In the late 1980’s the phrase “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” became famous based on TV commercials. These commercials were for elderly people who lived alone and needed a “lifeline” in case they fell while they were home and no one was there to help pick them up. Smart idea.
Does that phrase apply to your god?
1 Samuel 5:1-4 – When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. 3 And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. 4 But when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. (ESV)
Notice this scene. The Philistines felt like they were on top of the world. They captured the ark and brought it into their camp. Obviously not paying any more respect to God than they did their idols they stuck the ark in the house of Dagon. Dagon was a false god of the Philistines. In this culture it was common practice when a people was defeated in battle the victors would often take their idols from them. This was a way of completely defeating them.
Imagine being one of these proud Philistines walking into the house of Dagon the next day to get a glimpse of your new trophy (the ark of God) only to find your god fallen to the ground. What would you do? Surely you would realize that this “god” is certainly no “God” and you would move on about your life. This is not what happened. The people “put him back in his place”. Only to arrive the next day to find the same scene, only this time Dagon was broken.
This seems silly, comical even. How could someone “prop up” their god and still continue to believe in him?
Probably very similar to:
- Spending years working on your financial portfolio knowing that when you hit “that number” you will have peace in your life. Achieving that number, still having a void, so raising the number and trying again.
- Assuring ourselves that everything will be better once we climb a little higher up the job ladder. I know the last promotion didn’t really help, but maybe the next one will.
- Bouncing from relationship to relationship knowing that the next one will be the one that makes everything “right”.
- Turning to that vice (alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sex, etc.) because we need to feel good. I know it didn’t last long last time, but maybe this time will be different.
Does this hit closer to home? Far too many times we are guilty of “propping up our god”. When the solution to our life is to turn our life over to the one, true God who never falls.
Hebrews 6:19-20- We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (ESV)