March 27

Give Glory to the God of Israel. These were the words from the Philistines in 1 Samuel 6:5. The Philistines had massacred Israel on the battlefield a mere two chapters earlier, which would have been seen as a great embarrassment to the tribal god of the defeated. But Yahweh demonstrates that while sinful Israel might be defeated, He would not. He gives us a somewhat humorous picture to drive the point home.

When the Philistines brought the Ark of the Covenant into the house of their god, Dagon, they set it up beside their idol. In the morning they found Dagon prostrate before the ark. After setting Dagon back in his place, they returned the next morning to find Dagon with his head and hands cut off and once again lying before the altar. The point was obvious to the Philistines — Dagon was not only beneath the Hebrew God, but was powerless and dead before Him. This humiliation was remembered by the Philistines so as that they would not step on the threshold of the house of Dagon into the 1st Century AD. But God was not done. For seven months, He sent mice and tumors (many commentators believe this was the Bubonic Plague) into every Philistine city to which the Ark of the Covenant was sent. Finally, the Philistines are reduced to returning the Ark of the Covenant to Israel along with a guilt offering.

We may be tempted at times to look at the state of the world, the state of our nation and its continual drift away from God, the state of the Christian church in the West, or even the state of our own spiritual defeat and be concerned that God and His will is, or could be, defeated. He cannot.

God laughs when people believe they can defeat Him.

(Psa 37:12-13 ESV)  12 The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, 13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.

(Psa 59:8-10 ESV)  8 But you, O LORD, laugh at them; you hold all the nations in derision. 9 O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress. 10 My God in his steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.

Rejoice today that no matter the international news, national immorality or personal defeat, the God of your salvation will not be defeated. But He will laugh. And even His enemies will give Him glory.