The Lord’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod, terrorizing and afflicting the people of Ashdod and its territory with tumors. 1 Samuel 5:6 HCSB
I do not remember but my parents tell me of a time when I was just old enough to reach the table and I reached up and accidentally pulled a bowl of hot gravy onto my face and hands. My parents rushed me to the hospital where the doctor told them to put some ointment on my face. I was told that my whole face was one big burn that turned to a scab. My parents had instructed me to stay away from the table, but I disobeyed. The result of my disobedience was pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering is usually the cost of disobeying our parents or God. The pain may not be in the form of a burned hand or face but God allows some pain and suffering in our lives to help remind us of the importance of obeying and worshiping Him alone. God allows the suffering to bring about change in our lives and to make us more like His Son, Jesus Christ.
The Ark of God represented God and any attempt to put other gods before the one true God resulted in pain and suffering. The people of Ashdod replaced Dagon back to his original place of honor. God brought justice by afflicting them with tumors. Some Biblical scholars think that it may have been bubonic plague that God brought on the people of Ashdod.
Challenge: God alone deserves our praise, honor, and attention. You may not have a statue or graven image as a god, but by your actions you may be declaring that other things take priority in your life over God. These “other things” become your god. Evaluate what other gods need to be removed from your life. Pray and ask God to help you focus on Him and make Him the Lord in every area of your life.