JUDGES 17:10-13: And Micah said to him, “Stay with me, and be to me a father and a priest, and I will give you ten pieces of silver a year and a suit of clothes and your living.” And the Levite went in. 11 And the Levite was content to dwell with the man, and the young man became to him like one of his sons. 12 And Micah ordained the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah. 13 Then Micah said, “Now I know that the LORD will prosper me, because I have a Levite as priest.”
OBSERVATION: How do we discern truth? This is an important question today in our ever changing culture. I am not speaking about the culture of our world, I am speaking about the culture of the Church. As I write these thoughts another major denomination in the United States has sanctioned the ordaining of gay clergy, and the full acceptance of gay membership. How did they come to this discernment of truth? It was not from the written and objective Word of God – it was from their own personal point of view. This is the same error that Micah was making. He was looking at his circumstances and making a judgment regarding God’s will apart from God’s Word.
Verse 6 states – “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” So let’s break down what Micah did. First, he stole silver from his own mother. When he returned the silver to his mother, she made an idol for their home. Micah then added several household gods to the collection and created an ephod, setting up one of his sons as his priest. Then a young Levite was sojourning past Micah’s home and Micah saw this as both an opportunity and provision from God. He convinced the young Levite to live with him and be his priest. Now, Micah was sure that the Lord would bless and prosper him. It all makes perfect sense, right?
Well, time does not permit to delineate on all of the commandments of the Lord that Micah violated. They are evident and clear. Micah was shooting from the hip. He was simply doing what was right in his own eyes. Then he connected the dots. When it all looked like the real thing he convinced himself that it was the real thing. This is exactly what is happening in the Church today. It is happening among Mainline Denominations and it is also happening among Evangelicals. It is as if we are right in the middle of the Book of Judges all over again. What is going wrong?
When we forget that God never changes we stop looking to His Word as the authoritative and final authority for all of life. We begin to pick and choose what we like in the Bible and dismiss the rest. We begin to act like Micah and we create a religion of our own making. When others agree with us (like the young Levite), we interpret that as confirmation that we are doing the right thing. We are walking 180 degrees away from the will of God and as we do we are rejoicing that we are in the will of God. We are living in a period of upside down theology. In reality it is not theology at all – it is “manology” (yes, I made that up).
Now, before I finish my rant and my finger begins to waive at all the Micahs in the world, I need to look honestly at my own heart. Micah’s slide into “manology” did not begin with full out idolatry, it began with many small compromises along the way. The enemy does not try to convince us to take leaps away from God, he tries to get us to make a succession of very small steps that seem negligible at the time. If we persist in this pattern we find ourselves in a ditch and wonder how we ever got there. I need to look fully and honestly at my own heart. Am I beginning down the path of “manology”?
Lord, search me this morning and know me. See if there are any wicked thoughts within my heart that are leading me away from Your Truth. Help me to live the reality of the chorus – “I have decided to follow Jesus”.
* I have decided to follow Jesus…
* The cross before me the world behind me…
* Though none go with me, still I will follow…
* No turning back, No turning back!
In Jesus Name!