Daily Thought for: 26th March

MICAH OF MOUNT EPHRAIM

Judges 17. 1-13

Micah provides a sobering illustration of the sad condition of the nation during the days of the judges. Rich, respectable and religious he had his farm in Mount Ephraim, just over the hill from the house of God in Shiloh, 18. 31. He displays the reality of the four-fold refrain, ‘In those days there was no king in Israel’, 17. 6; 18. 1; 19. 1; 21. 25, and illustrates very clearly what the further statement means, ‘Every man did that which was right in his own eyes’, 17. 6; 21. 25. This is exactly what he did. 

Morally, Micah shows a total disregard for the Law of God. Even if his mother was Philistine this provides no excuse for stealing her wedding dowry; cf. 16. 5. Only superstitious fear of her curse, and not true repentance leads him to confess his sin. The restoration of the silver to his mother allowed her idolatry full scope, and two images are the result. 

Scripturally, Micah shows a complete defiance of the word of God. Having a ‘house of gods’ already, two more images only boosted his religious ego. Whatever concession he made to Jehovah in making an ephod (cf. Gideon’s legacy, 8. 27?) he embraced local idolatry in making the local household gods (the teraphim). There was no consideration of scriptural principles or practices which, even in that day, were to be seen in the house of God in sad decline at Shiloh. Micah’s religion was one of convenience, not of conviction. 

Spiritually, Micah tried to copy the house of God—while ignoring its existence. The installation of his son as priest and his replacement by a paid Levite, neither of whom had any scriptural claim to priesthood, marked the high point in Micah’s religious charade. The sad thing is that Micah expected the Lord to smile upon his religious set-up. He happily confesses, ‘Now know I that the Lord will do me good’. What sobering self- delusion! 

With the story of Micah before us we ponder sad happenings when the people of God abandon the word of God. The result is paganism. Divine discipline was inevitable so that the saints had to cry for deliverance. In answer to these cries God raised up judges. Each judge reflects features of Christ, the great Deliverer. 

 

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