Are God, the church building, the Bible, a piece of cross-shaped jewelry Christian “good-luck charms”? Preposterous, you say? Think about it, especially in light of the attitude displayed by Micah (not the prophet!) in Judges 17.
These are crazy days in Israel’s history—everyone doing what’s right in his own eyes. The spirit of idolatry has crept into Micah’s home. He had stolen some silver from his mother, but confessed his transgression. She responded by taking slightly less than 20% of the precious metal and doing what she considered to be a great spiritual thing: she had a graven image made for her son. Yes, that’s in spite of the second commandment. Micah, we’re told, added the image to his “house of gods” collection, made an ephod (a priest’s garment), and dedicated one of his own sons to be his priest. All of this, of course, was in direct violation of God’s revealed will. But there’s more.
A Levite was on a little holiday, traveling through the Mt. Ephraim region, and stopped at Micah’s home. Levites, you’ll remember, were chosen to be set apart for tabernacle service. Micah sees an opportunity here and makes an offer the Levite can’t (but should) refuse: “Live with me, and I’ll pay you a modest annual salary, take care of all your needs, and you be a priest for my household!” The Levite agreed, and then we’re given an insight into Micah’s “good-luck-charm” mentality when he declares, “Now know I that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.” In other words, “I’ve got the images; I’ve got an ephod; I’ve got a house of gods; and I’ve got a priest from the God-consecrated tribe. I’ve got everything I need for God to bless me!”
Is that so?
The details may be different today, but the attitude is often the same.
“I’ve got faith in God. He’s got to bless me.”
“I go to church every week—every time the doors are open!—He’s got to bless me!”
“I read my Bible, almost every day! He’s got to bless me!”
“I wear Christian jewelry…have Bible verse pictures on the walls of my house…play Christian music…give money to the church…He’s got to bless me!”
Is that so?
Actually, He doesn’t have to if 1) you’re disobedient to His revealed will, and/or 2) you’re looking to all these things as “charms” to guarantee His goodness to you. God is not a genie to be charmed and manipulated. He’s a person, a heavenly Father to His children, who wants to bless them as their relationship develops and deepens.
We need to treat Him as such.