Throw away the idols • 1 Samuel 5
1 Samuel 5-6
The philistines have captured the Ark from Israel, and they immediately take it to the house of Dagon, the temple to the god they worshipped. When they woke up the next morning, the statue of their idol was on the floor, face down, while the Ark of the LORD was in its place.
They picked up the statue and put it back in its place (because that’s what you do when your idol falls down, right?) and went their way. When they came in the next day, the statue hadn’t just fallen to the floor — “The head of Dagon and both palms of its hands were broken off on the threshold, only Dagon’s torso was left of it” (5:4). After that, the city was hit with some kind of plague, possibly the bubonic plague.
So here they are, Dagon has fallen and there is no one to put him back together again; there is plague in the city, and they admit that it is all because of the presence of the God of Israel (5:7). So what did they do? They sent the Ark of God away — talk about not getting the message! What they should have done is send Dagon away and kept the presence of God. But this goes on from city to city within the kingdom of the Philistines, until finally they resolve to just send the Ark back to Israel.
Here’s the thing: we do this.
You and I settle for idols instead of God’s presence. God comes in and knocks down our desires, our priorities, our dreams, our idolatry, and instead of recognizing what God is doing, we send God away. Let’s resolve to instead, throw away the idols.