Summary: Part 4b of our real people real problem series from 1st Samuel

Real People – Real Problems

A study of 1 Samuel

Part 4b

“Knowing God”

“The Philistine view”

Last week we began a series within a series in our Real People- Real Problems series

Called Knowing God

I would venture to say a more accurate description to the problem being addressed is “Not Knowing God”

We saw last week how the nation of Israel under the leadership of men who obviously did not know God fell away from The God of the bible

The god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

The I Am

They through their disobedience

Had taken God for granted

They had ignored his holiness by worshiping foreign idols and the things of God

They had blamed him for their problems that came though their own disobedience

And they had glorified everyone and everything except God

And as a result the thing they had treasured most

The Ark

The things of God

Had been taken from them

When we think of God as a lucky charm

As a force we can control

As a inconvenience except when we are in a bind

We like the Israelites

Have a problem with knowing God

I mean really knowing God


I want to look at how the Philistines

The enemies the Israelites

The enemy of God

Viewed God

And how their misguided views

Caused them to not know God either

And compare the misguided views of the Israelites with the Philistines

In order see how we often view God from a wrong perspective and have trouble knowing him as well

Our text for today continues in 1 Samuel

Beginning in chapter 4

Let me quickly recap

The Israelites went to war with the Philistines- again

They carried the Ark of God with them without permission or direction from God

The Israelites were massacred

The Priests killed

The Ark captured and Eli the High priest died as well

The nation of Israel was in a tight spot

The Philistines thought they were eating high on the hog

But we will soon see that they were eating real low

Down along the bottom of the hoofs

1 Samuel 4:10-11

10 So the Philistines fought desperately, and Israel was defeated again. The slaughter was great; 30,000 Israelite soldiers died that day. The survivors turned and fled to their tents. 11 The Ark of God was captured, and Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were killed.”

Here is where we get into wrong thinking number two about God

Often our wrong thinking causes us not to really know God

We have misguided views

Unrealistic expectations

Sometimes prompted by wrong teachings

Sometimes by our own ideas


Many times by our complete disregard for a desire to know God personally

Let me read verses 1 and 2 of chapter 5 for you then we can dig in

1 Samuel 5:1-2

“After the Philistines captured the Ark of God, they took it from the battleground at Ebenezer to the town of Ashdod. 2 They carried the Ark of God into the temple of Dagon and placed it beside an idol of Dagon.”

Let me tell you

The Philistines were excited

They had just had an overwhelming victory over their enemies

Their god- Dagon

Had defeated the same god who had destroyed the Egyptian army The one who delivered the Israelites form captivity

The Powerful God who parted the Red Sea

And they now possessed that God

The God of Israel

Right here in a box

To be used at their disposal- at their will

You see the Philistines

Did not know God

They only knew what they had heard

And they thought by capturing the Ark

They had captured God

And they also though because they had captured him

He now had to do their bidding as well

He was simply another tool in their arsenal of gods

The Philistines worshiped many gods

Dagon – a half man half fish considered to be the god of rain and fertility

And his girlfriend

Ash-er-ah, or Ash-tor-eth who was considered to be the goddess of lust- sex- reproduction ext.

Being the most prominent

It is said that those who worship Dagon also believe Baal

A better known false god to be the love child of Dagon and Ash-er-ah

Also as a side note

This may be the first place we see the misguided view of evolution also, as the Philistines worshipping a half fish half man god believed the man and fish had once been united and thought he theory of evolution had not yet been brought to light

This tells me and should tell you


The Lies of Satan transcend time and definition

Back to our study

The Philistines were used to worshiping things

So this god of Israel in this golden box was a great prize to them and another weapon in their arsenal that they could control even command

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