Read the Bible in One Year:
OT – 1 Samuel 4-6
NT – Luke 9:1-17
1 Samuel 5:3-5 – “And when they arose early the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.”
Our God is unmatched in power and might.
During the time of 1 Samuel, the Israelites were engaged in ongoing conflicts with the Philistines. The Israelites suffered a defeat in battle against the Philistines. In an attempt to win the battle, the elders brought the Ark of the Covenant into the battlefield. However, their motivation was misguided, treating the Ark as a magical object for guaranteed success. The Philistines captured the Ark and placed it in the temple of their god, Dagon, as a trophy of victory. The next day, they found Dagon fallen face downward before the Ark, with its head and hands severed and lying on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon remained intact.
This striking story brings out some powerful truths:
God is holy: This account of Dagon’s fall before the Ark reminds us that God is holy. We are to approach Him with reverence, acknowledging His supreme authority. Nothing or no one is to be exalted above God in our lives.
God is sovereign over all creation: No human or false god can stand against God’s power and might. God is in control of all things and His plans and purposes will not be thwarted. We can trust in Him even in the midst of challenges, knowing that He is sovereign control of all.
God is faithful: The disobedience of the Israelites did not stop God from being active and present in their lives. God remains faithful to His covenant and His people.
God is all powerful and has ultimate authority: This story underscores the unmatched power and authority of God. He is capable of triumphing over any opposition or challenge we may face.
Futility of idolatry: Dagon’s humiliation exposes the futility of worshiping false gods and idols. No created object or human invention can compare to the power and majesty of the one true God.
Consequences of disobedience: Philistines suffered various plagues and sufferings as a result of their mistreatment of the Ark. A powerful reminder that there are consequences for disregarding and disrespecting God and His commands.
God cannot be manipulated: God cannot be manipulated or used for selfish purposes. “Instead of attempting to get right with God, these Israelites set about devising superstitious means of securing the victory over their foes. In this respect most of us have imitated them. We think of a thousand inventions; but we neglect the one thing needful…. They forget the main matter, which is to enthrone God in the life, and to seek to do His will by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Spurgeon). Their defeat in battle and the loss of the Ark served as a wake-up call, urging them to seek God genuinely, repent of their sins, and return to obedience to His commands.
What a powerful reminder of the unmatchable power, holiness, and sovereignty of God. It teaches us to approach Him with reverence, acknowledge His authority over all, and recognize that He alone deserves our worship and devotion. May we be encouraged to trust in His power, knowing that no idol, false god, or earthly power can ever prevail against Him.
- How do I approach God in my own life? Do I come before Him with reverence, acknowledging His holiness and authority, or do I treat Him as a means to achieve my own desires, as a magic charm?
- Are there any idols or false gods in my life that I may be unknowingly placing above God? What steps can I take to remove them and prioritize God’s rightful place in my heart?
- Do I trust in God’s sovereignty and power, or do I rely more on my own abilities and worldly solutions? How can I cultivate a deeper trust in God’s unmatched might in every aspect of my life?
For more daily devotions like this – At the Potter’s Wheel (Kindle)