“And Micah said unto him, ‘Dwell with me and be unto me a father and a priest and I will give you 10 shekels of silver by the year and a suit of apparel and your victuals.’ So, the Levite went in. And the Levite was content to dwell with the man—and the young man was unto him as one of his sons.”
Like Esau exchanging his birthright for a bowl of pottage (Gen. 25:30-34), so is it easy to compromise our commitments when we reject God’s rightful place in our lives and “do that which is right in our own eyes” (Judg. 17:6).
When Jesus said we are to be “salt and light in this world” (Mt. 5:13-16), was this just a nice little saying—an option, if you will—or was it an order from our Commander-and-Chief? Did Jesus die on the Cross so we could be happy and go to Heaven when we die—or did His dying show how much God hates sin and what it took for us to be forgiven?
Most likely, today’s Manna is one which most of us have never read before. And, if we did happen to read it while reading the Bible through in a year, it very likely slipped right by without raising any red flags. That’s why it’s important for us to “study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (II Tim. 2:15); otherwise, how shall we be fully equipped to serve Him by Whose Name we’re called?
Micah and his family lived on Mount Ephraim (v.1). Evidently he’d taken 1,100 shekels of silver from his mother, but decided to return them to her—which, interestingly, elicited a benediction of blessing over him instead of a rebuke (v.2). She then told him she’d been planning to use the money to have a graven image made, which she did (vv.3-4). Then, Micah added it to his “house of gods” (v.5a) and “included a sacred ephod in it, along with one of the pagan idols while consecrating one of his sons to be his priest” (v.5b).
Syncretism (a blending together of two or more religions). . .pragmatism (the end justifies the means). . .accommodation (a compromising of convictions), etc.
That was Micah’s religion.
And, it’s a popular one today.
What’s equally interesting is that he was able to entice a young Levite to live with him and be his priest for “10 shekels of silver, a suit of apparel and food.” And, sadly, the young man—whose lineage in the Aaronic priesthood was long and hallowed—was “content to dwell with the polytheistic man” instead of rebuking him and calling him to repentance.
How sad to also read what Micah had to say about the Levite’s acceptance: “Now I know the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite as my priest” (v.13). He really thought the God of Abraham, Who demands holiness in our lives, would see nothing wrong with his idolatry and the young Levite’s failure to fulfill his calling. Oh the seducing power of evil!
Dear Pilgrim, if there was ever an hour that we need to live holy lives as “watchmen on the wall,” it’s now. If there was ever a time when the lost around us need to hear “there’s a sword in the land” (Ez. 33:3), it’s now. The hour’s late. Be faithful in your task.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated October 17, 2009