From the chair:
“When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. But when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.”
-1 Samuel 5:1-5
I’ve always loved this story, because it declares that God can take care of himself. Now, does God live in the box, have the Philistines really captured him? Of course not. But the Philistines think so, and God chooses to make sure the Philistines know that he is the true God.
The Israelites, on the other hand, have some figuring out to do. They shouldn’t have carried the ark into battle, and they shouldn’t let it go. As far as we can tell, they seem to have given up on the ark, and that was a bad call too. God does not need them to rescue him, but they need him to rescue them from the disobedience they’re tumbling into.
In a world hostile to God, it’s good for us to remember that God can take care of himself. He doesn’t need us to defend or rescue him. Yet, that doesn’t mean that should leave God to himself, because we need him. We’re the ones who need defending and saving, so we have every reason to stay close to God, in both obedience and love, that the power of God might deliver us.
From the desk:
I had some busy work to do this afternoon, so I popped in a Tim Keller sermon. I have to say, these essential truths of the gospel are the best thing I encountered all day:
“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.