The Philistines admit defeat: the God of Israel triumphs over their gods. The presence of the Lord (the Ark) became an object of dread to them and they want it out of there. The way they go about it makes this one of those kinda-weird stories that maybe make people leery of how to relate to the Old Testament. But when I zoom out a little, I can see a beautiful gospel-soaked moment and lots of application for my life.
In moments of defeat, we pile our lifeless idols and offer up our guilt to God. We cry out “get these out of here!” and an obedient, innocent servant intercedes. He carries out our sin on his back, reconciles God’s wrath by sacrificing himself and saves us.
I love this beautiful foreshadow of Jesus, but it also doesn’t escape me what the text says about God’s holiness. Approached incorrectly, pridefully with the wrong attitude, is potentially dangerous. He has power over everything, even disease and farm animals. God is infinitely superior to our idols. I’m thankful for that, because nothing in my life that I frantically grasp for compares to him. Like the tower of Dagon, they fall down, break apart and fail me. Nothing compares to God’s presence. Today, take notice of your tendencies.
What do you turn towards first?