"The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God." – Genesis 17:8
“Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. 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.
-1 Samuel 5:2-3
This is an absolutely awesome passage of scripture. The Philistines have just captured the Ark of the Covenant from the Hebrews and they bring it into their idol’s temple. There they leave it. When they arise the next morning and go into the temple, their “god”, Dagon, is face down before the Ark. Bowing before the earthly representation of the true King. God made it known very quickly that “before [him] every knee will bow; by [him] every tongue will swear.” (Isaiah 45:23) God is God. And every God that we place in front of him WILL bow.
But it isn’t just obvious Gods. Service can become a god. Work can be a god. School can be a god. A spouse can be a god. Anything that keeps us from devoting (see acts 2:42-46) ourselves to the true God is a false god. Even things that are good, when brought to an extreme can become sour and lead into idolatry. We CAN’T get so caught up in doing good that serving becomes a god. If we are too busy DOING, that we don’t have time to spend daily with God then we have a false god. We should be dedicated to doing and making a difference but completely given over to Christ. If we don’t have an abiding relationship with Christ, no amount of service will make a difference.
Let’s take those things in our lives that have taken away time from Christ and put them next to the “ark”. When we place service, our work, our school, our friends and family, etc. near God, they will bow. When all of those things that can become gods are bowing to the true God, then He will receive the glory, and honour, and praise. Let’s ask God to work in us to make everything we do give glory to the Him.