The Ark in Ashdod and Ekron

1 After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. 3 When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. 4 But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. 5 That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.

6 The LORD’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors. 7 When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god.” 8 So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and asked them, “What shall we do with the ark of the god of Israel?”

They answered, “Have the ark of the god of Israel moved to Gath.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel.

9 But after they had moved it, the LORD’s hand was against that city, throwing it into a great panic. He afflicted the people of the city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors. 10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron.

As the ark of God was entering Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought the ark of the god of Israel around to us to kill us and our people.” 11 So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it. 12 Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.

 

What an awesome display of God’s power and preeminence above all other would be gods! Our God rocks! He is the only true god. He alone is worth to be praised and worshipped and bowed down to. What I don’t get is why the Philistines didn’t see that their god was no match for the great I Am! They attributed all that was happening to God but wouldn’t yield their lives to Him. But how often do I do something similar? How often do I see God move in mighty ways and see Him perform miracles right in front of me, yet walk away and choose not to trust Him to provide or to come through in my life? How often do I forget about all He has done for me and go and try to do it on my own without His help? Am I any different?

How have you seen God’s miraculous power firsthand?

Are there times that you forget or doubt His willingness to do miracles in your own life?

What can you hold onto that will remind you of His faithfulness in your life?

How can you share this with those around you?

 

Doug Walquist