1 Samuel 5
After the Philistines had taken the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites, they took it to the city of Ashdod and put it in the temple of Dagon. Dagon was the false god that they worshiped. The statues they made of him looked like the top half of a man on the bottom half of a fish. They probably put it there as a way of showing their god was more powerful than the God of the Israelites. They were about to find out how wrong they were!!
The next morning when they came in the temple, the statue of Dagon was face down on the floor in front of the Ark!! They set it back up, but the next morning it had not only fallen face down but the hands and head had broken off. Not only did their statue fall over, but the people of Ashdod began getting horrible growths on their bodies. The men gathered together and decided to send the Ark to another Philistine city, Gath.
But when the Ark was in Gath, the people there began breaking out with growths too. So, they decided to send it to the city of Ekron. Now when the poor people of Ekron saw the Ark they cried out that they were trying to kill them! They eventually gathered all the Philistine leaders and decided to send it back to Israel because many people were dying in Ekron.
But why did this happen? God had allowed the Philistines to defeat the Israelites because of the disobedience of the Israelites but the Ark belonged to the people of Israel. God would not allow the Philistines to keep something that did not belong to them without punishment. God doesn’t like anyone doing wrong and there is always a price to be paid, in this case a terrible illness. God destroyed the statue of Dagon to show that no one is more powerful than the one true God!
Draw what Dagon may have looked like. If possible find picture of other “gods” (Buddha, Greek mythology, etc.) and discuss how silly it is to worship something made by men’s hands.