“When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.” (1 Sam. 5:2)
When I was a kid, there was a TV show called “I Dream of Jeannie.” It was about a genie who lived in a bottle. And when that bottle was rubbed she would magically appear out of the bottle ready to grant her master’s wishes.
In the Old Testament, the Philistines viewed the Ark of the Covenant as sort of a Genie in a bottle. They had heard of the miraculous things that God had done for Israel because they had possession of the Ark, so they thought that if they could get the Ark, God would have to do for them what He did for Israel. In other words, they mistakenly thought they could manipulate the power and presence of God.
We read this and think to ourselves, “How could they have been so foolish? Didn’t they realize that no one can manipulate God?” Ah, but many have that mistaken notion today, as well.
1.) Many CHRISTIANS Believe They Can Manipulate God.
They see God as a Genie in a bottle, thinking that no matter how worldly they live, God is supposed to suddenly forget about all their wickedness and bail them out every time they get into trouble. They want to live like the devil while being blessed like a child of God. They don’t attend church regularly, they don’t tithe, they aren’t even serving the Lord, yet the moment trouble hits their lives, they think they can just rub the bottle and God will be at their beck and call.
2.) Many CHURCHES Believe They Can Manipulate God.
There are pastors and churches that are also guilty of thinking that because we do things better than someone else that God will automatically bless us more than them. We mistakenly assume that no matter how much like the world our church services are, God will simply overlook that and bless us anyway.
Just ask David what happened when he tried carrying the Ark like the Philistines did—a man named Uzzah ended up dead! They learned very quickly that God doesn’t bless things done OUR way; He blesses it when things are done HIS way!
God is not some Genie in a bottle who is just sitting there waiting to grant your wishes. No, He is MORE than that! He is a Friend who is merciful, forgiving, and ready to bless those who will obey Him with a heart of love.
Don’t wait for an emergency, call on Him and have fellowship with Him, today!