VERSES: 1 Samuel 5:1-12
MEMORY VERSE: 1 Samuel 5:3 "...Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Review the books of the Bible. We will be beginning the Old Testament books again soon.
PRAYER: Praise God that He is Creator over all, who is all-knowing, present everywhere, and all powerful, and the only God.
SPECIAL SONG: God Called Samuel (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog).
VISUAL AID: A Large Activity
- Last time we talked about how the Philistines had won the battle with the Israelites and had captured the ark of the covenant, also called the ark of God, which the Israelites had carried into battle. The ark of the covenant was highly treasured by the Israelites and they had thought it would help them win the battle with the Philistines, but instead the Philistines had captured it. So let's see what happened to this wicked nation who captured the ark of the covenant.
- After the battle with the Israelites, the Philistines, who knew nothing of the ark of the covenant except that the Israelites treasured it, took it to their city of Ashdod. They did not know that it was to stay inside the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle. The Israelites paid a great price for moving the ark of the covenant and the Philistines would, too.
- In Ashdod, they placed the ark of God in the house of their own idol, which they called Dagon, and set the ark of the covenant close beside the idol. Early the next morning, when the people of Ashdod went in to see the ark of the covenant, they found their great stone statue Dagon had fallen forward face down on the ground right in front of the ark of the covenant! The people set Dagon up again and when they got up early the next morning, they found Dagon had again fallen on his face in front of the ark of God, but something was different this time. This time, Dagon's head and both palms of his hands were broken and they laid upon the threshhold of the door. Only the stump of Dagon was not broken. That is why the priests of Dagon step over the threshhold of the door when they go into worship Dagon in Ashdod.
- The LORD caused a lot of trouble for the people of Ashdod and their neighboring nations by making the people brake out in sores all over their bodies. The men of Ashdod knew that the reason for the bad things happening to them was because they had captured the ark of God. They said, "The ark of the God of Israel will not live here with us, for He is causing much trouble for us and for Dagon, our god." So the men of Ashdod called for the leaders of the Philistines and asked them what they should do with the ark of God. The leaders decided that carrying the ark of the covenant to the city of Gath was a good answer, but they were wrong. All that the people of Ashdod wanted to do was to get rid of the ark of the covenant. They had fought, captured it, and now they were miserable because of it!
- After the ark of the covenant arrived in Gath, all of the people there broke out in sores just like they did in Ashdod! The hand of the LORD was heavy upon the Philistines which meant the Philistines were suffering. The people carried the ark of the covenant to another city called Ekron, but as soon as the ark of the covenant came into Ekron, the people started crying out, "They have brought the ark of God to our city, so that we should all die!" The men of Ekron again called for the leaders of the Philistines to come and take away the ark of God because people of Ekron were dying and again the Bible says that the hand of the LORD was heavy on the people of Ekron. Whoever did not die in Ekron had terrible sores and the cry in the city of Ekron went up to heaven.
- Sometimes we have what we think is a good idea, but it turns out to be a bad idea. That was the way it was with the Philistines when they captured the ark of the covenant.
- Take a look on a biblical map and find the cities of Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath. Do you see how they make a triangle? A little to the north of those cities, you will find the city of Aphek which was the name of the place where the battle had taken place.
Materials needed: 6" x 12" blue construction paper, 3" x 3" tan construction paper, 3" x 8" gray construction paper, scissors, glue, marker or crayons.
- Hand out blue paper.
- Fold blue paper in three equal parts.
- Write "Trouble For The Philistines And Dagon" and "1 Samuel 5" at the top of the blue paper.
- Write "...Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD... verse 3" in the middle section of the blue paper.
- Pass out tan paper.
- Write "ark of the covenant" on the tan paper.
- Glue the ark of the covenant in the right section of blue paper.
- Hand out gray paper.
- Cut in half.
- Round corners of one piece of gray paper. This is Dagon's body.
- Cut remaining gray paper in half again.
- Round corners of one short piece of gray paper. This is Dagon's head.
- Fold the leftover gray paper in half.
- Cut a hand (which will be two hands since it is folded). These are Dagon's hands.
- Fold up 1/2" edge of the bottom of Dagon's body.
- Glue this 1/2" edge of Dagon's body ONLY to left side of blue paper, so it can bend down.
- Fold a small edge on each hand.
- Glue small edge of each hand and place both hands on Dagon's body.
- Fold blue paper like a card when taking activity home.
- Student may open unfold blue paper and 'prop' it open so it stands up (see picture).
- Let 'Dagon fall to the earth before the ark of the covenant. (see picture).