Slightly Obsessed #050 "God and the Merman" (Weekly Devo) by Pamela Thorson on 2013-11-06 12:19:13
From the waist up, Dagon was a man. From the waist down, he was a fish. This burly “merman” was the god and protector of the sea-faring Philistines.
Shortly after the young Israelite Samuel became a prophet of the Lord, Israel went to war with the Philistines. The Philistines defeated the army of Israel and took the ark of God in triumph. They placed it in the temple of Dagon as a symbol of the merman’s power over the God of the Israelites.
They were about to learn a critical lesson:
The ark of Israel wasn’t just a trinket in the march of the gods. And the God of Israel wasn’t just another token deity in the pagan pantheon.
As the sounds of celebration waned in the hours after the battle, night settled over the Philistine city of Ashdod. Within the dark interior of the temple, in the stillness, there was a stirring.
Then there was a thud.
The next morning, the Ashdodites found Dagon on his face before the ark of the Lord. They assumed he fell over and set him back up in his place.
The next night was again shattered, this time in a crash as the stone fell before the breath of God.
Early in the morning, the Ashdodite worshippers arrived at Dagon’s temple to find him on his face before the ark. This time, his head and hands had broken off on the temple threshold when he fell. The implication was clear. This was a vanquished enemy.
Soon a deadly outbreak of boils fell upon the entire city’s inhabitants. Trembling, the Philistines quickly returned the ark to Israel.
Is your enemy tormenting you today? Does it look like there is no deliverance for you? Do you wonder if your prayers fall upon deaf ears?
Take heart. You have not come to the temple of the merman. If you have surrendered your life to the Lord of Lords, you are the temple of the living God. He hears your prayers. He is real, powerful, and very much alive.
Throw your trust on Him today. Walk in His righteous and toss away your idols. Listen for His voice. He is speaking; and He says this:
There is only one God. And He is mighty.
Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short
That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull
That it cannot hear.
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
The pain takes us down and drives us to our knees. We long for relief, for a way out. But in the secret place of suffering, we discover that pain is our friend.
Slightly Obsessed #228: The God of the Grateful
My world had just fallen into a pit. We had a young daughter, four other children, and no insurance. I was so sick that I didn’t even know if I could get to the doctor for tests. Despair rolled over us in waves.
Then God spoke.
Slightly Obsessed #227: Release the Beautiful
As we smiled at the people we met on our walk I wondered at the social custom that requires face-to-face congeniality on a bike path among strangers who would soon be in our respective cars fighting over a lane change. It’s easier to be mad at people when we can’t see their faces.
Slightly Obsessed #226: Triune
In its most basic element, our very existence mirrors His Godhead in trinity. Each person enters time and space as three: body, soul, and spirit.
Slightly Obsessed #225: Why Lightning Doesn't Strike the Wicked
The popular radio host was on a rampage, vehemently damning God. He crowned the diatribe by flinging a challenge at God to strike him down at that very moment. He smugly interpreted heaven's silence as proof that there is no God. But what was really happening?
Slightly Obsessed #224: When the Pressure Feels Too Great
The fig I found in a local big box store had already been trimmed into a lovely miniature tree with an unusual trunk. Little did I understand what it takes to train a plant into a bonsai, and what that process would teach me about God.