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Dangerous Substitutes

Daily Reading: Judges 17-18


Scripture Focus: Then Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will prosper me, because I have a Levite as priest.” (Judges 17.13)


Devotional Thought: Have I mentioned that sound doctrine is important? Some people prefer to substitute superstitions and feelings for strong biblical theology. It is easier and just feels better! Micah was fooled by such quasi-religious principles.


Micah was a thief and a scoundrel. He stole money from his mother and then expected a reward when he brought it back. When he returned the stolen silver, he and his mother decided that it sounded like a good idea to make the coins into an idol. (It's pretty clear where Micah got his misguided theology!) To compound his error, Micah decided that when a Levite presented himself in need of employment, it would be a good idea to employ him as a priest. Then, the coup de grace: "I know that the Lord will prosper me because I have a Levite as a priest."


What?


Was Micah serious? He apparently didn't have enough doctrine to understand that he shouldn't steal (the 8th commandment) or that he shouldn't have an idol (2nd commandment). The fact that the priesthood was reserved for Aaron's line (not the Levites in toto), would never have occurred to him. He simply had some vague memory that Levites were sacred people.


This story that began with thievery and continued through spiritual confusion, ended with defeat and disgrace! Micah's 'god' and his priest were stolen by others whose theology was just as bad! "But the people of Dan took what Micah had made, and the priest who belonged to him" (Judges 18.27).


Later, we will read sad words that reflect the spiritual confusion of these times: "Everyone did as he saw fit." Superstitions and feelings are dangerous substitutes for sound doctrine!


Prayer: Father, you have deigned to give me your Word, the Bible. Help me to read it and to understand it. Then, help me to live according to your Word. Protect me from error, O Lord. Amen.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 57.1-5

1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. 2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

4 My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts— the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.

5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!

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