1 Sam. 5:1-12
I really think that the two words in our title go together quite beautifully, especially when it comes to our relationship with our Lord. You have to be very foolish when it comes to being stubborn and rebellious against Almighty God.
The Philistines certainly displayed this when they “captured” the Ark of the Covenant. As if the Lord of the universe is going to be held hostage! First off, he’s not contained in that Box. I know a lot of Christians believe that God can actually be contained in a box, but it’s not so. Second, he’s omnipotent (meaning he can do anything he pleases), and they’re not.
But the real foolishness came out when they presented the Ark to their god Dagon. The next morning they came into the temple and Dagon had fallen on his face before the Ark. Friend, if you need to pick up your god after he falls on his face, you need to trade up.
So they try again, and the next morning, they not only see Dagon kissing the floor before the Lord, his hands and head had been broken off. His head represented understanding, and his hands reflected his power. How much more plain could the Lord be: “Your god has no understanding and no power. You need to need to worship me, the one true God!”
So what did they do? They made up a rule that from now on they wouldn’t touch the threshold of the temple. What????!!!!! How’s about thinking long and hard about giving up this block of stone and finding something better? Nope. I know that it's popular sometimes to think of idol worship as people reaching out to the one true God, and there's some truth to that, I suppose. But it's much more true that idol worship is man's way of running away from the Lord. They're not worshiping idols just because they haven't been exposed to Someone better. They're worshiping their idols because they don't want to turn away from their sin.
Then they started noticing that people around them were getting sick and dying. And they eventually noticed a pattern: “We stole the Ark of the Covenant from the Hebrews, and people started getting sick. Coincidence maybe?”
We might have good laugh at the antics of these stupid Philistines. But do you think we’re much better? Well, not if you think that God is contained within a building. Do you think that the church building we meet at on Sunday morning is actually “God’s house”? Or does your Savior have any rivals in your heart for your loyalty and devotion? Remember the lesson we learned from Joshua? If you aren’t worshipping the God of the Bible, then it doesn’t matter what you worship. Dagon might be a bit more inconvenient to carry around than other idols, like the love of money, but he’s no worse or better. If you don’t let the Lord do some housecleaning, then the laugh might be on you.
Father, you are worthy of all my devotion and worship. Whatever idols are taking up residence in your temple, please show no mercy to them. Please be ruthless.
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