1 Samuel 5: What Happens When the One True God Meets a Man-Made Idol?

In yesterday’s story, the Philistines captured the Ark of God when the Israelites thought it was a good idea to take the Ark into battle. Their bright idea didn’t work because they didn’t consult God about their plan. What happens next is actually rather humorous. However, it does make a very important statement. Let’s dig in….

1 Samuel 5 – The Ark in the Land of the Philistines

After the Philistines captured the Ark of God, they took it from the battleground at Ebenezer to the town of Ashdod. They carried the Ark of God into the temple of Dagon and placed it beside an idol of Dagon. But when the citizens of Ashdod went to see it the next morning, Dagon had fallen with his face to the ground in front of the Ark of the Lord! So they took Dagon and put him in his place again. But the next morning the same thing happened—Dagon had fallen face down before the Ark of the Lord again. This time his head and hands had broken off and were lying in the doorway. Only the trunk of his body was left intact. That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor anyone who enters the temple of Dagon in Ashdod will step on its threshold.

Then the Lord’s heavy hand struck the people of Ashdod and the nearby villages with a plague of tumors. When the people realized what was happening, they cried out, “We can’t keep the Ark of the God of Israel here any longer! He is against us! We will all be destroyed along with Dagon, our god.” So they called together the rulers of the Philistine towns and asked, “What should we do with the Ark of the God of Israel?”

The rulers discussed it and replied, “Move it to the town of Gath.” So they moved the Ark of the God of Israel to Gath. But when the Ark arrived at Gath, the Lord’s heavy hand fell on its men, young and old; he struck them with a plague of tumors, and there was a great panic.

10 So they sent the Ark of God to the town of Ekron, but when the people of Ekron saw it coming they cried out, “They are bringing the Ark of the God of Israel here to kill us, too!” 11 The people summoned the Philistine rulers again and begged them, “Please send the Ark of the God of Israel back to its own country, or it will kill us all.” For the deadly plague from God had already begun, and great fear was sweeping across the town. 12 Those who didn’t die were afflicted with tumors; and the cry from the town rose to heaven.

1 Samuel 5 NLT

Points to Ponder

The man-made statue of the god Dagon, falls prostrate in front of the Ark of the One True God. Image by Jack Foster of MrBibleHead.blogspot.com from FreeBibleImages.org. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
  • Nothing like angering God! God gets revenge and you never want to be on the other end of God’s vengeance.
  • Dagon was the fish god. Its upper body was like a man, but it had the tail of a fish. One ugly mermaid, or “merman”!
  • Back then, it wasn’t just one army against another army. It was also our god vs your god.
  • The defeat of the Israelites — God’s people — is never the defeat of God.
  • To the Philistines, the Ark of God was just a war trophy. They put it in the temple of their god, Dagon, so it would be subservient or submissive to their supposedly, more powerful god.
  • Consequently, the One True God showed His mighty power not once, but twice in the temple. Later, by inflicting a plague on the Philistines.
  • The plague seemed to attack the people wherever the Ark went in Philistia. It was like a hot potato. It burned whoever had it, thus they took it elsewhere and no one wanted it.
  • Instead of submitting to the One True God, the Philistines tried to get rid of Him, which proved to be a fatal mistake.

God is NOT Made by Human Hands

The True God of Salvation is not made by human hands or made up by human imagination. He is our Creator. He created YOU in HIS IMAGE! He is the LIVING GOD!

He doesn’t want you to perish because of your sins. He wants you to have everlasting LIFE with HIM! That’s why He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to take our sins away on the cross. Jesus didn’t suffer torture and die so we could have religion! He died so He could have a Relationship with YOU!

What idols are competing with God in YOUR life?

It’s time to get right with God!

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

You are God Alone

God’s Not Dead

Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

Top image by Jack Foster of MrBibleHead.blogspot.com from FreeBibleImages.org. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)