Saturday, September 12, 2015: Daniel 3- 4; Ps. 81; Rev. 17
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to present a defense to you in this matter. 17 If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”
Many of the stories in Daniel have found their way into the Sunday School repertoire for children – and this is one such story. The narrative of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is not so much about the miracle of the fire that does not consume them (though that is what we remember from our early days!) but it is about the courage to remain faithful to the true God rather than bowing to the pressure of worshiping a human-made god. The temptation would certainly be great, for everyone around them had given in to this false worship, and the decision to remain faithful not only defied the king, but defied the movement of the crowd. This is a lesson that remains vital today – for there seem to be more and more things that are attracting our worship and attention over and above God. Certainly you can name them for yourself – celebrities, possessions, sports, technology…those are just a few.
What are the things that keep us from worship? The answer to this question gives us a clue into those things that might have become ‘god’ to us. One large United Methodist church asks members to commitment to being present in worship every Sunday unless ill or out of town. Sounds strict doesn’t it? But that is a church that is growing while others around it are faltering.
Has the One True God become ‘one of many’ gods in your life?