When the leaders of Ashdod saw what was going on, they decided, "The
chest of the god of Israel has got to go. We can’t handle this, and
neither can our god Dagon." They called together all the Philistine
leaders and put it to them: "How can we get rid of the chest of the god
of Israel?" I Samuel 5:7-8 (TM)
Sometimes the stories of the Old Testament can seem so outrageous, but I’m not so sure things have really changed much. Countries and cultures are still trying to expel God from their midst. As the Spirit of God moved from the Ark of the Covenant to the the hearts of Christians, it’s now the people of God that they want to banish from their midst. We don’t hear much about it in the US, but groups like Voices of the Martyrs track the world-wide persecution of Christians.