The story is humorous. As a matter of fact, I laughed aloud when I read it. But then the Spirit said, Wait a minute. Before you laugh at them, take a look at your own idols.
In a battle with the Israelites, the pagan Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant. It was carried back to one of their own towns, and they hauled it into their own temple and set it up beside their idol Dagon. This created a buzz, and the next morning the locals came to the temple to see the prize. But the image of Dagon had fallen and was lying face down in front of the Ark of the Lord. So the Philistines propped up their god. And the next morning, the same thing had happened — except this time, the idol’s hands and head had broken off and rolled towards the door! (See 1 Samuel 5 for the story)
Again and again in the Old Testament history, God warns about staying away from idols. Idolatry was one of Israel’s most grievous sins. “I am the Lord!” He says. “I will not give my glory to anyone else or share my praise with carved images.” (Isaiah 42:8) At other times, he challenges His people: “Can your idols save you? Can they tell you the future? Can they create worlds? Can they do anything that I do for you?”
We have our idols too. Not carved images that we set up in a temple. But we all have things or people in our lives that we are prone to look to as our “Saviour” or our Rescuer. We look to things other than God for our security. We sacrifice parts of ourselves and even our children to gain things we think can provide what we need or satisfy our desires or solve our problems. And our gods, sooner or later, start falling apart too.
God says, “I am the one who answers your prayers. I am the tree that is always green. Your fruit comes from me, and me alone.” (See Hosea 14:8)
And that is where the problem of idolatry lies. We look to other things (or people) for what God says He provides. We give our worship to things other than God. Yes, we give our praise to worldly, temporal things instead of to the Creator and Lord of the Universe. We allow things other than God to shape our lives and direct our thoughts and behavior.
“I am the Lord, and there is no other Saviour. There is no other God. Never has been, never will be!” (See Isaiah 43:10-11)
“Let those who are wise understand these things.” (Hosea 14:9)
He alone is God. Always. Forever.
For you are great and perform wonderful deeds.
You alone are God.