The Israelites had to be asking themselves that question when the Philistines defeated them in battle. The problem was that the Israelites wanted to control God, so they took the Ark of the Covenant and brought it to the battlefield. That was the first mistake. They thought they could force God to fight for them, but they were wrong. So wouldn't the Philistines be tempted to think that Yahweh wasn't very powerful? Maybe so… until they placed the Ark in the temple of Dagon, and Dagon was found morning after morning bowing down to Yahweh. Can you imagine what the Philistines were thinking when they saw this? At any rate, the point is clear: God does not bow down to anyone – everyone will eventually bow down to God. These poor saps had to remove the Ark from their presence lest they continue being faced with plagues. God was there all along, but He was not going to allow Himself to be manipulated by anyone: Israelite or Philistine. The same is true today.
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.