Bible Verse: If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. Daniel 3:17-18

Scripture Reading: Daniel 1:8-21

Today’s Scripture reading tells the story of a king with an ego. He erects a ninety-foot high statue and orders all the residents to come for its unveiling. This is not just a tourist attraction, this is the institution of state religion. This is a political rally but it’s also a religious service. The word “worship” is used eleven times in Daniel 3. Many of the locals living in Babylon are polytheists. For them it’s not that big a deal to worship this image; they just add it to the list of idols and gods in their society. But for the Jews, this is a breach of the first two of the Ten Commandments. For the three Jewish boys in the crowd that day, there is no question as to their worship. They will not bow down to any image. Their response is quick and decisive. Even if it costs them their lives, they will not compromise.

Today in our day and age, we’re not confronted to worship idols like this ninety-foot statue, but we have other idols that are just as real. Idol worship comes in many forms, not just pagan Babylonian statues. It shows up in alluring idols of power, money, sex and fame asking each of us to bow before it. Our hearts can be easily seduced by the cultural gods of this age. It shows up in pleasure: if it feels good, do it. All our efforts are directed to the next high or the next cheap thrill. An idol we worship can be an emotion we’re feeling: the self-righteous anger, the desire for revenge, the need to control. Our idol can be a relationship with our spouse, our kids, or someone else whose approval we are seeking. The list is endless. An idol is anything that takes the place of God in our lives.

We were made to worship our Creator. Worship is far more than music and singing on Sunday morning; it’s whom we align our allegiance to. It is who or what we put our heart’s affections towards. If you are not worshipping your Creator today, who or what are you putting in His place?

— Rick Bayer, Lead pastor, Gracepoint Community Church, Surrey, BC.

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