Printer-friendly version

[1 Samuel:5:1-12].

Lesson No.: 
Memory Verse: 

“Little  children,  keep  yourselves  from  idols”  (I John 5:21).


The Ark in the Wrong Place
The Israelites had lost the battle and the enemy had carried the Ark away. They put the Ark in the house where their idol was. The god called “Dagon” was represented as half fish and half man. He was called the “fish-god.”

The next morning when the idol worshippers came into the place where the idol was and the Ark, they saw that the idol had fallen down before the Ark. Then they set it up again. But on the next morning they found that the idol had fallen down with his face to the ground, before the Ark of the Lord. The head of the idol was cut off; the hands of the idol were cut off; only the fish part was left.

The People’s Fear
No one dared to go into the place. The people became sick, and they knew that it was because God was punishing them. They decided that they had better send the Ark away from their place. But they sent it to other people who worshipped idols. And there, also, the people became sick. So they were glad to send the Ark away from their place, too.

The Ark in Its Right Place
God blessed the people who kept the Ark where it belonged and took care of it as God had told them. The Ark represented the Word of God, and God’s kindness. Those who did not worship God had no right to have it and put it with their idols. God tells us in His Bible that we must worship Him and Him only. If we love anything or anyone more than we love God, we, too, worship idols.

A Young Man
We read in the Bible of a young man who came running to Jesus one day and asked Him what he should do to be ready for Heaven. Jesus told him he should honour his father and mother; he should not lie nor steal. He told him about other things that would keep him from getting ready for Heaven. The young man said that he had been careful not to do those things. Then Jesus told him there was one thing more: he should go and sell all he had and give to the poor, and follow Jesus.

But the young man became very sad, and walked away. He had many riches and no doubt did not want to part with them. His money and the things he owned were his idols. Jesus knew this, and for that reason He wanted the man to get rid of them and love Him.

In India
A returned missionary from India tells of a temple on a hill where a big wooden idol stands. When the people go to that temple to pray they take a gift to the idol to please him and to get him to answer their prayers. Sometimes his mouth is greasy because the people have tried to feed him, but he cannot eat. When the people in India have prayed, they ring a bell so that if the idol is asleep he will know that they have been there to pray to him. But those wooden or stone idols are not alive; they cannot hear a prayer. The Bible tells us that our Heavenly Father never sleeps, and can always hear our prayer. We are thankful that He does hear our prayers and is glad to answer them.


1. Where was the Ark kept when it was in the Temple? [1 Samuel:4:4].
2. Where did the Philistines put the Ark of God? [1 Samuel:5:2].
3. What happened to the idol Dagon? [1 Samuel:5:3].
4. Did God punish the Philistines for having the Ark? [1 Samuel:5:9].
5. Does God want us to worship any god besides Him? [Exodus:34:14].