Wednesday, 19 September 2007

What do we worship?

Just over a year ago I came across a book called The Astronomy of the Bible, by E. Walter Maunder. It has had a profound impression of the way I view the Bible. One of the things I learnt from this book is that we can inquire into the stars, the moon, the sun, animals, plants and all of nature because we do not worship them.  Worship of them leads to non-inquiry into them, as one then holds them sacred and unquestionable, but, being created in the image of God and not subject to the created things, we can inquire into those things. As the following quote from Maunder's book says:

But the Hebrew , if he was faithful to the Law that had been given to him, was free in mind as well as in spirit. He could fearlessly inquire into any and all the objects of nature, for these were but things--the work of God's Hands, whereas he, made in the image of God, having the right of intercourse with God, was the superior, the ruler of everything he could see.

If he was faithful to the Law which had been given him, the Hebrew was free in character as well as in mind. His spirit was not that of a bondman, and Nebuchadnezzar certainly never met anything more noble, anything more free, than the spirit of the men who answered him in the very view of the burning fiery furnace:--

"O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. BUT IF NOT, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."