Bible Stories for the Young


Can’t Stand Up to God


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Dagon : Can’t Stand Up to God

The Ark of God’s Covenant had been captured by the Philistines in battle. The Philistines carried the Ark all the way back to their city so that they could put it on display next to their make-believe god, Dagon.

So there was the majestic Ark of the TRUE God, sitting side-by-side with this awful make-believe-god statue that the Philistines worshipped. Euhhhh.

Early the next morning, the people of the Philistine city woke up. Blink, blink, yawwwwwn, and THEN they remembered that the Ark of the Israelite God was in their town. They ran, they skipped, they raced each other to be the first to get to take a peek at the mysterious Ark.

Even these idol-worshipping Philistines had heard all about the God of Israel. Everyone knew the story of how the Israelite God rescued His people from slavery in Egypt — the hail, the frogs, the locusts, the parting of the Red Sea. They had heard the AMAZING stories! That is why they were so excited to have captured the Ark — they knew that it represented God’s supernatural Help.

But when the people of the city peeked inside at the Ark, what do you think they saw? Their make-believe-god statue had fallen flat on its face. Plop! It was laying on the floor right in front of the Ark of the God of Israel. “Whoopsie! How did this happen?” the people thought. This made their god Dagon look kind of puny and weak, laying on the floor like that in front of the Ark of the Lord. It even looked like the fake god was bowing down to the Real God! How humiliating! So as quickly as they could, they pushed and pulled, pushed and pulled, pushed and pulled and FINALLY got their make-believe god statue standing back up again. Then they went home, all tired from the work.

As the sun came up early the next morning, the Philistines slowly opened their eyes. Blink, blink, yawwwwwn. “Oh, yeah,” they remembered. “Today, let’s try to get a closer look at that Ark.” So they ran, they skipped, and they raced each other to see who could get to it first. They peeked inside the door and what do you think they saw? Their make-believe-god statue had fallen over AGAIN! Not only that, but its left hand had broken off. Its right hand had smashed off. Even its head had cracked off! There was no propping it up this time — it was too broken, smashed, and cracked!

About this time, the people started getting very sick from a sickness that God had brought on them. They had big tumors — which are giant lumps — popping up all over their bodies. POP, POP, POP, POP, POP. Some of the people were even dying. They realized it must be because they had stolen the Ark of God from the Israelites, and now God was punishing them. So the people of the Philistine city decided they did NOT want the Ark in their town any more!

The Philistine rulers got together and came to a decision. “Why don’t we try sending the Ark to Gath? Maybe things will be okay there.”

Right away they sent the Ark over to Gath, which was another Philistine city where some of their friends lived. The people THERE started getting big bumps popping up all over their bodies — POP, POP, POP, POP, POP, POP and some of them were dying, too!

So the rulers decided to move the Ark to yet ANOTHER city. “Let’s send it over to our friends in Ekron. May-maybe things will be okay over there?”

But WAS it okay?? NO, it wasn’t. When the people in Ekron saw the Ark coming to THEIR town, they were unhappy, and started crying out, “Noooooooo! We don’t want to get big bumps on us, too! We’ll all DIE if the Ark stays in our town!” It was true. People were already starting to get bumps on their bodies — POP, POP, POP — and some were dying.

Several important Philistines got together to talk. “Hey, this is NOT working out. We thought it would be cool to show off that we had captured the Israelites’ Ark of God. But getting big bumps and dying is NOT very cool. The God of Israel is not happy about what we’ve done. We need to send the Ark back to Israel, RIGHT AWAY. And we should send a gift to their God to show Him that we were wrong and are sorry. Maybe then He’ll take away our bumpity sickness.

The Philistines still kind of wondered if their sickness was not really caused by God but was just a coincidence. So they decided to send the Ark of God back to Israelite territory on a cart pulled by 2 cows but with NO driver. These cows had never been to Israel territory before. The cows would have no driver to tell them which way to go!

The Philistines figured that if the cows that pulled the cart kept walking toward the Israelites’ land, instead of turning around and heading back home to their nice, comfy stalls, that for sure it would mean it was God who had brought the sickness and death upon them.

Well OF COURSE the cows kept walking all the way back to Israel with no driver. And while they walked, they moo’ed, moo’ed all the way. Some Israelites who were working in the fields looked up from their work when they heard the “moo.” Then they saw coming over a hill two cows, and then a cart, and then… then they saw the ARK! They were so happy. Right away they gave thanks and offered sacrifices to God, thanking Him for bringing the Ark back home to Israel, God’s Family, right where it belonged. They knew that where the Ark was, that God’s presence, His Glory, would be there too. And that made them glad to have it.