Kill your idol, before it kills you
From 1 Samuel: A 6-Week Devotional
Beauty. Health. Success. Money. Power. Love. We may not literally bow to a golden statue, like Dagon, but we put these idols in God’s place all too often. We spend time checking social media for likes, money on the hottest new thing, and energy exercising for hours on end to worship gods that never satisfy us. Maybe God has asked us to lay one aside as an act of worship and sometimes He shows us our disobedience to get our attention the same way that He got the Philistines' attention by knocking down Dagon, and sending them the plagues.
The Ark of the Covenant was the symbol for Israel’s God. God is greater than any man-made idol. When the Philistines set up the Ark of the Covenant next to their god, Dagon, God put Dagon in his place (1 Samuel 5:1-5). Several times. God is persistent in getting our attention because He loves us, knows what’s best for us, and wants a relationship with us.
God is jealous for our love and will not stand for our bowing to anything less than Him.
We are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). Our sin separates us from God, and He relentlessly pursues us to bring us back to Him, just as He brought the ark back to Israel. It took plagues in three cities before the Philistines figured out God wanted them to return the ark to Israel (1 Samuel 5:6-11). Sometimes God will allow us to go through the same trials over and over to dethrone any god we put in His place.
God will not be mocked. To treat the ark like a good luck charm or spoil of war showed disrespect and dishonor. The Philistines had no fear of God, and Galatians 6:7 says that mockery will always have repercussions.
Sometimes, bad things are the result of our poor decisions or others’ bad choices. Sometimes, the difficulty in our lives is God just trying to give us a wake-up call that we have placed something above Him in our lives and heart to serve as a god. He is jealous for our love and will not stand for our bowing to anything less than Him.
- What do you need to lay down to put God first? How can you make time and space this week to do that?
- What does this story teach you about God? How does that new understanding of who God is change the way you approach your week?
When it comes to making a change, having someone who can encourage and support you can make all the difference. If you need someone to talk to, come by the Care Room on Sunday or reach out to a friend in your NewSpring Group.