Gaza: Desperate Offerings in Supernatural Events
These are the golden tumors that the Philistines returned as a guilt offering to the Lord: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron, and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both fortified cities and unwalled villages. — 1 Samuel 6:17-18
Before we dig into the text, it's essential to comprehend the gravity of the events that led up to it. In 1 Samuel 5, the Philistines had defeated the Israelites and captured the Ark of the Covenant. Believing that the God of Israel lived in the Ark, they placed it in the temple of Dagon, their god, as a symbol of superiority. But what followed was humbling. Their false god, Dagon, was found face down before the Ark and then decapitated and finally dismembered and on top of this, plagues, tumors, and widespread panic struck them, forcing them to acknowledge the might of the God of Israel whose Ark they had taken.
This wasn't just a hiccup for the Philistines but complete chaos. The Philistine cities, including Gaza, had each been tormented in turn. They tried relocating the Ark several times, but this only spread the agony. Finally, out of sheer desperation, the Philistines, who once thought their god was superior, were making golden offerings of tumors and mice to Yahweh, the God of Israel. It was an explicit admission of their guilt and a desperate attempt to find favor in God's sight.
I have always found it intriguing how God uses natural and supernatural events to make his divine power known to both his enemies and friends. This event exposed not only the arrogance of the Philistines but also the arrogance of the Nation of Israel. And I don't think it is wrong to pray that God would use events like this to expose the blatant, ungodly arrogance that is happening in Gaza today.
But remember, as you pray, this may also come to pass in your own life. Remember, we all have inclinations of arrogance. Sometimes, the vanity is so deep and unseen that we will try to shift the blame. But eventually, God will expose this using a natural and supernatural event to get our attention, too. And how we respond in this moment can reshape who we are and bring glory to already and always great God.
So, God, we ask in unison that you would make your name great in Gaza, Israel, and in our lives as well.
In what ways have you experienced or witnessed the exposure of hidden arrogance, either in your life or in the world around you? How did it lead to a moment of repentance or change?
What natural or supernatural events have gotten your attention and caused you to reevaluate your relationship with God? How did you respond?
DO THIS: Pray for natural and supernatural events in this life that drive mankind back to God.
PRAY THIS: Lord, expose the hidden arrogance in my heart and replace it with a spirit of humility and dependence on You. May Your name be glorified in every area of my life, just as Your power was made known to the Philistines and Israelites alike. Amen.
PLAY THIS: Glory Is Yours.
SIGN UP — THE DAILY DEVO
short + biblical + practical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.