After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod, brought it into the temple of Dagon and placed it next to his statue. When the people of Ashdod got up early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen with his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and returned him to his place. But when they got up early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen with his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. This time, both Dagon’s head and the palms of his hands were broken off and lying on the threshold. Only Dagon’s torso remained. That is why, to this day, the priests of Dagon and everyone who enters the temple of Dagon in Ashdod do not step on Dagon’s threshold. The LORD severely oppressed the people of Ashdod, terrorizing and afflicting the people of Ashdod and its territory with tumors. (1 Samuel 5:1-6 HCSB)
“More properly haemorrhoids, which, as Kimchi says, was the name of a disease, but he says not what; Ben Gersom calls it a very painful disease, from whence comes a great quantity of blood. Josephus takes it to be the dysentery or bloody flux; it seems to be what we commonly call the piles, and has its name in Hebrew from the height of them, rising up sometimes into high large tumours…” – John Gill
We most deffinitely serve a God of love! Only a God of love would smite His enemies and the enemies of His chosen people with hemroids!
I am not making light of the love of God in making a statement like the above. I believe that this little story in 1 Samuel makes a wonderful case for the love of God. “How?!?” is what some of you are wondering I am sure. Well, here is why.
You see, God is a sovereign and holy God. He does nothing and allows nothing to happen that isn’t, in some way, a part of His plan.
The LORD has prepared everything for His purpose–even the wicked for the day of disaster. (Proverbs 16:4 HCSB)
Consider the work of God; for who can straighten out what He has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity, consider: without question, God has made the one as well as the other, so that man cannot discover anything that will come after him. (Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 HCSB)
Do not both adversity and good come from the mouth of the Most High? Why should any living person complain, any man, because of the punishment for his sins? (Lamentations 3:38-39 HCSB)
There are other passages that can be used, but these will suffice for the time being.
My point is, God has created (ordained, allowed) different things to happen for purposes that are sometimes unknown to us. He has, as the verse in Proverbs states, “prepared everything for His purpose”.
We also know that God doesn’t tempt people or “cause” evil.
No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone. (James 1:13 HCSB)
And we know, too, that when God got done with creation, He saw that everything He had made was very good.
God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. Evening came, and then morning: the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31 HCSB)
But this doesn’t really answer the question of how God inflicting hemroids on the enemies of His chosen people makes Him a God of love. Here is how it makes Him a God of love.
Nothing God does is evil (“God is not tempted by evil”) and everything He made was good (“God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.”). But God has prepared everything for His purpose (Proverbs 16:4). What is God’s purpose in creating anything? To bring glory to Himself.
“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another. (Isaiah 48:11 NASB)
What does the Bible tell us about how we are to live? Here is what the Bible says:
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory. (1 Corinthians 10:31 HCSB)
And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17 HCSB)
So we as Christians are commanded to glorify God. That is how we show Him that we love Him. By living lives that are pleasing to Him and that are in alignment with His will for us. And God creates (ordains, allows) all things for His own glory. So God doesn’t create (ordain, allow) anything that won’t bring Him glory. This means that everything, in some way, even in a way that we may not understand at the time, is good. So, if we love God and are called according to His purpose, then everything works out for the good (Romans 8:28) and therefore, God inflicting hemroids on the enemies of His chosen people is an act of love toward us His people, even if we don’t completely understand how.