In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever he wanted. - Judges 17:6 HCSB
A man named Micah stole money from his mother. When she discovered that her money was gone, she uttered a curse on whoever had stolen it. Micah was present when his mother uttered the curse and out of superstitious fear, confessed to her that he was the thief. She immediately tried to counteract her curse by asking God to bless her son.
When Micah returned the money, she consecrated it to God. However, she did it by creating idols which were expressly forbidden by God. Micah had a shrine in his house and these images were placed there along with an ephod (a chest plate reserved for the use of a high priest) and his household idols. He also consecrated one of his sons so that he might be the household priest.
But when a mercenary Levite (someone from the priestly tribe of Levi) came by, Micah hired the homeless man to become his household priest. All this mess is explained by one terse verse: "there was no king in Israel; and everyone did whatever he wanted."
The results of that anarchy within this one family was larceny, superstitious witchcraft, idol worshipping, mixing elements of true faith with the occult, taking authority that was not their own and hiring priests who were only interested in money!
Unfortunately, this sounds only too familiar. We are a nation in which it is acceptable to be "spiritual" but it is considered bigoted to have definite Christian views. Everyone has their own view of what religion should entail. How many times have you heard, "Oh, that might be truth for you, but it's not truth for me." Or, "I think there are many ways to heaven, they're all paths to the one truth." We have religious anarchy ruling our nation and it's beginning to show.
We are mixing elements of true faith which are clearly stated in the scriptures, with our own ideas of God. We are hiring pastors who are more concerned with their 401K than they are with telling the people gently when they are wrong!
We feel that we have the authority to say "This part of Scripture is inspired, and that one is not." "That verse does not jibe with my view of a gracious and loving God so I can ignore it." We place ourselves as the ultimate authority of religion.
It is interesting to note that in the following chapters of Judges we see the rise of homosexuality and crime. If you teach each person that they can do whatever they want, they soon expect that all their wishes will be fulfilled and are filled with hatred toward anyone who stands between them and their desire.
May God have mercy on our poor nation as we follow Israel into this morally relativistic morass.
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