WHY is the question, Who is your God? an important one?— Because people worship many gods. (1 Corinthians 8:5) When the apostle Paul received power from Jehovah to heal a man who had never walked before, the people cried out: “The gods have become like humans and have come down to us!” The people wanted to worship Paul and his friend Barnabas. They called Paul Hermes and Barnabas Zeus, which were the names of false gods.
But Paul and Barnabas would not let the people worship them. They leaped into the crowd and said: “Turn from these vain things to the living God.” (Acts 14:8-15) Who is “the living God,” who created all things?— Yes, he is Jehovah, “the Most High over all the earth.” Jesus called Jehovah “the only true God.” So, then, who alone deserves to be worshiped?— Only Jehovah!
Most people worship gods other than “the only true God.” They often worship things that they make from wood, stone, or metal. (Exodus 32:4-7; Leviticus 26:1; Isaiah 44:14-17) Even men and women who become famous are sometimes called gods, stars, or idols. Is it right to give glory to them?—
After Saul became the apostle Paul, he wrote: “The god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Who is this god?— Yes, Satan the Devil! Satan has been able to get people to worship many people and things.
When Satan tried to get Jesus to bow down and worship him, what did Jesus tell Satan?— “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 that worship belongs only to Jehovah. Let’s read about some young men who knew this. Their names were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
These young Hebrews were part of God’s nation of Israel and had been taken captive to the land of Babylon. There a king named Nebuchadnezzar built a huge image of gold. One day he commanded that when music was played, everyone should bow down to the image. ‘Whoever does not bow down and worship will be thrown into the burning fiery furnace,’ he warned. What would you have done?—
Usually, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did everything that the king commanded. But they refused to do this. Do you know why?— It was 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.’ (Exodus 20:3-5) So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego obeyed the law of Jehovah rather than the command of the king.
The king was very angry, so right away he had the three young Hebrews 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 the young men do now? What would you have done?— They 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: ‘Heat the furnace seven times hotter than usual!’ He then ordered his strong men to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the furnace! 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 they were no longer 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.”
Then the king said: ‘Look! I see four persons 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. He protected the three Hebrews from getting hurt.
Well, 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 sent an angel to save his servants because they would not worship any god at all except their own God.’
We can learn a lesson from what happened back then. Even today men set up images, or idols, for worship. The Encyclopedia Americana says: “The flag, like the cross, is sacred.” Images can be made of wood, stone, metal, or cloth. Early disciples of Jesus would not do an act of worship to the Roman emperor, which the historian Daniel P. Mannix said could be compared with “refusing to salute the flag or repeat the oath of allegiance.”
So do you think it makes a difference to God if a religious image is made out of cloth, wood, stone, or metal?— Would it be right for a servant of Jehovah to do an act of worship before such an image?— Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego wouldn’t do it, and Jehovah was pleased with them. How can you copy their example?—