When the Idol Breaks

Wendy Pope

Day: 5 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 5

1 Samuel 5:1-2 (NIV) After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon.

Shivers run up my spine as I read the first few verses of 1 Samuel 5. The words, “Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon” (1 Samuel 5:2) make my blood boil. How could they place the symbol of the presence and power of the living God beside a man-made god? As the words fall from my lips I sensed the rebuke of the Spirit remind me, “You do it all the time.” Now, these are not the loving and encouraging words one longs to hear from God.

But He is right and I know it. You see, I have idols. Not erected in my home like Dagon in the temple, but enclosed deep in my heart. Pride, bitterness and selfishness. They are all there and so is the presence of God. Whether I am having my quiet time at home, shopping for groceries or walking into church on a Sunday morning, my idols are in the midst of a holy God.

Yet God will have His say, as the Philistines were to learn. Their god, Dagon, a powerless, half-fish, half-man, handmade god was no match for the all-powerful Yahweh. The celebration of the Philistine victory was silenced when the priests returned to the temple the next day and saw the broken pieces of their god facedown on the ground before the ark.

Destruction wasn’t limited to the temple. The Lord’s hand also fell heavy on the people as He struck them with tumors. The people tried to avoid God’s punishment by moving the ark from city to city, but the tumors followed.

Harboring idols will bring destruction to us as it did to the Philistines. They had the same two choices you and I have today. We can humbly submit to God and embrace His Lordship, or reject Him and face the consequences of life without His mercy, grace and love. It’s important to remember that God will not be disgraced, not then and not now.

Let’s make certain God is not competing for worship with anything. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I have tried to deceive You but I’ve deceived myself. Lord, forgive me for harboring idols in my heart. My heart longs to give my worship and allegiance to You and You alone. Reveal my areas of idolatry and give me the courage to lean into the Spirit’s power to remove the idols from my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

I find it interesting the way the pieces of Dagon were broken. His head and his hands were cut... Read More

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