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Learning to See God for Who He Is and to Worship Him in Sincerity

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
Søren Kierkegaard

Each Morning Broken
Lord! Make our heart Your temple in which You live.
Grant that every impure thought, every earthly desire might be like the idol Dagon – each morning broken at the feet of the Ark of the Covenant. Teach us to master flesh and blood and let this mastery of ourselves be our bloody sacrifice in order that we might be able to say with the Apostle: “I die every day.”

From The Prayers of Soren Kierkegaard

Deuteronomy 10:12-22

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?

Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it. The Lord delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the Lord your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.

Luke 19:37-40

Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying:

“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

1 Samuel 5

And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod.

When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.

And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.

And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.

Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon’s house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.

But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof.

And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.

They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither.

And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.

Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people.

So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.

And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

God’s design, the very reason we exist, is to fellowship with and to worship God.  We are admonished to look to God in reverential awe and to trust Him with all that we are.  If we who know to do so refuse then God will still be praised.  The very rocks and stones will cry out to him.  And for those who do not know to do so, they quickly learn the mighty and awesome power of the one true God.  His wrath is nothing I care to experience.

Poor old Dagon.  Just a big old hunk of stone carved into a man-fish or a fish-man, whichever you prefer.  And here comes the Ark of the Covenant of the one and only mighty El.  God.  And they put the Ark before Dagon in the position of where someone would kneel if they were worshiping and praising Dagon.  This was done intentionally. “Ha Ha! we have bested you and now we have taken the symbol of your God and we make it to bow down before our god!”

Good luck with all that. Each morning poor old Dagon is bowed down before the Ark. Each time they set him back up and he is made to bow down before God again he gets worse off than the day before. This is why Søren Kierkegaard cried out to God for help.  He would have rather been the one forcing anything unclean in his heart and life to bow before God as opposed to what God might do if He was to cause the bowing.

What an appropriate prayer for all of us.

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