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cover of 5-26-2024 | The Defeat of Dagon | 1 Samuel 5
5-26-2024 | The Defeat of Dagon | 1 Samuel 5

5-26-2024 | The Defeat of Dagon | 1 Samuel 5


Sermon by Mark Evans

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AI Mastering


Our bulletin as we prepare our minds and still our hearts to worship the Lord My member a couple weeks ago we read from psalm 78 a section that had to deal with first samuel 4 and The psalmist continues in psalm 78 and we'll see the psalmist reflecting here on god's great victory something that we will look at specifically today in first samuel 5 and so Let us hear the word of the lord as we take a few moments of meditation Meditation Then the lord awoke as from sleep Like a strong man shouting because of wine And he put his adversaries to rout He put them to everlasting shame I'll take a few moments of meditation So So So Well, let us worship the triune god let's stand as our god calls us to worship him from psalm 145 Amen Praise the lord praise god in his sanctuary praise him in his mighty heavens Praise him for his mighty deeds praise him according to his excellent greatness Indeed, let's praise our god now as we sing all authority and power So So So So Let us pray Oh the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of god how unsearchable are his judgments how inscrutable are his ways For who has known the mind of the lord who has been his counselor? Who has given him a gift that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things To him be glory forever and ever And so father here we are to glorify you now as your people as those once lost and ruined by the fall But redeemed by your mercy those once dead but made alive in christ those once hopeless But now having the very hope of glory and all because of your glorious son The lord jesus christ and so it is in his name. We pray and praise you. Amen You may be seated You God cleanses us this morning through the reading of his law from the book of isaiah 42 8 I am the lord that is my name My glory I give to no other nor my praise to carved idols This is the word of the lord In the book of isaiah the prophet isaiah is charged by god to bring his Condemnation his charges to the people of israel that have broken the covenant That the people of israel had exchanged the worship of the one true and living god god that had Bought them delivered them God that had taken them under his wings They had exchanged that for the worship of idols something they could hold Something that they could feel something that they could celebrate something that they could enjoy instantly And it was isaiah like a prosecutor who brought an indictment On that indictment was the offense of idolatry Little ones children Have you ever been in a courtroom where you've been in front of a judge Maybe not Maybe a policeman Maybe your mom your dad was driving a little too fast Either of those are intimidating situations But at the end of the day the policemen and the judge these are just people These are just people that have been charged to take care of a neighborhood a county a state a district In the book of isaiah in chapter 6 we see A glimpse into god's courtroom We see two angels flying Each of them with six wings Angels in front of a holy god and we get a glimpse of what holiness looks like That even the angels themselves use two of those wings to cover their eyes And they say together in thundering voices Holy holy holy is the lord god of hosts The whole earth is filled with his glory And isaiah the prosecutor ready to prosecute these offenses. He's undone That he himself says woe is me I am a man of unclean lips This morning with the offense of idolatry the offense is no less offensive But instead of a coal to offer this morning we have christ We have the finished work of christ That cleanses us And that invites us To cleanse ourself through his finished work So let us together confess our sin of idolatry Heavenly father We give you praise for you are the one true and living god and there is none like you You have rightly commanded us to have no other gods before you And yet we confess we often give way to idolatry Foolishly placing our trust in things above our own Eyes We often fail to put to death sexual morality impurity passion evil desire and covetousness Which is idolatry? Forgive us we pray And teach us to turn from our vain idols to serve you alone the true and living god In christ's name we pray Amen, take this time to silently confess your sins So So Our gracious heavenly father holy is your name Our lord and our god forgive us for where we exchange your glory For what we can hold for your creation Our lord, we ask that you would be merciful to us in the name of christ We pray lord that we would do nothing in thought word or deed that would devalue your great name We thank you lord for your faithfulness to us Even when we are unfaithful We give you thanks for all of these things in christ's name. Amen If you are trusting in christ for your salvation hear these words of pardon from psalms 130 3 through 4 If you oh lord should mark iniquities. Oh lord who could stand but with you there is forgiveness that you may be feared Please stand now to sing our hymn of trust Found on page five in your bulletin lord of the sabbath hear us pray Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Now affirm our common faith faith from the heidelberg catechism question 95. What is idolatry? Who has revealed himself in his word Well, our new testament reading this morning comes from romans chapter 1 You've probably heard of the great exchange whereby christ takes our sin upon himself We in exchange receive the righteousness of christ You could think of romans 1 as the worst exchange the worst exchange and that man Has the knowledge of god he suppresses that truth and in exchange he trades it out for a lie Something that we will see in first samuel 5 this morning And so let us hear the word of the lord from romans 1 The wrath of god is revealed from heaven Against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men Who by their unrighteousness? suppressed the truth For what can be known about god is plain to them because god has shown it to them For his invisible attributes namely his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived Ever since the creation of the world and the things that have been made So they are without excuse For although they knew god they did not honor him as god or give thanks to him But they became futile in their thinking And their foolish hearts were darkened claiming to be wise they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal god for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things This is the word of the lord Thanks indeed you may be seated Well, one of the things that we just sang was lord of sabbath hear us pray Particularly on this day. That is one of our great duties That's one of our great delights that we get to come to the lord of the sabbath The lord who has promised us eternal rest and pray to him making petitions not just for ourselves But for the nations abroad for every tribe tongue and people and so Let us go before the throne of grace to do exactly that just now Heavenly father we do praise you as we have already said this morning. You are the one true and living god And your glory you will not share with another And you are the god who is rightly jealous for your own glory For you are the supreme ruler of all you are worthy of all worship and praise as the psalmist says Let everything that has breath praise the lord And so father we particularly pray that you would give us eyes to see what is revealed in first samuel 5 this morning You are not the god who is served by human hands as though you needed anything from us It is we who are entirely dependent upon you you are in no way Dependent upon us that the battle truly belongs to the lord And help us as well to turn from the temptations of idolatry And yes, we may not make physical statues in our time, but we do confess That we set up idols in our hearts that our hearts are idol factories And we do give way to coveting to a love of money defining security and peace and the things of man and recognition And selfish desires to be liked by everyone that we meet It can be in the worship of a career or the exaltation of our appearance and on and on And we know that our misplaced trust so often shows itself in our anxieties our fears our insecurities and our sins And so we pray that your kindness Would lead us in repentance teach us once again That in christ and in him alone are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and in knowledge Then in christ alone, do we find rest in christ alone? Do we have you as our heavenly father as our exceedingly great reward and we as your beloved children? Father we pray to you for a new covenant church in dallas for pastor paul brown there We are thankful that pastor brown is a pastor to the pastors and so help them continue to be a source of strength and encouragement for his fellow brothers in christ We pray to you for the people of new covenant That they would bear witness to the gospel in their deeds living lives of compelling godliness and holiness We pray to they would bear witness in their words That as we saw just last week, how can someone believe? Apart from hearing the words of truth the message of the gospel And so we pray for the people of new covenant that in word and deed they would bear a profound witness And lastly father we pray for the nation of germany As a prophet of their own once declared that god is dead And they have reaped the fruit of that folly And the decline of christianity in germany continues well into the 21st century a nation once professing 97 Christianity in 1960 is now cut in half and that percentage is declining every year The church attendance for all dominations is low that many churches have shut down entirely That much of the german population is effectively unreached 80 percent unevangelized 65 agnostic or atheist And with secularism now dominant And all this in the same land that once sparked the reformation And so father, what do we pray we pray to you the lord of the harvest The god who defeats the dagons of the world That you would rouse yourself that you would pour forth your spirit from on high that you would flan into flame The spark that remains in germany that your church would rise up to declare the good news of jesus christ That you would destroy the idols and the false gods of germany And in its place the church of jesus christ would be built up All to the one end that your name would reign supreme in the land of germany Indeed in all lands praying as the lord. Jesus taught us to pray our father Who art in heaven? How that be thy name? Thy kingdom come Thy will be done On earth as it is in heaven Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors And lead us not into temptation But deliver us from evil For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever amen As we meditated on psalm 78 earlier Let us now stand stand to sing that very same psalm on page six your bulletin Foreign Foreign Is Foreign Foreign Foreign Have your bible do make your way to the book of first samuel as we Pick back up where we left off in our sermon series. And so today We'll be in first samuel chapter five And to get us going i'll read the first five verses of first samuel chapter five Five And these are the words of the god before whom even the mighty angels must shield their eyes When the philistines captured the ark of god They brought it from ebenezer to ashtodd And 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 ashtodd 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 priest of dagon And all who enter the house of dagon Do not tread on the threshold of dagon in ashtodd to this day Or the grass withers and the flower fades Let us pray Our gracious god and heavenly father Indeed as we just read You are the god before whom every knee will bow Every tongue will confess that you are lord You are the supreme ruler of heaven and earth It is good and right that everything that has breath prays you And so we praise you that here we are as your people. We pray once again that by the power of your holy spirit By the mediation of jesus christ by your kindness Would you give us eyes to see would you give us ears to hear once again? The very voice of god revealed in your holy scriptures That we might see the lord. Jesus christ the king of glory in his name. We pray and amen You may be seated Well, it was right at the turn of the 20th century when a famous german philosopher frigic nichi declared That god is dead. God is dead Personally, I think nichi was lamenting that rather than celebrating that when he said that god is dead But the culture certainly took him at his word Some of you might be old enough to remember the famous the notorious issue of time magazine That ran with a provocative cover title Is god dead? And the early 20th century attempted to say yes God is dead As it ushered in a so-called golden age of humanism now that god was dead the idols of man could take center stage by virtue of man's goodness By dint of man's effort and ingenuity man could have his best life and all without god And that worked quite well until it didn't It only took a couple of world wars The communism of stalin and mussolini and pol pot The threat of nuclear suicide and the bloodiest century in recorded history And given all that what was at first unbridled optimism? Soon gave way to utter despair And friends that's very much what we have in our text this morning as we pick back up first samuel We'll see how at first glance. It seems like nichi's words have come true That god has been defeated that god has been conquered by the philistines And everything seems to be going quite well for them until it doesn't Because it is a fearful thing To fall into the hands of the living god To think that you have captured god. It's kind of like saying that you have captured a lion by the toe Maybe you have for a moment But of course as soon as you have captured that lion that lion has actually captured you And nowhere is that more the case than with the lion of the tribe of judah And so we'll walk through this chapter in just two parts. We'll look firstly at the defeat of dagon And secondly the heavy hand of our god But all with the main point that our god will not give his glory to another our god has no Rivals, he is truly lord of lord and king of kings And so let's look first at the defeat of dagon starting in verse 1 it reads When the philistines captured the ark, they brought it from ebenezer to ashdod All right. Let's just remember where we left off in the story two weeks ago. You might remember in chapter 4 israel suffered not one but two devastating defeats against the philistines Recall israel's strategy in that battle was to deploy the ark Foolishly believing that the ark alone would save them Not so much the god who sits enthroned above the ark, but rather that the ark itself Their magic charm would deliver them And it was that abuse that idolatry of the ark That led to their devastating defeat And even worse that's what led to the departure of god's glory Just as the very name implies ichabod Where is the glory gone is god's glory from israel? And so here we are the philistines now have the ark in their possession as a kind of trophy of war So just appreciate what's going on here In that the enemies of god a pagan tribe Have now captured what is one of the most holy of objects for israel Our god was said to sit enthroned above the chair of them on the lid of the ark the ark symbolized god's presence god's power And the way a philistine mind would have worked would have reasoned is Now that we have captured the ark we have conquered one of israel's gods That god who we once so greatly feared is now ours. We own him as a spoil of war Maybe we can even add this god to our pantheon of existing gods And you see all that worked out in verse 2 The philistines took the ark of god. They bring it into the house or the temple of dagon and they set it up keyword beside dagon All right, it'd be hard to make it any clearer than this All right, the philistines have their native god dagon more on dagon in a minute But the philistines think to themselves. Ah, the only thing better than one god is two gods twice the power Twice the benefits twice the effectiveness after all in their mind Israel's god was the god who defeated egypt and mighty pharaoh So just imagine now that we have captured that kind of power One might be nearly unstoppable Now this is a common feature in paganistic pluralism You see the same thing in the new testament for example in the ancient church There was absolutely no problem whatsoever if you wanted to be a christian in the roman empire so long as christ was Subordinated to your roman allegiance Right so long as you were willing to say Caesar is lord if you want to worship other gods. No problem Just as long as your ultimate worship your highest allegiance goes to caesar And of course we have the very same thing today of the lie that secularism sold and Evangelicalism bought in america was if you want to be a christian no problem So long as you submit your christianity to the higher demands of the state to the status quo To the doctrines of tolerance if you want to believe in jesus, no problem Just keep that private between you and jesus and when it comes to things like sexual ethics public norms and morality Big questions on justice and human life then just keep your faith where it belongs in second place And you've got an aggressive version of that here with the philistines All right, they sincerely believe That they have neutered and neutralized the god of israel by placing the ark before dagon So you'd be right to view this arrangement as making a theological statement That their god dagon is superior to the god of israel And all this goes quite well for them until it doesn't Because our god is not mocked Our god is a jealous god. Our god will not share his glory with another Let's just look what happens in verse 3 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 I'll just give you a little background on dagon so you can get to know this false god When the philistines defeated mighty samson, they gave all credit to dagon Their exact words from the book of judges go our god that is dagon Has given our enemy samson into our hand Kids remember samson was a huge pest to the philistines And so when they finally defeated samson, they paid tribute to dagon And dagon shows up in many places in the ancient near east. He's in the hammurabi of babylon He's the chief deity of the amorites There was a temple in ugarit that described him as the father of baal. Remember baal is the god of the canines So you put all that together you can see dagon is a big deal But you have to be strangely encouraged particularly regarding evangelism When you encounter the worship of false gods Because it only further demonstrates the truth of romans 1 that we read earlier and that is that man cannot help But be a worshiper The question is not will man worship the question is will man worship the true and living god? Or will he exchange that truth for a lie and worship false gods? And so as you're going throughout your week week I'm, sure you probably will not run into a worshiper of dagon this week, but You'll be rubbing shoulders. No doubt with a muslim with a mormon with a hindu And you can know this person has enough of the truth to have exchanged that truth for a lie But what good news You have the truth the power of god unto salvation for everyone who believes in the name of jesus christ Okay, so back to dagon Make no mistake dagon was a big deal. He is a force to be reckoned with this is not some trivial deity in the mind of the philistine And yet what do you have in verse 3? this mighty god dagon face plants He falls flat on his face before the ark of the lord And when we zoom out to the bigger picture We learn something even more important from dagon's fall Because did you notice? Who is conspicuously absent from the defeat of dagon? namely israel Take notice that israel had no part no participation in dagon's defeat whatsoever not one single israelite Contributed to dagon's downfall. I mean not so much as even giving dagon just a little push just a little nudge to make him tip over No, israel is still licking her wounds from her last defeats Thus far about the only thing that israel has contributed was to sinfully misplace her trust In her man-made scheme to deploy the ark And so the lesson that god is teaching israel and therefore us Could not be clear That the victory belongs solely to the lord and he will not share his glory with another And so it is for us We have not one thing to boast in Save the cross of jesus christ and his salvation and his victory for us all However on the other hand The philistines remain undeterred Let's give them high marks for their stubborn. I'll be at stupid determination in verse 3 and following Because you see they take dagon And they pick him up and they put him back in his place, which in itself is embarrassing, right? This great god cannot even pick himself up, right? You have to go god. Do you need a hand god? Can I help you get back where you belong? There's even more shame in verse 4 When they rose early the next morning behold dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the lord But notice this time there's a twist Because dagon is now missing both his head And his hands and only the trunk remains So it's not just now that dagon has fallen down this time. The poor god has been decapitated and dismembered And what's absolutely fascinating? In verse 4 You're right to think of dagon the dagon is embodied in a physical statue right in idol Some say you may have had the semblance of a fish, but we don't know for sure. But just imagine a tall statue Kids imagine this statue has a body, right? It's got trunk. It's got arms It's got hands and of course the statue has a head And what you might imagine from this passage is okay There's dagon and probably upright probably elevated and then the statue falls over and it's the force of that fall That dislodges the head from the trunk right tall statue Falls at a sharp angle and the head of the statue smacks the ground and the head pops off But that is not what the text says, is it? What does the text say in verse 4? It tells us that the head And the hands of dagon were lying you see that word cut off And indeed this is the hebrew verb that means to cut When israel was to cut the foreskin in circumcision, this is the verb that is used When david cuts off the head of goliath, this is the verb that is used So in other words the idea in verse 4 Is not that the head of dagon just happened to pop off from sheer impact No, we have here the notion that somebody someone deliberately purposely Chopped off the head and the hands of dagon And friends I would submit to you With the preface that this is speculation but not unwarranted speculation That the somebody who cut off dagon's head was none other Than the second person of the trinity the pre-incarnate christ The old testament gives us many christophanies or more simply said appearances of the son of god in the old testament We know for certain That it was christ who appeared in the pillar of cloud by day pillar of fire by night during the exodus You can think also of the commander of the lord's army in joshua fond You could think of the angel of the lord at sodom and gomorrah and on and on we go. These are taken to be Appearances of the son of god before his incarnation And I would submit to you that we have here the work of the son of god cutting off the head and hands of dagon Because either way what is not speculative? Is that the honor of that kind of victory belongs to jesus christ? It points us forward to the coming christ As colossians 2 says christ will disarm the principalities and powers and he puts them to open shame And you've got exactly that here with dagon This god is put to public shame before his worshipers Right. He is exposed to be exactly what he is A false god an impotent god a god who cannot save indeed. No god at all He is not just figuratively he is literally disarmed and dismembered And that is a most powerful picture Of what the coming christ comes to do That not merely to one local god But over all the dark principalities and authorities even to the strong man himself Christ triumphs over them and puts them to open shame by his resurrection power And dagon's defeat Had that very effect upon the philistines in verse 5 You see their history there This is why the priest of dagon And those who enter his table to his temple do not tread on the threshold to this very day You see their entire religion their whole priesthood their whole cultic practice is now disrupted And there's two things to notice there from verse 5 that are very important number one Notice that all this goes down in the city of ashtod Now that's significant because ashtod was included in the land of conquest That israel was supposed to go in and conquer Now the book of joshua rattles off the very cities that you see in this chapter Cities like ashtod like ekron like gath that israel was supposed to go in and defeat And of course if you're at all familiar With joshua with judges, you know It was that very conquest that israel failed to do. She did not come and conquer ashtod And so here it's as if our god is saying once again My own hand will bring salvation My own arm will be your strength this battle and its glory belongs to me Secondly Notice also in verse 4 this victory disrupts specifically the thresholds Thresholds were considered sacred space in the ancient near east And after this defeat the priests no longer tread on the thresholds So it's not just that dagon dagon was defeated. He's defeated on his home turf In his own so-called sacred space the one place where he was most adored And so uh just revel in the thick irony here In that the capturing of the ark the very thing That the philistines thought was their victory Is the very thing that is their defeat, right? The reversal of fortune could not be thicker And friends once again, that should point you forward to the lord. Jesus christ That the very epicenter of the victory of christ is That of a tomb His victory emerges out of all places from a grave That satan himself is said to have the power of death as hebrews says And yet satan is defeated the very place of his so-called power by the resurrection of christ And so great is that victory this is why the apostle paul can even mock can even make fun of death Where is thy victory where is thy sting? So there's a word on the defeat of dagon, let's now look at the heavy hand of the lord Because of the previous section focused on the god dagon This section now focuses on the people of dagon, right? God has dealt with the false god Now we look at god's dealings with the actual people themselves As the psalmist says the earth is the lord's and the fullness thereof that of course includes the people who dwell on the earth I'm, sometimes alarmed By just how much relativism has infected the church You sometimes hear christians speak as though god only rules over christians or over the church Even last week richie alluded To the all too common idea that god does not judge those who have never heard the name of christ Be it in india or some other distant land But hope you notice as you read through the old testament, you quickly realize that god holds entire nations accountable for their false worship Nations like assyria or moab or tyre or sidon or in this case celestia And you see his authority flexed right away in verse six it reads The hand of the lord was heavy Against the people of ashton Now remember your hebrew that word heavy is related to the word kavod very often translated glory Because glory is heavy As c.s lewis once wrote some essays called the weight of glory That's a good way to think of glory glory tips the scales glory weighs a lot, right? We all know this if someone comes up to you and they boast guess what I can lift five pounds Think big deal, but they say I can lift 500 pounds. Oh, there's more weight more glory to that feat and our god Shows himself heavy with glory against the philistines in verse six It reads that god terrified And afflicted them with tumors so much so verse 7 That when the men of ashton how and saw how things were they said The ark of the god of israel must not remain with us for his hand is hard against us And against our god dagon The most splendid of ways that god shows his glory is through his merciful salvation in christ But as roman says God also shows his glory through vessels of wrath To make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy And that's what god is doing here with the philistines Something perhaps this is a kind of bubonic plague But either way so much so that the philistines say get this thing out of here and yesterday but even in god's afflictions You see god's patience his long suffering He gives man time and opportunity to repent You'll notice these afflictions only slowly and steadily increase While the philistines double down on their stubbornness It isn't interesting That the ark is doing now exactly What israel thought it would do remember their bright idea was let's bring out the ark to afflict our enemies And god made that plan futile But now the ark is doing precisely what they hoped it would do only israel Has no part no participation in it whatsoever. It is entirely of god's glory Okay, so the philistines evacuate the ark from ashdod now they move it to gath Hoping that relocating will solve the problem, but you see in verses 8 and 9 The very same affliction repeats itself And so verse 10 they send the ark to yet another city this time the city of ekron These cities are 5 10 15 miles apart from one another But you read that don't assume the philistines are an illogical people Because this asks the question why why are they moving the ark from city to city to city? Well to the pagan mind different gods presided over different regions It was not like you had one god with unlimited dominion that encompassed the entire world No gods were provincial. They were regional they were tribal And so the rationale here is well, let's just move the ark beyond the reach of the god of israel That's not an unscientific approach, right? They've got this hypothesis That this god has a limited wingspan and will get confirmation when the pain stops but as is rightly said reality always wins Capturing the ark worked for a moment and so too today Movement and ideologies that oppose god can seem to work and gain momentum for a time for a season But you can only theorize for so long until the pain becomes unbearable And that's just what happens in verse 10 Because this time you see as soon as the ark comes into what is now the third city ekron The people cry out they have brought the ark of god of israel to kill us and to kill our people All right by this time the news of the ark's pestilence has probably circulated throughout all the land News that was at first good news. Behold. The ark is captured Now that's the worst news of all And similarly you could imagine That until day three it was good news in rome that this blasphemer named. Jesus has been dealt with even crucified on a roman cross But on day three that becomes the worst news of all for his enemies And so the people of ekron say hey, don't you dare bring that cursed thing into our city, right? We're not going to be your lab rats in this experiment of yours And so the people ring up the politicians. They call the lords of the philistines You see in verse 11 They say some of the effective look if you want to be reelected Then get this cursed ark out of here lest it kill us and kill our people Now, what is god doing going from city to city to city? Well, I trust you see god is making his victory lap Right god could have stopped short at just decapitating Dagon But you see here he's making this triumphal procession from city to city to city So as to publicly proclaim to the entire country I am god and there is no other And my dominion is not limited to a particular place. It's not limited to a particular city God is exhibiting that his supremacy is global from sea to sea and everlasting to everlasting And make no mistake he is doing it with a heavy hand as verse 11 says Deathly panic goes throughout the whole city The hand of god was very heavy there Our god's name is gracious Merciful slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. That is who god is And yet as the psalmist says in psalm 18 That to the pure god shows himself pure But to the crooked god makes himself seem torturous That's what we have here To a crooked people of a crooked generation with a false worship of false gods. God is making himself seem to be torturous twisted winding heavy Because they move and god afflicts They juke one way and god afflicts They juke the other way and god afflicts even more every move of man is met with only a greater plague And so to them God seems to be a kind of oppressive labyrinth A kind of oppressive maze that the more you juke and jive the worse it gets the tighter the clamp the greater the pain And of course you see that at full volume when the lord jesus enters his ministry He goes from demon to demon to demon and they have a similar deathly panic Why are you here? Why are you tormenting us? Please leave us. Please. Just let us go into the pigs. Please. Just let us go over to a cliff and leave us be You see before unbelief the king of glory seems only to be torturous And so god's supremacy concludes with shouts of praise in verse 12 The men who did not die were struck with tumors and the cry of the city went up to heaven And we'll see next week what heaven's response is That's why we close let's lay up in our hearts, but two uses of this most awesome section Firstly, you see very clearly the hardness of the heart of man man's hard heartedness It's a truth that the same sun that can melt wax Is the very same sun that also hardens clay? And the philistines are that hard clay Dagon falls no repentance Plagues come no repentance even death itself and yet no repentance They've become just like their god dagon All right, the people have eyes, but they can't see they have ears, but they cannot hear God's afflictions do not soften them into the grace of repentance instead. Their only concern is how can we stop the bleeding? And man, of course is the same today as he was yesterday how often are afflictions not met with repentance They might remember in luke's gospel How jesus commented on that tower that tragically fell and killed 18 people That's the kind of event you would read today in the news But jesus said to his to his survivors to the survivors as something very telling He said to them. Do you think those 18 who died? In that tower are worse sinners than you If you do not repent you will likewise perish And yet the philistines response here is simply one of pain alleviation And so it is today I remember at the height of the aids crisis in the 80s and 90s Rather than calls for repentance rather than calls to forsake and abandon sin Instead we double down on our efforts of health care solutions Even today as we reap the consequences of pornography. We simultaneously boasts in the first amendment Just last month. It was reported that birth rates in the united states have fell to an unsustainable level And yet we boast in women's reproductive rights Even as ideologies infect our schools and swallow whole our children we glory in the so-called separation of church and state And such is the hardness of the heart of man That apart from the work of the holy spirit melting his heart and the kindness of god leading him in repentance Because it's very true What you do when you are afflicted says a lot about you And what good news for you if you are in christ You can have unreserved confidence that every affliction you encounter. Not only is it not arbitrary or pointless But is meant by your father to conform you to jesus christ And is laced with his all sufficient mercy Secondly not just the hardness of man's heart. We see very clearly the heaviness of our god the awesome weight of god's glory Because if this chapter shows us anything it shows us that our god has no rivals Our god will not share his glory with another our god will smash idols and smash our idols So that he would be supreme Because friends you have to think To not think of yourself as above the philistines folly Right that we too would place god alongside of our idols Yes, we do not make statues today But what did we just confess earlier that idolatry is as simple as putting your trust in anything alongside of or above of god And of course that can mean a love of money alongside of christ I can trust in my works alongside of christ. It could be personal status and recognition alongside of christ To find security in intellectual responsibility intellectual respectability cultural respectability workplace respectability all alongside of jesus christ But what is the awesome truth we have seen this morning? That there is no one like our god and his glory will not be split alongside of anything or anyone And church what good news for you That if you are in jesus christ, you know the full story that god has glorified his name By exalting his son jesus christ the one whose dominion is without end and from everlasting to everlasting Let us pray Our gracious god and heavenly father We praise you for there is none like you and your glory you will not cannot share with another For you as father son, holy spirit Are the most glorious all wise all powerful all sufficient god And here we are as your people Indeed, we confess we so often do and put things alongside of you. We pray Just like dagon, they would fall down They would be dismembered. They would be gone and in its place. You would reign supreme For you are the ruler of our hearts you are the ruler of the nations And we pray and ask these things in the strong name of jesus christ and amen Amen. Well, let's continue on in worship as we give back to our god What he has firstly given to us in our tithes and our offerings As a reminder, we'll sing a hymn 439 Out of the red hymnal christ shall have dominion So So So So So So So So Well, we've seen this morning awesome jealousy the great glory of our god before the ark False god dagon falls down And he is picked back up only to fall down yet again to be dismembered to be Decapitated. It's got this clear message that our god is god and he has no rivals What's more? And we saw that israel Had no part no participation Contributed nothing to this victory that solely that victory belonged to the lord. God almighty In a much the same way We come to the lord's supper as a victory meal That it points us to our king. Jesus christ That what has he done that he has gone and he has defeated the strong man He has bound him up that he has risen victorious over sin over satan Even over death itself that death could not hold him down That he is resurrected and ascended. He is seated at god's right hand He has been given the name that is above every name. He is king of kings. He is lord of lords Of course, you can think of all those things. I just mentioned and ask yourself To what part of that did I contribute? Did I add to did I supplement? And trust you'll see the answer is nothing not one part But such is the kindness of our god that he comes and he shares he gives He says come and eat Come and partake of this wine. And if you're searching well, what is the reason why would god do this? We know the simple answer it is because he is gracious because he is merciful because he is full of steadfast love And he has shown us that in the person and work of jesus christ And so we're right to come to this meal with palms up open hands Simply to receive what the lord. Jesus has done for us and to receive it by faith and by faith alone And so if you're with us this morning and you're a guest you're a baptized professed professing christian You're in member a member of a church and you're in good standing with that church We welcome you to come and commune with us to come and and join alongside us to feed upon christ by faith If you're here this morning, and you're not a christian, we are so glad that you are here We hope that you've been encouraged. We hope that you've been challenged We tell you that even right now you could have this king of glory simply by forsaking your sin And casting yourself upon his mercies by faith and by faith alone and he will in no way turn you aside But we would ask that as the bread and the wine make their way by that you would simply let those elements pass you by We say this for your benefit for scripture says to eat and drink unworthily is to eat and drink judgment upon oneself And so with that let us prepare our hearts to feast upon christ by faith Heavenly father we do praise you for this meal and not for the meal in itself before this meal points us to The resurrected ascended christ Indeed, he has died the death that is meant for us as idolaters That he would suffer the just wrath of god in our place We praise you that you have vindicated him exalting him and giving him the name above every name And praise you that in your kindness You have given us this very salvation this fullness of salvation That is found in him And so we pray father as we strive to enter your eternal rest that you would feed us with the food that is needful for us That you would nourish us that you would strengthen us and teach us to turn from our vain idols to serve you That to know that you are exceedingly great reward. We pray in jesus name. Amen On the night the lord jesus was betrayed. He took the bread and breaking it. He gave thanks saying This is my body which is broken for you do this in remembrance of me Elders and deacon coming forward So So So So So His body was broken for us that we might have life and have it abundantly eat and rejoice So And the same way also he took the cup saying this cup is the new covenant in my blood Soften as you drink it drink it in remembrance of me For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the lord's death until he returns So So So So So Our lord jesus drank the cup of god's wrath that you might have the cup of blessing drink and rejoice Now let's rise to sing the doxology Is Me Is What a joy to worship together reminder that immediately after the service we'll go into our fellowship meal If we just have some help cleaning the chairs and setting up tables and again a reminder that it is open to anyone and to everyone As our god has called us. He sends us out with his good word from second corinthians The grace of the lord jesus christ and the love of god and the fellowship of the holy spirit be with you all. Amen You

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