Dagon 1 Sam. 5:1-5 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Dagon is the fish god of the Philistines. It is interesting when the ark is put in the house of Dagon that the statue falls to the ground before the ark. And on the next day it is on the ground again but this time the head and palms are broken off and it is lying on the threshold of the door.
What’s that all about? Well there are several things to note from this passage and the cross-references to it.
Idols aren’t just statues; they represent gods – v.2 – Dagon is the fish god – when you see the cherubs around God’s throne, fish and serpents aren’t represented by their faces [Rev 4] – that’s because the fifth cherub [Ezek 28] who is now the devil is gone – and he represents these creatures as a dragon, serpent and fish [like the whale that swallowed Jonah] – there is a spirit associated with the idol and that idol represents the devil, a spiritual being [1 Cor 8:1-6, Ex 22:28, Rev 13:14-15] – notice in Acts 14:11, the idol worshippers fully expected their gods to make an appearance and in Acts 12:20-23 to speak audibly through a man.
The statues themselves are powerless – v.3 – the Dagon worshippers had to set him up again; he couldn’t get himself back up there – Ps 115:4-8, the idol has to be carried, it can’t speak, it can’t see or hear, and so forth – 1 Cor 8:4.
But the gods of the idols spiritually affect the worshippers – v.5 – the Dagon worshippers no longer tread on the threshold – 1 Ki 18:26-29, Acts 19:35, Is 44:14-20 – there is a spirit associated with the worship of the idol that deceives people into believing that the idol is actually doing something for them – that spirit draws them to himself because he desires worship [Lk 4:7, 2 Thes 2:4] – and thus the worshippers sense something spiritual and powerful about the inanimate object [like a crucifix or a statue of Mary] – and through this process they often become demon possessed.
Notice, those gods will worship the Lord – v.3-4 – which is what Dagon was doing when he fell to his face before the ark [Ps 97:7, Mk 5:1-7, Phil 2:10-11] – these gods know who Jesus is Acts 16:16-18, Acts 19:13-16 and they are compelled to worship him because he is greater than they are.
People who worship idols hate God – the Philistines were fighting God’s people – Ex 20:3-5 – notice the statue is the likeness of something in heaven or in earth or “under” the earth – in other words, there is truly a spiritual being there – and he hates God.
Thus, people who worship idols get punished – 1 Sam 5, Ex 20:3-5, Rev 21:8 – they often suffer temporal punishment here and then they end up in the lake of fire.