Then said Micah, “Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest” (Judges 17:13).
Statistics reveal that most people believe in God. Most would say that they seek to curry favor with God. They have it within their heads that if they do certain things that God will surely bless them.
Micah is a representative of this view. We learn in Judges 17 that after taking 1100 pieces of silver from his mother and then restoring them, his mother decides to take some of the silver and make a molten image of YHWH of it. Micah makes his own ephod and installs his own son as a priest. When a Levite comes by who is willing to serve before the idol for him, he takes him in and then feels pleased with himself.
When we consider the whole of the Law of Moses, and how molten images are an abomination to God, let alone having one’s own sanctuary, we wonder how Micah can feel this way. What does the LORD owe him? How can he think that the LORD will bless him when he is presently sinning?
Yet we must not be too harsh on Micah, because many Micahs are all around us, and we may have a little Micah within ourselves.
How many people have we seen who make progress with one or two battles in their lives and then think that God is then okay with them? How many will point to all of their generosity and act as if such will cover their iniquity?
How many times have we done the same? How often have we prided ourselves on some spiritual accomplishment while neglecting other matters? How many times have we labored under the pretension that if we curry favor with God that such automatically leads to blessings?
In Matthew 5:45, Jesus declares that God causes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on both the just and the unjust. God may do people good even though they have been unrighteous; after all, we have all sinned, and God showed His love for us while we were in sin (Romans 5:6-11). The righteous may experience difficulty and suffering in order to test their faith and to produce spiritual benefit (James 1:2-4, Hebrews 12:6-13).
We would do well to learn from Micah’s “certainty.” God does not owe us anything, and there is nothing that we can “do” that forces God to “do good” for us. God still provides life and blessing even though we all have sinned against Him. As opposed to striving to gain God’s favor, let us be thankful for the blessings which God has already provided!
Ethan R. Longhenry