[Mar 31]--Help, Someone Is Stealing My Gods!

Judges 18:11-26

I do believe that Scripture (and the God behind it) does display a sense of humor at times, but his humor always has a serious point. He’s not employing it to entertain us, but to show just how absurd something is. One good example is in the second Psalm. The image is that of all the nations gathering together in a grand conspiracy against the Lord and his Messiah. They have their plans, their schemes, their resources, and their zeal. And what’s God’s reaction? Is he wringing his hands while sitting on his throne, saying “Boy, what am I going to do now?!” Um, no. He’s laughing at them. The point of this image is to show the utter absurdity of plotting against the almighty, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent Lord over the universe. Trust me, he’s not worried, so neither should we.

I thoroughly believe that the scene set before us in today’s passage is also meant to be humorous with a serious point. It was a time of increasing and widespread spiritual decay, and the Danites decided to steal some things from a man named Micah (most definitely NOT the prophet who has a book named after him). Micah had set up his own little private religion, complete with a Levite (who should've had no part in this travesty) and some household idols. About six hundred men came and took both the Levite and the gods to use for their own purposes.

What happened next is both funny and sad. Micah ran after them with a few men, and his quote is classic: “You stole my gods!” Of course they threatened to kill him if he didn’t shut up and go back home, and he decided to let this go. Friend, any god who can be STOLEN is not a god worthy of your worship. Why would you bow down before a god who has physical limitations, which was even built by your own hands?

There’s actually a very simple solution to this mystery. An idol which you made can be controlled by you. It won’t make any demands which you don’t like, and whenever you don’t want to think about it, you can just put him away in a drawer until you’re ready to pull him out again. But any god small enough to be convenient is too small to really be your Provider or Defender. Micah’s gods couldn’t defend themselves from theft, so how could he trust them to protect or provide for him?

The true God, however, is nothing like that. He can’t be put aside, and he makes demands and expectations of us. But the good news is that he’s REAL, and we can trust him to be everything we could ever need or want. Like Aslan in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, he’s not safe, but he’s good.

We might laugh at poor Micah running after the Danites, but how about us? We might not have a stone idol in our living room, but what about money? Our reputation? Our spouse or children? Our job? Whatever is controlling us, whatever we’re trusting, it should be worthy of what we give it. If someone could run off with it, I’d say it doesn’t pass the “Micah” test.

Father God, you're the ONLY one worthy of my absolute trust and obedience. Please do any housecleaning, because the one thing you don’t deserve is any rivals.

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