We have a new character. Micah. What were your first impressions about him? I have to say the first thing I had trouble negotiating was talking about dedicating the money to the LORD, and then taking some to make idols as a way of honoring Micah. It seems very disconnected and nonsensical.
We are introduced to Micah the thief as we start a new section in the Book of Judges. We’re going to see up close and personal how far the Israelites have fallen. Even though Micah gave back the money, he had taken it. Maybe we should ponder why Micah took the money in the first place and what caused him to give it back. The return could very well have been motivated by the “curse” Micah asked his mother about.
I’m not sure I would want a god that I had to carry around. That doesn’t sound all that appealing. Certainly not very powerful! Our God, on the other hand, is powerful and very much involved in our lives. “I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age.”
I think, too, of the beautiful image created in the poem “Footprints.” If you’re not familiar with that, imagine your life as a stroll on the beach. You see two sets of footprints in the sand as you are walking with God. Then, during the challenging times of your life, you see only one set of footprints and wonder why God would abandon you. He was carrying you, the one set of footprints belonged to the Lord. That’s the kind of God I want!
When I read passages like this, I just want to scratch my head! I wonder to myself, “what are people thinking?” Then I remember not everyone has the same level of trust in God that I do. Sad as it is, it’s the truth. People are always looking for “things” outside themselves to help them feel good, feel complete.
We hear God say here, “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God.” That seems straightforward to me. God was there at the beginning, and he will be there at the end. He is the only God to trust in during all the in between times. So why do we constantly look for help, comfort, instruction, safety, etc. in other places? God IS the real deal, and he’s all of those things!
There are many gems in today’s reading. Of course, we recognize right off the 10 Commandments. We’ll look at that here in just a bit. First of all, I want to make sure you don’t miss something I almost missed. Verses 2-4 say, “The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Mount Sinai. The Lord did not make this covenant with our ancestors, but with all of us who are alive today. At the mountain the Lord spoke to you face to face from the heart of the fire.” What’s our take-away?
That Moses wanted to make it clear to the people he was talking to (and that includes us today) that God gave this covenant to “us.” Understand that the people he was addressing were, for the most part, not the ones who stood at the base of the mountain witnessing God first hand. Those people have already died, and it is their offspring listening to Moses now. It would be easy for them to say, those laws were given to “them,” not us. The law from God was given to them, and to us, and we are then given the responsibility to keep the commandments and pass them on to the next generation as if given directly to us. Cool huh?
Moses is pretty clear with his warning about idols. He knows the tendency of the people. It’s easier to have something visible to worship than to worship an unseen God. Easier but not smarter. A visible object is not God, can never be God. A tangible item cannot watch over you, provide for you, hear your prayers, or love you unconditionally.
When I think about God being a jealous God, the song, “Oh How He Loves Us” pops into my head. God doesn’t want us to focus on anyone or anything but him. He loves us that much. He wants only the best for us. Listen HERE.