourth person is an angel that Jehovah has sent to protect his faithful servants. At that the king becomes very frightened and calls out: “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God, step out and come here!” And they do.—Daniel 3:1-30.
Jehovah was pleased with the faith and courage of his servants. He will be pleased with us, too, if we have the courage to refuse to worship or render homage to any kind of image that worldly leaders may set up.