READING: 1 Samuel 4-6, Luke 9:1-17
“So they took Dagon and set him in his place again.”
1 Samuel 5:3
Sometimes I forget how powerful God is. I talk about his power, but I likely talk about it without fully comprehending it. Then I read stories like the story of Dagon and the story of the 5000 in today’s reading – and I’m forced to reconsider and remember His power.
The Philistines captured the ark of God and set it by the statue of Dagon, as if to say that the god of the Philistines had defeated the God of the Hebrews. On the next morning, the people of Ashdod found Dagon on his face on the ground, symbolically in submission to the Hebrew God. Dagon was so powerless before God that he could not even lift himself from the ground; instead, the people had to “set him in his place again” (1 Sam. 5:3). Then, lest God allow the Philistines to think that Dagon only fell over in the night, the next morning they found the statue again on the ground, with his head and his hands cut off. It was as if he had been defeated and dethroned in the night. He could not protect himself or his people from the power and judgment of the true God.
Then, I read also today of Jesus’ multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish sufficiently to feed 5000 men (perhaps as many as 20,000 people) and still have twelve baskets full of leftovers. He just kept multiplying them and “giving them to the disciples to set before the people” (Luke 9:15). The only miracle other than the resurrection that all the gospel writers record, this story reminds us that Jesus can make many out of the few, much out of little, and more out of some than we can ever expect. He is God in the flesh, the all-powerful One who chose to become a man like us as He redeems and guides us. He can give us “power and authority” (Luke 9:1) because He has both as the Son of God.
God is indeed powerful. He’s so powerful, in fact, that I need not fear anything. Nothing I face is too big for Him. No enemy who wages war against me can ever defeat Him. No false god can ever stand before Him. And, in all of His power, He also cares enough about me to make sure I have food on my table. That’s a God worth following!
- Pray for people around the world who worship false gods.
- Thank God for meeting your daily needs – for being the all-powerful God who knows your hunger.
PRAYER: “God, no false god can stand in Your presence. I praise You for Your power and for Your provision for me.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Samuel 7-9, Luke 9:18-36