Good Intentions Don’t Always Equal Good Results
Day: 41 | Plan: Joshua-Judges
Today’s Reading: Judges 17
Judges 17:5-6 (NIV) “Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest. In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”
What kind of person steals money from a loved one? Hires a live-in priest? And makes a homemade house of worship for God? Micah is his name and deception was his game.
We find him tucked within the verses of Judges 17, pocketing a large fortune from his mother, but then giving it all back when he overhears her placing a curse on the unknown thief who robbed her blind. Was Micah remorseful? I doubt it.
Oh, and it gets more intriguing. Micah’s mother immediately blesses him for ’fessing up (I think she was probably trying to reverse the curse) and suggests they have an idol made from some of the stolen silver—dedicating it to the Lord.
Huh? Wouldn’t offering God an idol be a big no-no? (Exodus 20:4; Deuteronomy 27:15) What on earth was she thinking?
Micah decided he could do better. He had several idols made, sets up a shrine in his home, ordained one of his sons as a “priest” and had him wear an ephod, which was an ornamental garment worn only by God-appointed Hebrew priests.
This was in direct violation to the laws already in place, which declared that once the Israelites settled into the Promised Land they were to worship only in the dwelling place God chose and established. (Deuteronomy 12:4-6) For a man whose name literally means, “Who is like Yahweh?”, I think Micah had forgotten who Yahweh really was and his actions proved that good intentions don’t always equal honorable results.
Micah’s makeshift memorial and “house of worship” was in complete contrast to God’s specific instructions. Instead of doing what was right in God’s sight, he created a cult center of worship at the place of his own choosing. Micah was a textbook example of how people were living at that time: “everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 17:6b).
If Micah wanted to honor God and be blessed by Him, he sure was going about it the wrong way. Instead of following God’s clear instructions to worship in a designated place with other Israelites, or asking God for direction, Micah made choices based on what he thought was best. The private chapel, personal priest, shrine of idols and ornamental ephod. These were all pagan actions in complete contrast to his words and heart motives, “Now I know the LORD will be good to me” (Judges 17:13a).
Unfortunately, Micah’s choices were leading him away from God instead of closer.
There have been times when I’ve made hasty decisions without asking for God’s direction and it’s created a mess that needed major cleaning up. I’m learning that it’s much better to go to God first and do things His way, instead of doing things my way and then going to Him afterwards begging for repairs.
God has given each of us the ability to think and choose. When our thinking lines up with God’s Word then our choices will honor Him and bless others. But when we seek to do whatever we want and rely on our own understanding, those me-focused intentions can place us on a path moving further away from God’s best plan.
Prayer: Lord, Your ways are higher than my ways and Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Give me wisdom and discernment to make right choices that honor You. And establish my steps along the path You’ve laid out for me. Prompt my heart when I’m tempted to make choices that will lead me in the wrong direction. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Further along in Judges 17 we read how Micah comes across a young Levite from Bethlehem (from... Read More
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