Hideyoshi, a Japanese warlord who ruled over Japan in the late 1500s, commis-sioned a colossal statue of Buddha for a shrine in Kyoto. It took 50,000 men five years to build, but the work had scarcely been completed when the earthquake of 1596 brought the roof of the shrine crashing down and wrecked the statue. In a rage Hideyoshi shot an arrow at the fallen colossus. “I put you here at great ex-pense,” he shouted, “and you can’t even look after your own temple.” (Today in the Word, MBI, August, 1991)
Dagon, the Philistine fish-god in today’s text, was much like Hideyoshi’s Buddha in that he couldn’t even look after his own temple. In fact Dagon was knocked down on his face by the Lord and broken into pieces. But the Philistines still chose to worship him over Jehovah anyway.
I wonder how many of our gods, God has knocked down and yet we still give them priority over Him. Today’s lesson serves a reminder of the foolishness of serving other gods rather than Jesus, and should help motivate us “to keep our-selves from idols!”