No Rivals

God odes not allow himself to take second place.  He suffers no rivals.  Jesus reflects this same sentiment in the New Testament.  If anyone puts anything else before Jesus, they are not worthy to be his disciple.  God’s ark was put in front of Dagon to show that Dagon had conquered Jehovah.  The situation is reversed when Dagon’s idol is found toppled and when it is found prostrate before the ark.  Just to make sure the Philistines got the message, the ark reeked havoc wherever it was taken.

1 Samuel 5

1 After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. 3 When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. 4 But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. 5That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.

 6 The LORD’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors.[a] 7 When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god.” 8So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and asked them, “What shall we do with the ark of the god of Israel?”

   They answered, “Have the ark of the god of Israel moved to Gath.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel.

 9 But after they had moved it, the LORD’s hand was against that city, throwing it into a great panic. He afflicted the people of the city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors.[b] 10So they sent the ark of God to Ekron.

   As the ark of God was entering Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought the ark of the god of Israel around to us to kill us and our people.” 11 So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it[c] will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it. 12 Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.

Questions

  1. Where was the ark taken and what happened at each location?
  2. What did this show about God?
  3. What was the Philistine’s conclusion?
  4. How does God show his transcendance today?
  5. How does a story like this affect you?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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15 Responses to No Rivals

  1. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. The ark was first taken to Ashdod where it caused devastation in the city and tumors. It was then moved to Gath where the people were in panic and also had tumors. The third place it was taken was Ekron where the people were greatly afraid and also inflicted with tumors and death.
    2. It shows that God cannot be mocked. The Philistines thought they had accomplished this great thing and they were trying to show that Israel’s God was weak by claiming that their own god Dagon was more powerful. It shows that God is more powerful than any pagan gods.
    3. Their conclusion was that the ark needed to return to Israel before it killed them all.
    4. He shows it through His Word and through the way He works in the lives of His people.
    5. It reminds me that the Lord is to be feared and held in reverence. He is not to be taken lightly or put beneath anything or anyone else.

  2. Sokloon Dy (Lizzy) says:

    1. the ark was taken to three different locations: Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron. At Ashdod, it caused devastation and tumors. At Gath, the people were in great panic. They also were afflicted with tumors. At Ekron, death and tumors came upon them.
    2. it shows that God is greater than any other gods. Also, He has no rivals.
    3. send the ark back to its rightful place.
    4. God is transcendent through natural events that are happening on the earth, the Bible, and through the lives of the believers.
    5. this story affects us in that it reminds us that God is not a God of foolishness. He punishes wickedness.

  3. Amy Kringle says:

    1. Ashdod: Dagon kept falling before it and he broke his head and hands. Gath: The people were afflicted with tumors: people died and those who didn’t, got tumors.
    2. God doesn’t let anyone be above him.
    3. That having the Ark of God around them would kill them.
    4. He brings about his plans for countries/governments even when we cant see them. He brings justice, but sometimes it is not now but it will be in the future.
    5. It encourages me that God will never be defeated, and it also burdens my heart for the fact that people who go against God will be defeated.

  4. Grace Yoo says:

    1. They took the ark of God to Ashdod and each day Dagon would be face flat on the ground before the ark of the Lord.

    2. This shows that God is above all things and that we should bow to Him.

    3. Sending the ark back was the Philistines’ conclusion.

    4. God shows His transcendence today by the way He works in people.

    5. This story reminds me that God is sovereign over all and that He is just and fair.

  5. Rebecca Langer says:

    1.Where was the ark taken and what happened at each location?
    The ark was firsttaken to Ashdod where God destroyed the idol that was there. the poeple also were afflicted with sores and tumors. Then the Philistines took it to Gath where the people were again becoming diseased. They tried to take it to Ekron but the people did not want it there either.
    2.What did this show about God?
    He will accomplish his purposes with or without us. He wanted to destroy the Philistines and he did it just fine.
    3.What was the Philistine’s conclusion?
    That the ark was killing people and it needed to go back to Israel.
    4.How does God show his transcendance today?
    He does things that are way beyond human achievement. Many times it is not me doing something in ministry, but God who uses me to accomplish His purposes.
    5.How does a story like this affect you?
    It humbles me and reminds me that when I donot have my heart in the right place and my motives right, God will still win. He will work without me. It encourages me to be holy not because I need to in order to prove that Godf is great, but so that God will use me in his greatness.

  6. Moon [ED 2203;Mon 6:00pm class] says:

    1.Where was the ark taken and what happened at each location?Ashdod(Dagon, Gath,Ekron) panic, an outbreak of tumors
    2.What did this show about God? God’s power, God’s righteousness, God’s judgment toward people who are against God.
    3.What was the Philistine’s conclusion? to send it back to Israel
    4.How does God show his transcendance today? we can find His transcendance in every nature even. Also it is revealed in Christians, and churches. God show His transcendace working in our lives.
    5.How does a story like this affect you? This story reminds me about that God does never cease His work and He is always faithful. Because He reveals His faithfulness in His word like this story, I can surely trust in Him and run without ceasing until the end of this race of my life.

  7. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. The ark was first takento Ashod, into Dagon’s temple, then once the ark had caused the god of Dagon to fall over, and God afflicted the people of Ashod with tumors and they realized the power of the God of Israel, so they sent the ark to Gath. In Gath the people were afflicted with tumors as well and sent the ark to Ekron, where the same happened. Then the people of Ekron wanted to send it back to its people.
    2. This shows that God can not be contoled, He is all omnipotent, and omnipresent. God also will have no others set above Him, as we see with the god of Dagon.
    3. The Philistines concluded that the ark should be sent back to its place or the God of Israel would destroy them.
    4. God shows His transcendence today as He will not allow people of power or political authority to rise too far, because He wants it to be made known that He is Lord over all and there is none above Him. for example the USA in itself is declining in its power, but this could be part of God’s plan to humble us, in realizing that we are not rulers over this world- He is.
    5. This story affects me as I reflect on the way that even the enemies of God realized His power and authority over their gods in the end, and how much more should a a follower of God realize that nothing should be put above God. So often I put my time over God, I put my own priorities over Him, but just as the god of Dagon, these things will fall apart in the presence of the Lord, for He will share His glory with no one.

  8. Melissa Morris says:

    1. First, the ark made its way to Ashod– it wasn’t too hot. The men received tumors. Second, the ark made its way to Gath. It didn’t go so well there either.
    2. God’s power and wrath.
    3. The ark needed to be taken back to where it belonged– Israel.
    4. The same way He did then– He is all-powerful and all-knowing, so He afflicts people today as well if they misuse material objects.
    5. This story reminds me to never covet a material object and to always remember God’s power. Above all else, God is omniscient.

  9. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) The Ark was taken from Ebenezer to Ashdod, then to Dagon’s temple to Gath, and finally sent to Ekron.
    2) It shows God’s power over everything in the world.
    3) They decided that they must send it back to Israel, or else it was going to kill them.
    4) I think He shows it primarily through the truths found in Scripture and in the way he works in the lives of belivers as well as unbelivers.
    5) It gives me comfort, knowing that God truly is in control of all things, but it also makes me consider the seriousness of sinning against God.

  10. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.Where was the ark taken and what happened at each location?
    – Ebenezer-Ashdod-Dagon’s temple(Dagon kept falling on his face on the ground before the ark of God)-Gath(afflicted people with tumors)-Ekron(death of people and affliction with tumors)
    2.What did this show about God?
    -This story manifests the Holiness of God
    3.What was the Philistine’s conclusion?
    -God who is Almighty is on Israel’s side.
    4.How does God show his transcendance today?
    – Through the system of nature.
    5.How does a story like this affect you?
    – This story refreshes my thought that God is not a means for my prosperity and success.

  11. spiritandtruth1128 says:

    1. Where was the ark taken and what happened at each location? Ashdod and Dagon kept appearing facedown every morning. Also, to Gath and there people were filled with panic. Finally to Ekron and there people were fearful and cried out for the ark to be taken out of their city.
    2. What did this show about God? That God is jealous for us, He wants us to worship only Him. Also that God has the power to show that other gods are nothing compared to Him, and that he will do whatever it takes to do this.
    3. What was the Philistine’s conclusion? Fear of the God of Israel
    4.How does God show his transcendance today? There will never be any force that can over powe God. God shows his eternal kingship by not allowing any force to destroy anything unless it is His will.
    5. How does a story like this affect you? I feel like following God seems hard due to what society tried to tell us what is wrong and right. As the years go by society only tries to make us look worse by living a life that reflects God’s love. However this makes me feel like God is going to prove his power, his sovereignty and his awesomeness to all those against Him and it really encourages me to live a purposeful life for Him

  12. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. The Ark was taken to Ashdod, where Dagon fell before it. Then it was taken to Gath, where the people were afflicted with tumors.
    2. This showed that God is sovereign over all people and all places.
    3. The Philistines’ conclusion was that the Ark was brought to kill them, so they sent it back to the Israelites.
    4. God shows his transcendence today by making good things come from bad situations, and by being in control of all people in all places.
    5. A story like this makes me realize God’s power and ability to show himself to anyone at any time that he chooses.

  13. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    Where was the ark taken and what happened at each location?
    – Ashdod, and the Dagon kept falling down at each place.
    What did this show about God?
    – God cannot be considered as the same as other gods, God has no rivals.
    What was the Philistine’s conclusion?
    – The decided to send the Ark back to Israel.
    How does God show his transcendance today?
    – God shows his transcendance through everything in this world; He created the world, and He is in control of everything in the world He made.
    How does a story like this affect you?
    – Through this story, God shows me that He is the only one who deserves to be worshiped by us, and how great being God is.

  14. Kristen Patush says:

    1.Where was the ark taken and what happened at each location?

    The Ark was taken to Ashdod, where Dagon fell before it.Then the Ark was taken to Gath, where the people were afflicted with tumors. Then the Ark was taken to Ekron where the people cryed out and were not afflicted as a result.

    2.What did this show about God?

    God can not be matched. He is like no other God, and he has all the power. He is soveriegn above all, even other people’s gods.

    3.What was the Philistine’s conclusion?

    They sent the Ark back to Israel.

    4.How does God show his transcendance today?

    I think the most evident way that he has shown his transcendance today is how he always makes good out of what seems bad, for our good and his glory.

    5.How does a story like this affect you?

    I am left in awe of our great God’s soveriegnty and goodness. He is so mighty and majestic, he can not and will not share his glory and power with any other!

  15. aaron wright says:

    1. ashdod akron ekron
    2. Gods power!
    3. ark cant stay. must be returned
    4. the Bible is an obvious one
    5. the Lord is powerful and shouldnt be seen as weak or incapable

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