Judges 18:19-20 … is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel? And the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people.
This is a wild story from the Old Testament that sounds like something that might be written in today’s newspaper. The story is about a man named Micah and his religious family.
Micah’s mother had saved some money to make an idol and dedicate it to God. Judges 17:1-5. Micah steals the money, then returns the money and they build a house of worship (false worship to a false god of course). They are very excited about how “spiritual” they are. Micah makes himself a priest.
Then a Levite, who is a wandering, adventure seeking, man of God in name only, comes by. Micah asks him where he is going and agrees to hire him.
The Levite has no job and is willing to sell himself to serve a family and idols against the will of God. Judges 17:10-13. The lost man makes the preacher his man of God. Micah and his family are now happy because they are sure that God will be happy with them since they are “religious” and even have a “legitimate” man of God working for them.
Then one of the tribes of Israel, Dan, is traveling by and they hear and recognize the voice of the Levite. They, too, think that it would be good to have a “hired” priest.
The Levite shares with them how he is treated and compensated working for Micah and his family. He probably showed them his little worship center and idols (false gods).
The story now brings us to the verses in today’s devotional. They come and steal Micah’s gods, instruments of worship and his priest, the Levite. The Levite objects. He says what are you doing.
Their response is classic. How much are you getting paid? How many do you have in your church? Wouldn’t it be better to serve an entire tribe rather than just one little family? Where do you feel you would be more respected?
No the questions are not all stated in the text but they can easily be seen and understood from the context.
That brings us to today’s application. How many preachers are for sale? We look for the numbers and success? We look for the crowd over the content of the message. We are willing to do whatever the people want us to do so that we can have numbers.
Does the church you attend teach the Bible, the truth without fear or favor? Does your church vote on what god should look like or how he should be treated. Notice that I on purpose did not capitalize the word god or he and I usually do. I didn’t because if it is left to popular vote it isn’t the God of the Bible that you are worshiping.
Preacher do you determine what you will preach based on what the people want to hear? Do the crowds get your attention? Does growth become such an issue that we chase it at the cost of Bible doctrine and Bible preaching?
Are you for sale as a preacher or as a church member? These words can never get the truth across to your heart but the Holy Spirit can. I ask you to ask Him to speak to you about the truth.
Repent and get back to being a preacher of the book if you have wavered-and I often have. Let’s seek God and worship Him.
No preachers for sale here!