Judges 17:7 – And there was a young man out of Bethlehemjudah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.
Judges 17:8 – And the man departed out of the city from Bethlehemjudah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed.
Judges 17:9 – And Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Bethlehemjudah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place.
Judges 17:10 – And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in.
Judges 17:11 – And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was unto him as one of his sons.
Judges 17:12 – And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.
Judges 17:13 – Then said Micah, Now know I that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.
Hello readers, what are you in it for? As in, REALLY in it for. The day we start asking questions of ourselves rather than blaming, justifying, excusing and pointing fingers is the day we get somewhere in our lives. It’s scary what’s really going on in our hearts. You may have everyone else fooled, but God knows what’s going on and you’ll not fool him ever. Today we are looking at Judges 17, a pretty interesting story and time in Israel’s history. It seems like a random story, but this story showcases the spiritual condition of Israel at that time. Of course, we can apply this to the state of the church, of Christianity and Christians (so called) today. What a warning this is, because what happened in the story was the end of the tribe of Dan, because along came the tribe of Dan and picked up this guy’s religion. They saw value in Micah’s little setup and took it for their own. There’s lots of people out there who do this, they see value in something that is departed from God, that has absolutely value, and they make it their own! It’s amazing how people place no value on God’s word and heaps of value on absolute junk. It goes to show people will take absolutely anything BUT God’s word. In life there’s so much of this, the blind would rather follow the blind than repent and believe on Jesus Christ. There’s a healthy dose of religion in this story, but it’s absolutely empty of truth, reality and salvation.
Micah said… now I know that the Lord will do me good. What a statement! That’s what people are in Christianity for. They’re in it for what they can get out of it. They’re not in it to honour God and obey him. They’re not interested in the cost of following Christ, they’re interested in what they can extract out of it to advance themselves. Micah was in it for what he could get out of it, and he found a Levite who also was in it for what he could get out of it. And the common denominator was none of them were in it to honour and obey God’s word. A lot of people are in Christianity for how it makes them feel, what enjoyment and pleasure it gives them, what they can get out of it. They’re just using Christianity to get ahead in life.
Judges 17 is the story of a guy named Micah who made up his own little religion. He made up his own version of Christianity if you like. Making it up himself. If that’s not a description of Christians today, I really don’t know what is. I speak to a lot of people who go by the name of Christians in day to day life… they have a vast variety of opinions, philosophies, wisdom, ideas, beliefs, what they do and don’t do, what they affirm and where they affirm from. It literally is a dog’s breakfast of Christianity. Everyone’s got their own Jesus, their own truth. But the common thread of it all is the departure from truth. And not just a departure, but a willful ignorance of it. The Bible says in this chapter… in those days there was no king in Israel, and every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Isn’t that us today? We’re right in our own eyes, that’s all we care about. Me being right according to me. Pretty good when there’s no king, no authority, nothing to challenge your error and sin, nothing to submit to, nothing that can humble you.
People are just doing whatever seems right to them. Whatever suits them. Micah was a spoilt brat. Make no mistake about that. The problem isn’t that we are hard done by, and go a raw deal and everyone else is the problem, the problem is we are so fortunate and privileged and we’ve developed entitlement complex. We haven’t had to war for what we’ve got, this was the generation that had just been gifted everything that other’s had fought and died for. You don’t know the value of a faith that there hasn’t been sacrifice made for. David knew that (2 Samuel 24). Whenever something bad happens, it’s everyone else’s fault not our own. Micah was the apple of his mother’s eye, he could do no wrong, and no parents tell their kids they’re wrong and rebuke their sin… because she wasn’t even right with God herself. Compromise has bred compromise. They were worshiping God their own way. Sure there are words that resemble a claim of honoring the Lord in there, and so people shamelessly tack Jesus onto their Christ rejecting life. So many people today have their religion, and they have God, and Jesus and all the right words, but it’s all their own way, not God’s way. God’s word is not even on their radar, they don’t care for it, and they live in blatant violation and willful ignorance of it. What Micah and his mum were doing was totally unBiblical.
See, there’s a ton of Christians around, but very few of them have a genuine care and concern for what God’s word says. And even less will come under the authority of God’s word in their own lives. Micah’s mother passed her rejection of God’s word on to her son. And Micah went ahead and made a house of gods. That’s what a lot of us are like. We’ve got so many gods in our life, our life is a house of gods. We have all sorts of gods, and sure there’s a bit of Jesus Christ in there, but there’s a whole lot of other stuff in there to. We’ re not sold out to God at all. He’s not our most High. Our life is littered with things we’ve made idols of, things that are really our gods rather than one Lord God in our life. We want to have everything. We want to have church and God and a good time.
Micah’s mum said she’d put aside money for the Lord, but she delved into it and kept a portion of it for herself. So often we make just that little exception for ourselves in our Christian walk. We want to be seen to be doing right, but really it’s all talk and not action. What she said sounded right, what she actually DID was far far less than right. See people talk a big game don’t they. You’d be really impressed if the Christian life was marked based on talk. I’m giving this money to honour God… while using the money to build an idol that’s completely against what the Bible says. And out of our mouth can come all the right sounding stuff, and we aren’t short to tell everyone the good we’re doing in God’s name. Make sure everyone knows I’m giving God this money. What a joke it all was and is. This was the same mum who made exceptions for her son. Because it was her son. How many parents chuck truth out the window for their little boy or girl. And they’ll change all the rules for their own kid who they don’t even love enough to raise according to God’s word. But we tack “God” onto all of it quite shamelessly. We want and expect God to accommodate us, and we have so little fear and conscience, that nothing even bothers us.
Well, people were just doing religion however it suited them. A Christianity that is according to you and not to God’s word… it’s not a real Christianity. You’re just kidding yourself. Micah made his own little religious life, and many of us have our religion, but there’s no reality to it. And it’s just that… our religion. But it’s not the true pure religion of the Bible. When we make something up ourselves, it’s just what we’ve made up. It’s not the truth, all we’ve done is fooled ourselves. The truth doesn’t change all along, and God’s not going along with it at all. But along came a golden opportunity one day for him to really legitimize what he was doing.
You see, there was a young Levite who was sojourning who he roped into his little deal. What a triumph to get someone to along with his little setup! See, we love this kind of situation. When you get the preachers to go along with your life, you’ll really feel like you’re ok. If the preachers in churches were standing on God’s word, people wouldn’t be so comfortable in their sin. Imagine all their gods being exposed and rebuked. Instead Micah found himself a gullible, dumb Levite to legitimize his operation. People are feeling so comfortable and validated in their complete and total error because of people like this Levite, not just going along with, but joining it with it all rather than being separated unto God and serving God… as he was meant to be doing!
You know, the preachers in the pulpits are a product of the people. People have got what they wanted. They’ll go where they find something that suits them. They don’t want to hear God’s word, they aren’t interested in obeying it, they find a place where it all fits with their little setup in life. God’s not in it at all. You may have religion, but you’ve got no new birth, no power of God in your life, there’s nothing to it at all. And that’s why the nation is messed up, Israel was in a mess because of the complete spiritual breakdown and moral bankruptcy of the people. Christians are meant to be salt and light, the reason why things are the way they are is because the Christians have left God’s word, they’re wandering around like this Levite. Looking to get ahead and serve themselves rather than serve God.
This Levite was traveler. A wanderer. Levites were a special tribe, separated unto the service of God… or that’s what they were meant to be. The Levites in Judges though, they lived like the world, they did like the world, they were born into it physically, but their heart wasn’t in it at all. This Levite had wandered from his place and purpose. He’d wandered from the word of God. And when you’re wandering around, you’re going to get into big trouble. But big trouble never looked so good right? Because this Levite found money and food. Pretty good right. What a nice little set up, a job and board! But he was in complete violation of God’s word. He was more after money than after honoring and serving the Lord. It sounded like a pretty good deal what Micah offered him. Not everything that’s offered to you you should take. Not every opportunity is brought along by God. You may think you’re strolling through an open door, and you say it’s God and blah blah, but it’s the door to destruction. Because what he was trading away, was far more than that money and food was worth. He was looking for job security. That’s what Christians are looking for, job security over God’s word.
You be my Levite, and I’ll give you food and money. Both parties are happy. People don’t mind having Christian “leaders” who they control. This Levite was after acceptance, popularity, validation from man, and he found his ministry, and he even furthered his career when a whole tribe came along and offered him a raise… but all of it was disobedience to God. Just because you’ve found a successful place in life doesn’t mean any of it is of God. He was a career Christian, not a born again Christian. He wasn’t consecrated to God at all, neither was he a true help to Micah or anyone at all. Preachers who pander to people’s sin and who are completely paid off, they aren’t helping anyone, sure they’ve got their job, but the rest is a waste and they’re leading people into sin and error.
You know what, there were a lot of prophets in Israel during the time of Elijah, but they all ate at Jezebel’s table. Be my priest said Micah. He ended up being Micah’s Levite, not God’s Levite. He had him paid off, that Levite was never going to bite the hand that fed him. The Levite ruined his own purpose and ministry and life and didn’t even know it. He thought he had done well. See, when you stray from God’s word, you’ll be thinking you’re getting a good deal when you’ve just made the worst deal of your life. The deal you think you’ve carved out for yourself in life may just be you sealing your own delusion, disobedience and destiny.
People will go to where the preachers are paid off, where they’re on the payroll, they’re saying what they’re meant to. They’re not going to preach God’s word, we want to control them, and when someone is controlling you and not God’s word as your authority but your paycheck… there’s big trouble brewing.This Levite was looking for his place. See that’s what gets you in trouble, he should’ve been grounded in truth, instead he was out there searching for his place in life. Rather than trusting God to establish him, and provide for him, and be his security… he went looking out in the world. He was after money, not after obeying God. Is that what you’re like? You’re a Christian you reckon, but your life isn’t about honouring the word of God … at all.
But the point of this blog today is what Micah said… now I know that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest. People aren’t opposed to having a priest, just a priest on my terms. See, the Levite was on Micah’s terms. People want heaven on their terms. They want a salvation on their terms. They want God on their terms. But you don’t go to God on your terms, you go to God on the terms of repentance and faith in his Son Jesus Christ. That involves you admitting you’re a liar, full of pride and lust and sin, that you’re totally unworthy and wicked and have nothing to bring. You are so not acceptable to God, if you don’t have Christ, you are going to hell. No matter what you do, no matter what kind of little religious life you live out. See, Micah sure was trying, props for effort. He was trying to get to God his own way. But your way is rejected, it’s the truth of Christ way or it’s the highway. We are accepted by faith in Jesus Christ, in his word, which is the gospel… and by nothing else will we be accepted.
Now I know that the Lord will do me good. See, we’re all about trying to jive up God’s blessing upon our life. People want a personal genie, but not the rebuke of God’s word, not the offense of the cross, not the cost of following him. People want to feel like they can contribute to their salvation, like they can earn and merit it, but you can’t. Is your religion that you’ve got all about you trying to get God to bless you and bless your life of sin and pride and rebellion? He’s not going to. The Bible says God has chosen the poor of this world rich in faith. You don’t even know what “do me good” even means. Our fleshly carnal understanding of the good we want is far removed from the good God has for us. What we want is often not what we truly need. We are so far gone that’s why we need to be born again, we don’t even know what to think and how to think. Micah thought he could set up his own little Christianity and assimilating this Levite into it… man he had it made.
You may think you’ve got Christianity made, you’re doing well out of it, you’ve paid your way there like Micah paid this Levite off. But you’re not there at all. This was one of the worst times in Israel’s history, the nation was full of sodomites and sin. This nation was conquered and defeated and powerless and clueless. And willfully so. It was a mess. Your life will be a mess when you’ve cast God’s word behind you and you’re making the rules. And you’re trying to get God to bless it. You’re using Christians and church to get ahead in life. One day soon you are going to be disappointed, just as Micah was if you read the next chapter. You’re building your life on a religion that’s going to vanish on you and you’ll have nothing real and of substance at the end of your life. Build your house on the rock, instead of building a house of gods, chuck em all out, and get your face in God’s word, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Let God sort your life out and abandon a life of sin that you’re trying to work God into. We need rebuke a lot more than blessing.
Maybe you’ve found a Levite, you’ve found someone who really legitimizes and confirms your life, you’re going to willingly follow someone in error, heaven forbid you follow the truth, but it’s just one blind person validating another blind person. You’re no closer to the truth or anything real. And you’ll both end up in the same ditch together. What are you in it for? Are you in it for honoring and obeying God’s word? Is it about the Lord Jesus Christ, his glory, his will in our lives… or is it really all about you and what you get out of it and what you can try and take God for. Is your Christianity just about how it makes you feel? And you’ll get him to fit with your way (done in his name maybe, but it’s really about you) and bless your life of sin. God’s word was completely out the window in this whole story. What a mistake. Wake up sometime, Micah was an idiot, don’t us be idiots and copy his mistake thinking it’ll turn out any different. Maybe you’re using “God” to try and get ahead in life, and you’re kidding yourself. Maybe you’re trying to make a little something that God will bless, but he’ll never bless anything other than complete and utter repentance and faith in his blessed Son Jesus Christ. It’s time to stop kidding ourselves and playing around in religion… and it’s time for us to ask ourselves… What are we really in it for?
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)