If God had rejected his priests, who had been appointed to provide the mediation that Israel needed with their holy God, and if God had allowed the ark of the covenant, the very sign and symbol of his commitment to Israel, to be taken by the Philistines, then Israel had lost everything that really mattered. So it certainly seemed. – John Woodhouse
Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before. 8 Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness. — 1 Samuel 4:7-8 (ESV)
A regular Humpty Dumpty situation with no Elmer’s glue. Dagon is simply getting the godness knocked out of him. — Dale Davis
When God heard, he was full of wrath, and he utterly rejected Israel. He forsook his dwelling at Shiloh, the tent where he dwelt among mankind, and delivered his power to captivity, his glory to the hand of the foe. He gave his people over to the sword and vented his wrath on his heritage. Fire devoured their young men, and their young women had no marriage song. Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation. Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, like a strong man shouting because of wine. And he put his adversaries to rout; he put them to everlasting shame. — Psalm 78:59-66 (ESV)
God showcases his power in the setbacks, not just in the successes.
He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. — Colossians 2:15 (ESV)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you. — 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (ESV)
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. — 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV)