We are ‘MANDATED’ to DO what is RIGHT in GOD’s EYES
March 17 Bible Reading: Judges Chapters 16-18
"The man Micah had a shrine, and made an ephod and household idols; and he consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest. In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (Judges 17:5-6)
The book of Judges makes two profound observations in explaining the different events that start unfolding from chapter seventeen: first, in those days there was no king in Israel (17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25), and second, everyone did what was right in his own eyes (17:6; 21:25). The events highlight the low spiritual and moral state of Israel during this period when there was no king or, judge to rule over the land and establish the laws of God.
The main character of this unfolding drama in chapter seventeen is a man called Micah (whose name means “who is like Jehovah”), who returned back 1100 shekels of silver (exactly the amount of money paid to Delilah by each of the lords of the Philistines, see 16:5, 18) that he had stolen from his wealthy mother. His mother had pronounced a serious curse (probably in the name of Jehovah) on the thief who had taken the money, and fearing the power of his mother’s curse, Micah confessed that he was the one who had taken the silver (vv. 1-4a). Micah’s mother then took two hundred pieces of silver and gave it to a silversmith, who created both a carved and molded image for her, which Micah set in a shrine along with an ephod and household idols for worship, as well as consecrated one of his own sons to be his priest (vv. 4b-5). Thus, Micah ends up with establishing an idolatrous cult in Ephraim!
All this happened due to the moral relativism of those days where every man had become a law unto himself rather than follow the laws of God. We see people lying, stealing, conniving, and justifying their own behavior in the name of Jehovah. The spiritual apostasy in Israel was displayed clearly in the form of religious syncretism and extreme materialism. Many laws of God established at Mount Sinai were broken in those days, including making graven images, hiring unauthorized priests for personal worship, creating private worship places, etc. In short, these were dark days of total anarchy and spiritual bankruptcy in Israel where people did whatever they wanted, not what was right in the sight of God!
We may thus infer that a king who focused Israel’s attention on Jehovah would have prevented the outbreaks of sin and oppression so prevalent during the time of the judges. In fact, Israel needed a righteous king to put a stop to such activities (8:22, 23; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25). Similarly, when there is a lack of such leadership among God’s people today, people lead unrestrained lives guided by their own opinions rather than God’s Word and godly wisdom. Let us always remember that as God’s children, we are mandated to do what is right in God’s eyes and not our own. Let us always seek to do those things that are pleasing in the sight of God only, and let the following prayer by Apostle Paul become a reality in our lives today:
"For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light." (Col. 1:9-12)