“And he said unto them, Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, But their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.” (Mark 7:6-7)
The Old Testament has many lessons for us today. In Judges 17, we see five mistakes of the man MICAH. Last week we looked at 3 of them that are repeated by many today.
- He followed his Mother’s traditions.
- He made Idols.
- He Changed the law to suit himself.
I encourage you to review the previous article.
Today’s article will look at the last two mistakes of MICAH.
The 5 mistakes of MICAH (Judges 17)repeated today. Pt2
The fourth mistake of Micah was that he ASSIGNED to himself a priest from the Levites to be his personal priest.
“And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in.  And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was unto him as one of his sons.  And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.  Then said Micah, Now know I that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest” (Judges 17:10-13.
Today people will talk about their favorite preacher, pastor, televangelist, author and so on. Paul dealt with this issue with the church at Corinth. “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul” (1Cor 1:11-13)?
How do we correct this mistake? When we establish dividing lines based on popular preachers, or public figures we are carnal. That’s what Paul called it. “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men” (1Cor 3:3)?
What can we do? Follow Jesus. Read about Him. Study Him. Walk like He walked. People living godly lives can serve as examples for us, but only as far as they imitate Christ (1Cor 11:1). We are not to elevate them above others and especially not to cause division. “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another” (1Cor 4:6; cf 2Cor 12:6).
The last mistake we’ll consider is that Micah had a HOUSE of gods.
“And the man Micah had a HOUSE of gods, and made an ephod and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest” (Judges 17:5).
Besides the idolatry, this mistake is saying that all religions and denominations are equal. Paul saw this error in Athens. “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:23).
We see this same mistake being made today. Religious people have become ECUMENICAL (aimed at achieving universal Christian unity and church union through international interdenominational organizations that cooperate on matters of mutual concern). In other words, religious folks are focusing on unity (Jews, Muslims, & Christians) despite clear scriptural and doctrinal differences. They see all religions as different ships going to the same destination. This sounds good on the surface, but misses the biblical definition of unity.
How do we correct this mistake? Paul warned; “For if he that cometh preacheth ANOTHER Jesus whom we have not preached, or if ye receive ANOTHER spirit which ye have not received, or ANOTHER gospel which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2Corinthians 11:4; cf. Gal 1:6-9). We are warned repeatedly to beware of false teachers. They are described as wolves in sheep’s clothing, deceivers, dogs, and “hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness hath been reserved forever” (Jude 1:12-13).
The main takeaway is that it’s possible for people to be following a different Jesus and not the Jesus of scripture (cf Phil 3:19). While many claim to follow Jesus, they may not be following the Jesus of the New Testament.
What can we do? Check out what your pastor teaches, what your church practices, & what sins they accept through the lens of the word of God. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with al lreadiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily to see whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). The folks in Berea were called more noble as they were checking out the teaching of the Apostle Paul!!
Be careful how you hear, and what you hear. There is only one truth and only one way to have unity and fellowship with God. “Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
Spencer is the evangelist for the church of Christ in Borger on Franklin & Juniper.
Read part one, “the 5 mistakes of MICAH” here.