Easy Deception

Judges 17:5-6 “And the man Micah had a shrine and he made an ephod and household idols and consecrated one of his sons, that he might become his priest. In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

Observation: Micah was a thief, stealing not only from his mother, but also from God. He returned the stolen money to his mother, but did not return God to His rightful place in Micah’s life. Following his mother’s example, he manufactured a couple of household gods and chose one of his sons to serve as his household priest. Later, when a wandering Levite showed up, Micah hired him to be his priest.

Application: It was easy for Micah to set up his own religion, but what a horrible perversion of faith in God! Can I, however, not do the same? Have I not done the same? When I ignore God’s gentle nudging to give generously, have I not declared allegiance to something other than dependence upon Him? When I bring battering rams to beat against doors God has obviously not opened, have I not determined to be my own God?

I can easily fall into apostasy, setting up my own objects and instruments of worship and then declaring that I am still somehow holy. But just because I say something is holy does not make it so. Just because I set up some ritual does not mean I have drawn near to God (see Isa. 29:13). It is easy to practice a form of godliness yet remain far from Him (see 2 Tim. 3:5). What a tragedy when men live and die under such deception!

How is it that such foolish apostasy can grip my heart? Simply this: God has built into me a need for certain things such as fellowship and intimacy. I need a sense of belonging, a sense of being loved by one who will not leave. God has also provided the way to have those needs fulfilled in Him. Sin enters when I try meeting those God-ordained needs in illegitimate ways. 

Prayer: Father God, draw me continually back to the Cross of Christ. Reveal to me each time I fall into a pattern of setting up my own gods, my own idols, and pull me back to a worship of You, the one true God. There is only one way to heaven; cause my heart to burst in ecstasy over nothing but Jesus and His sacrifice.

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