Obeying God Instead of an Idol
When the judges ruled over ancient Israel, everyone lived according to their morals because there was no king to command the people to obey God’s rules. (Judges 17:6) Many of God’s children had a manmade deity in their home. These people claimed to worship Yahweh (God) with their lips, but they were disobedient to His rules. (Exodus 20)
Judges 17-18 tells the story of an unrighteous man named Micah who lived in the hill country of Ephraim. His story begins with him stealing 1,100 pieces of silver from his mother, but decided to return it. His mother said, “Blessed be my son by the LORD. I dedicate the silver to the LORD from my hand for my son, to make a carved image and a metal image.” Micah made the images and built a shrine in his home to worship them. Sometime later a Levite was passing and offered to pay him if he became his personal priest. This pleased the Levite and he accepted. Micah then said, “Now I know that the Lord will prosper me, because I have a Levite as priest.”
Judges 18 recounts Micah losing his valued possessions to 600 members from the tribe of Dan. Before entering inhabited land they sought to conquer as an inheritance, they lodged in Micah’s house. Five of their scouts who had lodged there before started stealing all of Micah’s household gods and images. When the priest asked what they were doing, they replied, “Be quiet! Don’t say a word. Come with us, and be our father and priest. Isn’t it better that you serve a tribe and clan in Israel as priest rather than just one man’s household?” (Judges 18:19) The priest was pleased at their offer and aided in stealing Micah’s possessions. Micah tried to confront them but realized there was nothing he could do stop them. Consequently, Micah lost everything he had valued more than God. Exodus 22:20 reads, “Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction.” Although Micah’s life was not physically destroyed, His possessions and spiritual life were stolen by sin.
Jesus Christ taught compassion. Luke 9:55 NKJV says, “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” Jesus died on the cross to save mankind from sin. In Colossians 3:12-16, the Bible tells God’s children to bear with others in love and to forgive them as He has forgiven us. Today as His children, we may not bow down to a wooden or metal image, but our houses can still hold Idols. Households can be managed by our biases and opinions and greater value can be placed on the things we have instead of the people in our lives. A questions we all should ask ourselves is, “Do we ultimately obey the one true God without carrying idols in our lives?”