“Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found of them.” (2 Chronicles 15:3-4)
Let me just start by saying that we, in the era of the New Covenant, enjoy this privilege bereft of the actual disconnect, because of the Lord Jesus and facilitated through the Holy Spirit. But it would seem we’re at a place not too different from what is described in the first verse of the above passage. Because there are times when it feels as if there is no God (let alone the “true” God) and that there’s no need for any of the aforementioned “teaching priest” or “the law”. A sea of subjectivity greets us at every turn and we are hard-pressed to make sense and meaning of all the dilution we feel. Forgive me for prescribing this condition thus. I feel it fits though.
“And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.” (1 Samuel 5:4)
Idolatry can be a hard thing to pin down. Because without a true glimpse (essentially an image) of God from which to work, you don’t really know the thing you’re looking at isn’t God. “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.” (Deuteronomy 5:7) says God through Moses. Couple this with Jesus’s reprimand of “get thee behind me Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Luke 4:8), it would seem that anything other than Jesus, no matter how impressive or holy-looking, will lead you away from Him. The above passage speaks of a time when the Ark of the Covenant had been taken from the Israelites and was holed up at the temple of the Philistine god Dagon. Dagon was a god of fertility, represented in symbol by grain but by statue of what might be akin to a bearded merman. So powerful was the presence of God (“the true God”) that the statue of Dagon fell apart overnight. The correlation for us in these times plays in to the passage at the top of the page.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15)
“Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.” (Isaiah 8:13)
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
The idea behind this proof-text is that God the Father is the one with whom we have to do. The one around which we orient our feelings. Be it “hope” or “fear” and the spectrums of both. Granted, we must work through fear when approaching God but we have the promise of something better from which we launch. When it says in Peter to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts”, it means bring Him into each and every and the innermost chambers of your heart. Don’t worry about clearing out the traces of your old life without acknowledging God first. He will shatter our illusions and any other gods that reside within.