Broken things are messy.
The other night, wind toppled over the mini-greenhouse I have outside. A pot shattered. Dirt and shards decorated the space. Thankfully only one thing broke. Cement blocks and a chair propped up against the little greenhouse should hold it upright for now.
Things in life are messy. As humans we want power to do something about that. When the crops are too dry (or wet) we want something to fix it. When the family needs more (or less) food we long for help. Where do we turn? Sometimes it’s to comfort food. Maybe we look to a show we enjoy. It might be intense self-improvement that we chase after. For some of us, it might be outward religious things.
When God’s people went to battle, they went independent of God but with the Ark of the Covenant (I Samuel 4:10-11). That plan backfired and the ark was taken by the Philistines (I Samuel 4) who set it up by their god, Dagon. That got messy.
“And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. But when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the LORD, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.” I Samuel 5:3-5
These events have fascinated me since childhood. Even the gods, who are no gods, bow down before the ark (which isn’t God, but represents His presence). Then people picked him up and erected him again. The next day, he was broken.
My sister bought me a fun rice spoon. It was from Lotte Mart, I think. Once I used it for ice-cream. Now, I don’t use it for anything. Here’s a picture.
I plan to get rid of it, but broken as it is I have a hard time letting go. Maybe it’s the fond memories of Korea.
Broken things give messages, but are we hearing correctly?
Rather than turning to the God of the universe, the priests of Dagon decided not to step on the threshold in Ashdod.
Those priests had a hard time letting go as well. Rather than surrendering to the power of God and receiving Him, they succumbed to erecting Dagon again.
Sometimes I think, “I would never do that.” Hmm. Why am I holding on to broken things? It’s not just rice spoons I’m talking about. Misuse of a spoon had consequences, I believe that I have other things I misuse as well. Did God give me the things I have for my own comfort or to comfort others as well? Did God give me grace through His Son Jesus Christ only for me to hoard it? Jesus chose to be broken for us.
Whippings, thorny crown, criticizing spit, blood pouring down.
Spikes through his flesh, mockery called out.
Gasping for breath, “Forgive them!” His cry,
“It is finished.” He died.
Weakly his body was pulled from the tree,
Placed in a tomb, How could it be?
Sorrowful nights, collided with day
“He is not here!” He is risen today.
It’s time for me to lay down my broken being and surrender to the God who was and is and is to come. He will never fall. He will never break. Even when I am faithless, He will remain faithful.
II Timothy 2:8-13
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
If we put our hope in something fragile, we will end up broken beyond repair. When we place our hope in the Lord, He will remain faithful.
II Timothy 2:1
"You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,"
Thank You for being faithful, for strengthening me by your grace. Please help me to come to you broken, that I may be made whole. Thank you. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Thoughts to ponder
Have you, like me, found yourself holding onto broken things? What do you plan to do about it?
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17 ESV
Why is it a broken, humble heart that God desires us to have?