Read Matthew 4:8-9. What was Jesus’ third temptation in the wilderness?
With pride and arrogance, Satan declared himself to be the rightful ruler of the world, the owner of all its riches and glory, claiming the honor and respect of all who live in it, as if he had created the world. What an insult to God, the Creator and Father of Jesus. Satan revealed that he knows exactly what worship is about: it is to give honor and respect to the rightful owner of the universe.
Compare the experience of the three Hebrew friends in Daniel chapter 3 (especially verses 8-18) and the end-time power of Revelation 13:4 and Rev. 14:9-11. What is at stake at the time of the end? What is the core issue in both accounts?
From Cain and Abel, to the three Hebrew boys in Babylon, to final events regarding “the mark of the beast”, (Rev. 16:2), Satan seeks to establish a false system of worship, one that takes people away from the true God and, even if subtly, direct worship toward himself. After all, even from before the Fall, he wanted to be like God (Isa. 14:14). It’s no coincidence that just as the three young men faced the threat of death unless they were to worship an “image”, in the last days God’s faithful people will face the threat of death unless they will worship an “image”, as well. Why worship any “image” when we are called to worship the true God instead?
“Important are the lessons to be learned from the experience of the Hebrew youth on the plain of Dura. …
“The season of distress before God’s people will call for a faith that will not falter. His children must make it manifest that He is the only object of their worship, and that no consideration, not even that of life itself, can induce them to make the least concession to false worship. To the loyal heart the commands of sinful, finite men will sink into insignificance beside the word of the eternal God. Truth will be obeyed though the result be imprisonment or exile or death.” – Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pages 512, 513.
|What are different ways, even now, that we can be tempted into worshiping anyone else other than the only Being worthy of our worship? How might false worship be a more subtle threat than we realize? What are some things that we might even now be tempted to worship?|