This Week's Scripture & Reflection: I Samuel 5:1-5
To the outside world, Christian believers almost certainly sound arrogant and haughty when we profess that the God of our faith is the only true and living God! We most likely sound even more pretentious when we profess that our God reigns supreme above every other god, or deity. No matter how arrogant or pretentious we may sound, the truth of the matter is that even false gods and deities have no choice but to bow in subservience in the presence of God Almighty!
I Samuel 5 begins in the aftermath of Israel's second consecutive defeat to the Philistines, which results in the Philistines capturing the Ark of the Covenant, the physical representation of God's presence among His people (read I Samuel 4 to learn more about how the Ark of the Covenant was captured). When the Philistines brought the Ark of the Covenant into the Philistine city of Ashdod, they placed it inside the temple of Dagon next to a statue of Dagon, the god of the Philistines. When the citizens of Ashdod arose the next morning, they discovered that the statue of Dagon had fallen on the ground, directly in front of the Ark of the Covenant!
After returning the statue to its original position, the people of Ashdod went away and arose the next morning to find the statue of Dagon in the same position from the morning prior: on the ground and on its face, lying directly before the Ark of the Covenant! Moreover, both the head and palms of the statue lay severed on the threshold of the temple, leaving only the torso behind. Although the Ark of God had been placed inside the temple of Dagon, the statue of Dagon eventually found itself bowing before the God of Israel! The people of Ashdod would have no reason to dismember the statue of the god they worshipped and served so fervently. Ultimately, the constructed image of this false deity simply could not remain intact in the presence of the only true and living God!
Humanity continues to call other false gods "God" and other false deities "Lord". Humanity continues to attribute God's exclusive attributes to their idols of worship, namely His omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. However, these attempts will always result in futility! God is the first and the last; besides Him, there is no other god (cf. Isaiah 44:6). Nothing and no one can be likened to Him because He is the only one His kind (cf. Isaiah 40:18). Many other gods try to imitate God, but they can and will never be God. In contrast, God is Yahweh, the Self-Existing One, the Great I Am! He has no need to mimic who and what He already is!