"Now a man named Micah... said to his mother, "The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you... I have that silver with me; I took it."
When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, "I solemnly consecrate my silver to the LORD for my son to make a carved image and a cast idol."
...and she took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who made them into the image and the idol. And they were put in Micah's house.
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...
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."
...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."
Our pastor preached on this passage this Sunday. Micah, the main character, is just one example of what happened when 'everyone did as he saw fit.' He stole a large sum of money from his mother and when he returned it, she "thanked" the Lord by creating an idol! Micah set up a shrine for the idol along with all the other gods he worshipped and then installed his son as a priest. When a Levite came along, he decided to appoint the Levite as his priest instead.
Then notice the last phrase... "I know that the Lord will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest."
Utter disregard for the Word of the Lord.
And yet, because Micah has a Levite, he thinks God will bless him.
How foolish. How ridiculous!
But how often do I do the same thing?
My life is also full of sin. Full of false gods.
Security becomes more important than trust. Computer takes the place of spending time with God. "Having fun" overshadows stewardship of what God has given me. Pride interferes with a right relationship with Him.
And yet I think that because I read my Bible or go to church or donate money, God will bless me? How foolish. How ridiculous!
The blessing of God does not come because I have "a Levite in the house." His blessing is not given for the asking. It is not based on outward signs of obedience that serve only to disguise a prideful heart.
But "blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods." ~Psalm 40:4
Only when I humble myself and seek His face... Only when I completely forsake the false gods in my life--my pride, my security, my faith in myself... Only when I stop trusting the Levites in my house to bring blessing and turn wholly and completely to the God of the universe...
Only then will I find His blessing.
"Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory; that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" ~1 Chronicles 4:10