Micah’s mother had a lot of silver and then someone stole it. She placed a curse on the culprit, who turned out to be Micah himself! He was honest enough to admit it and his mother promptly invoked the Lord’s blessing on him! When Micah returned the silver, all 1,100 shekels of it, she readily consecrated the money to the Lord, for what purpose? To use some of it to have a carved image and a cast idol made. (Never mind the second commandment!). These were put in Micah’s house and he made an ephod (priestly apparel) and some more idols and appointed his son (an Ephraimite, not a Levite) as his personal, private priest. How did he get away with all this? Because “in those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit”.
Then along comes a Levite from Bethlehem, looking for work and accommodation. On coming to Micah’s house, he is offered the post of priest (thus dispensing with the services of Micah Jr.!) in return for a salary, clothing allowance and food. “Now I know that the Lord will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest”, Micah declared.
It’s a strange story. You can read it in full in Judges 17 where we are told (in verse 6, and at 18:1) that there was no king in Israel at that time. So, because there was no-one to guide the nation in the true worship of Yahweh, everyone did as they saw fit. In Micah’s case, that meant theft, superstition, idolatry, expediency, personal preference, human ideas, and so on. Sound familiar? How like certain aspects of the life of our nation and the church in our own times. And for the same reason. There is no King Jesus in the land, or at least, there is but he is largely disregarded or even denied. And relativism dictates that there are no longer any absolutes. What is right for me is not necessarily right for you. In other words: everyone does as he sees fit.
But there is hope – if there is repentance and a turning back to God. Let us pray that the Lord would pour out a spirit of repentance upon our nation, and that we, his people, discern where the Spirit is at work and join in!
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with me”. (Rev 3:19,20).
Finally, a word about this year’s event on 11th September. I hope you have booked to come! But, if you are hesitant because of uncertainty about Covid, as part of our COVID precautions we are taking the view that the wearing of a mask when moving around within the premises is preferred but not mandatory. We simply ask that you respect the sensitivities of those who take a different view to yourself. So, in summary, please wear a mask when entering or leaving the building or otherwise moving around inside; you can remove it when seated or outside. But if you have objections to wearing one we respect that and are not going to insist on it.
See you on the 11th!