In Those Days


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Judges 17:1 And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.

Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

The theme of this message is “In Those Days”. “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every person did that which was right in his or her own eyes”. Though this was written about Israel “In THOSE days”, it is as if it were about America “In THESE days”. America acts as if there is no king, no God. But the “Coronavirus” – “Corona” meaning “Crown”, has shown us that we are not gods nor kings. There is but one God, one King of Kings. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

The Children Of God Have A King

I thank God that He is MY King.
I thank God that Jesus is MY Lord. Is He yours?

Few people study their Bibles any more, but there are great truths and great examples in this Book of Books. Tonight our text comes from the seventeenth chapter of “Judges”. This book is obscure, ignored by most people, yet it has a message for America today.

Judges is the seventh book of the Old Testament.
That is significant.

Genesis is the first book, which is appropriate, for it speaks of creation.
Exodus is the second book, which speaks of the creation of Israel.
Messiah – our Jesus Christ – came to us from Israel.
Leviticus the third book, establishes God’s Law.
God is the Ruler of what He made. He sets the boundaries.
God’s people heed God’s command.
Numbers the fourth book shows God’s care for each of His people.
God has numbered the very hairs of our head (Luke 12:7)
Deuteronomy the fifth book reminds us once more God is our King.
We are reminded twice, because we forget!
Joshua the sixth book shows what happens when we heed God.
There is NOTHING impossible with God (Luke 1:37).
Follow God and let HIM fight for you!

Then we come to Judges, the seventh book. On the seventh day God rested from all His works (Genesis 2:2-3). Israel was supposed to rest in God. We are supposed to rest in God.

The Book of Judges shows a time when there is no King in Israel but God. No one sat on the Throne of Israel yet. There would come a time when God would raise up a shepherd named David, and install him on the throne at Jerusalem. But during this time God alone was King. God is the Best King. The children of God have a King, and His Name is Jesus! David understood this. Just listen:

Psalm 5:2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

Psalm 44:4 Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.

Psalm 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter.

Psalm 47:6 Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

Psalm 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

In Judges, Israel should have been resting In God. Instead, Israel was resting FROM God – much like America is doing today.

Oh Beloved, the children of God only have power when they follow their Heavenly King.

Ephesians 5:1-2 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.

Judges shows us that God is long suffering and merciful. Praise Him for this!

A pattern seen throughout the Book was that Israel would fall into idolatry, and lose territory because of their fall. But then God would raise up a “Judge” who would rule the people in God’s stead. The “Judge” would cause Israel to repent – and blessing would come.

God raised up twelve Judges, who were (in no particular order) Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon and Samson. These men (and one woman) more or less obeyed God, and led Israel out of a darkness brought on by sin. That’s why this book is called “Judges”. There are twelve Judges showing the Twelve Tribes of Israel how to live for God.

When we come to Judges 17 the pattern abruptly changes. We read:

Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

The “Judges” cease rising up. The “Light” stops shining. Darkness and sin consume the nation.

Judges 18:1 In those days there was no king in Israel

Judges 19:1 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel..

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

The nation was falling to pieces. The Bible says:

Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

If “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”, then the polar opposite would be “cursed is the nation whose God is NOT the Lord.

God blesses a people when they follow Him. But blessings cease when we drift away from God and His Word. God could have neglected to give us Judges 17-21, but He did so because He wants us to see what happens when darkness reigns. I believe this sermon tonight is particularly necessary in the light of the Coronavirus Pandemic. I believe as a nation and as God’s Church, we have done what was right in our own eyes. We have rejected the Lord our God as King. We need to get back to the Word and Rule of God!

The FAMILY Must Return To God

The rise or fall of a nation is dependent on the family unit. This is why the devil is working so hard to redefine marriage and love. This is why the devil is continually tinkering with Divine design. If the devil can triumph in the family, he can destroy the nation. We read:

Judges 17:1 And there was a man of mount Ephraim {a place of fruitfulness}, whose name was Micah.

Let’s break this text out.

AND there was a man”.

 Stop right there. Don’t miss that little word A-N-D. The word A-N-D connects this man that we’ll talk about with a man found in chapter sixteen named SAMSON. Do you remember SAMSON? He was the last Judge of Israel. The Hebrew name שִׁמְשׁוֹן (Shimshon) is derived from the Hebrrew שֶׁמֶשׁ (shemesh) which means “S-U-N”. Samson was supposed to shine for the Lord. Samson had great power. The Bible tells us:

Judges 16:2-5 … there was a certain man of Zorah, of the {tribe of Dan}, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. 3 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. … 5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

Samson was suppose to shine for God, to be a priest for God. He is a Nazarite, just as the Prophet Samuel and John the Baptist were Nazarites.

This Samson – this Bright Sun from God – was to be God’s Judge against the enemies of Israel. But Samson had a flaw. He loved women more than he loved the Lord His God. I don’t have time to go fully into the story of Samson – read it later tonight if you will. It is in Judges 16. Samson allowed pride and sexual sin to enter his life – and it eventually killed him. The wages of sin is death – always death! (Romans 6:23).

Judges 17:1 And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.

 Samson’s name means “The Sun Shine”. What about “Micah”? The name “Micah” literally translated means who is like Yahweh”. Micah grew up with Samson as a hero, someone to look up to. But Micah didn’t have the best role model to believe in. As Samson was in love with women and himself, Micah loved money. We read:

Judges 17:2 And {Micah} said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from thee, about which thou cursedst, and spakest of also in mine ears, behold, the silver is with me; I TOOK IT. And his mother said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my son.

Micah stole 1100 shekels of silver from his mother, a violation of the Fifth Commandment. In a day when a years wages were but 10 shekels, 1100 shekels is a vast sum, about 110 years wages! What Micah did was bad, for theft is a violation of the eighth commandment (Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal). It is a terrible sin. But even worst is that he stole from his mother. God commanded us:

Exodus 20:12 Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

When the mother realized her fortune was gone she cursed the thief. This was enough to prick Micah’s heart, and so he returned his ill gotten gain. His mother said:

Blessed be thou of the Lord, my son.

She blessed him I the name of the Lord. Was this a Godly woman? No. For we read:

Judges 17:3 … I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the Lord from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten image: now therefore I will restore it unto thee.

The money that Micah stole was money that his mother set aside to make a “graven and molten image”. She was going to make a silver figure that the family could worship, an idol if you will. This is a violation of the first and second commandments of God:

Exodus 20:3-6 … Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

The mother was going to use the blessings that God gave her in a way that was forbidden of the Lord. This mother, like many parents who profess Christ as Savior and Lord, did not worship the god of Scripture. Her faith was blended with the darkness. She thought that if she “wholly dedicate the silver to the Lord”, then she could build idols to worship. Many worship the god of works, the catholic god, the god of penance, of popes, of paper priests.

Judges 17:4 Yet he restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took TWO HUNDRED SHEKELS OF SILVER, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a graven image and a molten image: and they were in the house of Micah.

His mother did not dedicate the 1100 pieces of silver as she promised, but 200 pieces to the
idol she had made

Micah was raised by a mother who said one thing and did another. Oh Beloved, how you raise your children and grandchildren will make tomorrow’s America! If you are a Christian parent or grandparent then what you plant in that child TODAY will effect the fabric of the nation TOMORROW. King Solomon wrote:

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Train the child “up”. Have the child “look up”. Not “down”, but “up”. Look unto Jesus. Look upon Him high and lifted up. Look at Him on Calvary. See His love bleeding, His love covering. Look up! Teach the children to love God. God told Israel when the first were to enter the Promised Land:

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: 5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house …

The Bible tells us:

Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Sow righteousness and light into the lives of your children. Do not sow idolatry, pride, or selfishness. Micah was taught compromise and synergy at his mother’s knee.

Judges 17:4-5 … Yet he restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a graven image and a molten image: and they were in the house of Micah. 5 And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.

Micah made idols, just as his mother led him to do. He also established his own priesthood, for the ephod was part of the costume that the Levites Priests used while serving God in the Tabernacle (Exodus 39; 1 Samuel 2:18). Shockingly Micah – a man who was NOT like Yahweh – CONSECRATED on of his own sons to be a priest. Your character in holiness will be passed down to your children. Look up, child. Look up! Live for the Lord your God!

God’s Priests Need To Live For God

In the middle of this mess we are introduced to another wanderer. We read:

Judges 17:7 And there was a young man out of Bethlehemjudah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.

There is a man, a Levite, who is traveling through Micah’s land. Who are the Levites? The Levites are blessed of God. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai after being with God 40 days receiving the Commandments he discovered, to his shock, Israel worshiping a golden calf. Moses cried out:

Exodus 32:26-27 … Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

Moses was of the Tribe of Levi, along with his brother Aaron and sister Miriam. His family, the Levites, gathered around Moses. God used the Tribe of Levi to purge idolatry out of Israel. After this the Levites were to be priests unto God. When the Promised Land was given to Israel God told His people:

Deuteronomy 18:1-2 The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and his inheritance. 2 Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the Lord is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.

The inheritance of the Levites, the Priests, was God Himself. God will take care of His people. God cares for you. Why was this unnamed Levite traveling? We are told:

Judges 17:8 .. the man departed out of the city from Bethlehemjudah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed.

One commentary states “Unlike Abraham, who also set out for an unknown destination but who went with a keen sense of the calling of God, this person is shiftless. He has no passion for God, no sense of divine calling, no burden of responsibility. He is a ‘laid back’ professional minister following the path of least resistance and waiting for an opportunity to open up.” (Block, Judges, pg 487). This Levite should be shining for God, just as Samson and Micah should have been shining for God. Instead he is an opportunist. He is looking for a better place to be.

This Levite is a picture of the Christian and the Church today. Micah tells this Levite:

Judges 17:10-13 … 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. 11 And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was unto him as one of his sons. 12 And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.

This unnamed Levite is a picture of surface Christianity and Micah a picture of the world today. The Church in America has largely sold itself to the world. Though the Bible says:

1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

This Levite is like the modern, look the other way Church. God has told those in the New Testament, the Christian saved by the blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, that we are God’s chosen. Peter – claimed to be the first pope by catholicism – wrote:

1 Peter 1:1-5 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

You who are saved by faith in Christ’s Blood, have been begotten or born again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. You have a place. Unlike this Levite, you should not be looking to the world for a better place. You have an inheritance incorruptible, that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you. You belong to God. You are kept by God through faith. Your heritage is secure. You need not sell yourself to the world. You need not compromise with evil. You must stand firm in Christ and on God’s Word. The world will hate you, and offer to compromise with you.

1 Peter 4:1-2, 16-17 … Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. … 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Unlike this Levite we must not offer false hope to the world. We must stand strong in the Gospel of Christ, calling all sinners to repent, and come to Him Who saves. God forbid that the light compromise with the darkness. We must cease being seeker sensitive, and instead be God sensitive, live for the One Who gave Himself for us.

We are God’s Levites. We are God’s priests, priests of the New Covenant. God is our inheritance.

1 Peter 2:5, 9-12 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, AN HOLY PRIESTHOOD, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. … 9-12 ye are a chosen generation, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; 10 Which in time past were not a people, but ARE NOW THE PEOPLE OF GOD: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

There Is A Day Of Reckoning

I know I have gone long, but the Lord has put this on my heart, and I must say it. Church, you have been largely forced from your buildings out into the world to do what God has called you to do. The early Church stayed on Solomon’s Porch in the Temple until a man named Saul was raised up to persecute and kill Christians. Through Saul – later named Paul – the Christian faith has spread throughout the world. We are to live for God.

After Micah consecrated this Levite and made him his priest, Micah said:

Judges 17:13 … Now know I that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.

There are many who are on Church rolls who are living in darkness. They feel that they will enter Heaven upon their death because they belong to this Church or that Church. Micah thought that God would bless him because he now had his own priest. Beloved, the priest is not for sale, and neither is the Gospel of Christ. To be blessed a person must come to Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior. You must call upon Him to be saved. Once you are saved, God is your portion, you daily Father. Not some priest. Not some preacher. God. And you are a New Covenant Levite, a priest unto God.

Live as you are.

In the next chapter this “good luck Levite” that Micah thought would bless him will allow all of Micah idols to be stolen. That Levite would sell himself next to the Danite marauders. If you belong to God, live for God. Live for His glory. May God bless the preaching of His Word through His Spirit.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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