“And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again. And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. The head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands were broken off on the threshold; only Dagon’s torso was left of it.”
I Samuel 5:3-4 NKJV
“But the hand of the Lord was heavy on the people of Ashdod, and He ravaged them and struck them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory. And when the men of Ashdod saw how it was, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is harsh toward us and Dagon our god.””
I Samuel 5:6-7 NKJV
Ark of Testimony
There is great power in the word of God, as it convicts the heart, slays the machinations of the evil one, and renders all other gods powerless. It has the power to cut to the heart of the sinner, revealing the true nature of all who read it. Because of that it is rejected, and those who speak from it can face great opposition as there is a desire the word and them to be removed.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
Hebrews 4:12-13 NKJV
The word of God is of Jesus, who came to convict the world of its sin. For the sinner who encounters it, who does not have a desire to live by it, it can be as a curse, bringing much pain and hardship, for it reveals truth when the desire is to love lies.
As I read the account of the Ark of the Covenant falling into the hands of the Philistines, I thought of what the Ark is a type of in the New Testament. Like many things in the Old Testament, it is a foreshadowing of Jesus, God with us, who is the Word that convicts the world of its sin.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
John 1:1-5 NKJV
The Philistines did not comprehend the power of this thing they had captured, and became alarmed when it toppled their god Dagon, twice, destroying him the second time, and even more alarmed when they began to feel the judgement of God upon them, as boils plagued them. It was as a type of conviction.
In these late days, the world has many little “g” gods on which it heaps worship. These gods address all the things held dear by the natural, sinful man, such as identity, social justice, cultural war, nationalism, and every other theme one can imagine.
Like Dagon, these little manmade gods are toppled in the presence of the Lord. None can stand against the word of God, and all are vanquished by the Gospel which has the ability to save sinners, thus dealing with all the problems that are endemic in our sick and dying world.
Jesus came into the world to be God with us, to provide us access to the Father. In the mission He has given us, we have been selected to share a message that topples the gods of the world, for it is only through Him that we have access to salvation and Heaven.
That is a hard message for a world that has deceived itself into thinking that there are many ways to Heaven.
Brothers and sisters, we are nearing the end of this current phase of the human journey, as the Lord is preparing the dwellers of the earth for what is to come. We who are the followers of Jesus have been filled with the Holy Spirit, the all Powerful God who resides in us.
Each of us has been made an ark of Testimony of sorts, by the work of Jesus on the cross. We are vessels, most flawed, chosen to carry the glorious message of the cross to a world that is in desperate need. May we be faithful to go and tell, to be relentless in sharing the Good News.
In these perilous times, there will be those who seek to send us away, to ostracize us for the “hurt” we bring, as we confront the sin of this world with the convicting word of God.
Some of us may even be thrown into prison, or even killed. But like the Ark of the Covenant, we will be welcomed when we return home. Do not be fearful in these times, for all that we are seeing is necessary and under the control of our Sovereign God.
When Jesus returns, all gods will be destroyed and every knee will bow. All the gods of this world will be as Dagon, broken into pieces at the feet of Christ.
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:9-11 NKJV
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