Key passages for this devotion: 1 Samuel 4, 5
Some of my fondest memories are from the years I spent as a children’s pastor. There was a song that seemed to be a favorite of all. I can still see and hear as they pumped their little fists in the air and flexed their muscles, shouting out the first lines of the song: “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do!” It was extremely clear they thought of God as the ultimate super hero.
This week’s Bible reading contains a story that has become one of my favorites. Every time I read or teach it I feel the same thing that my children felt; My God is so big! In 1 Samuel 4 & 5 we read how the Israelites wrongly took the Ark of the Covenant with them into battle with the Philistines. In short, the Israelites lost the battle and the Philistines stole the Ark. It was taken to the city of Ashdod and placed in the temple of Dagon, the false god of the Philistines. This next part is what makes me get as giddy as a child! The next morning, the people found the idol of Dagon fallen face down on the ground before the Ark of the Covenant. Are you excited yet? Dagon was put back into place. However, the next morning, they found him lying face down again and his head and hands had been broken off! The people were stricken with a plague of tumors.
The Philistines quickly decided that the Ark of the God of Israel must not stay with them because His hand was heavy against their god, Dagon. I challenge you to read the rest of the story for yourselves. It is a good one! I am reminded that our God truly is amazing and mighty. He is not a stone idol or simply a wise man; He is alive! He is real! He desires an intimate personal relationship with each of us as our Father! I am also reminded that God will not tolerate idols in our life. Are there things that you have placed before God in your life? Sometimes my priorities get all messed up and I put my job, my schoolwork, and even my family in the way of building my relationship with Him.
Maybe you are like me. I want to always put God first place, but in my humanness I keep messing up. I have decided the best way is to take each thing to God and allow Him to knock them down just as He did in Dagon’s temple. I do not mean that He will destroy the other things in my life, simply help me put them in the right priority. He is big, mighty and able to all that we ask.
Tammy served as a pastor's wife and a children's pastor as well as serving nine years on the mission field before she lost her husband six years ago. She has a son who leads worship for a church in Mooresville, NC, a son who will soon graduate with a degree in Biblical studies, and a daughter who just earned a degree in Esthiology. Tammy is currently in her final year as a student of Psychology. She loves life and people and looks forward to the plans God has for her.