Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year New Challenge (Part 2)

"Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some idols and installed one of his sons as his priest. In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit" (Judges 17:5-6).

Well there you have it. Who needs to go to the tabernacle in Shiloh when you can have idols and an ephod right here at home? How convenient! You see, when Israel refused to let JEHOVAH be king over the nation and were their own kings, chaos reigned. Convenient, “spiritual”, selfish chaos. Hey, if your son is priest he isn’t going to ask you to change. He’ll hear from god anything you want him to hear. Christ Jesus is Head of the true church. Today there are huge religious governmental structures, machines that crank out the formulas and the plans for all their branch offices to follow. Setting aside the word, they operate in a way that brings the results they want. “We’ll still call him LORD but we will run the show. It’s much safer, much more predictable and besides it goes where we want it to go.” It is kind of like England or Japan’s monarchy. We have a king in title, we just don’t let him have anything to do with the way things are run. We can take care of that. I’m not pointing this out to condemn any group but to caution us that we remain clear in determination to let the Lord Jesus be the Head over us, give us his direction, and not dictate to Him how we will operate, but earnestly seek his leading and instruction, that will line up with his word.

"A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah, left that town in search of some other place to stay. On his way he came to Micah's house in the hill country of Ephraim. Micah asked him, "Where are you from?" "I'm a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah," he said, "and I'm looking for a place to stay" (Judges 17:7-9).

The problem isn’t just in Micah’s house it is everywhere. This Levite and his family were assigned a town by Joshua. He was supposed to minister in the tabernacle, supported by tithes and offerings. What is he doing wondering around looking for (a call)? Perhaps Judah no longer paid enough tithes to support him, or maybe he felt he wasn’t paid enough, but whichever, this was not God’s design.

"Then Micah said to him, "Live with me and be my father and priest, and I'll give you ten shekels of silver a year, your clothes and your food." So the Levite agreed to live with him, and the young man was to him like one of his sons. Then Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in his house. And Micah said, "Now I know that the LORD will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest" (Judges 17:10-13).

What just happened? Micah hired a personal priest. The priest is in search of a new call, and gets one, likes the salary contract, takes the position, idols and all. That doesn’t happen today of course?! You all realize that God has made each of you a royal priest and when we come together you don’t look to a paid professional to take care of things. But the heart of man never changes and this is true in so many places. And notice how Micah now expects God to bless him because he has a Levite priest. How twisted and yet this is how much of the church operates today. We just need the right man to tend to things and God will be good to us, cafeteria Christianity.

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