Read Judges 17
17 Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim 2 said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse—I have that silver with me; I took it.”
Then his mother said, “The Lord bless you, my son!”
3 When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, “I solemnly consecrate my silver to the Lord for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you.”
4 So after he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who used them to make the idol. And it was put in Micah’s house.
5 Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest. 6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
7 A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah, 8 left that town in search of some other place to stay. On his way he came to Micah’s house in the hill country of Ephraim.
9 Micah asked him, “Where are you from?”
“I’m a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah,” he said, “and I’m looking for a place to stay.”
10 Then Micah said to him, “Live with me and be my father and priest, and I’ll give you ten shekels of silver a year, your clothes and your food.” 11 So the Levite agreed to live with him, and the young man became like one of his sons to him. 12 Then Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in his house. 13 And Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest.”
In this chapter, what Micah is doing is creating an idol. This is in violation of the second commandment. He not only was creating an image of God to worship, but he was creating his own image of God. Micah lost track of the fact that he was created in God’s image, not vice versa. God is who God is. God is not who we make God to be. Our own images of God limit Him to a human concept, not the eternal concept He is. In Exodus we read that God describes Himself as, “I am that I am.” In part, this is because there is no possible description or one-word statement to emulate all that God is.
So often we paint our own image of who God is. We paint Him according to our circumstance. Additionally, so often we paint the image of God and use descriptions of what He isn’t. We place Him as not good, or not all knowing, or not gracious. We see the circumstance in our life and let it describe God. We don’t remember who God actually is. He is holy, just, gracious, faithful, provider, kind, and so much more. He is greater than any image we could place on Him.
Remembering that God is so much greater than who we make Him to be will change everything about us. When we fully understand that God is who He says He is and not just who we say He is, everything changes about us and our relationship with God. We can ask the big things, remember who holds us, and above all, remember that our sin isn’t too much for Him. We have to remind ourselves of the character of God and not limit Him to our own image. We serve the God who does the impossible and making Him less is insulting.
He is the only one who saves us from our sins- the small and the big. God has handled the payment of sin. This was not just a saving for Micah and the Israelites who “simply couldn’t get it right,” but for all of us. The cross was and is and forever will be for the gossip we fall into, the little white lies we tell, the pornography addiction, and whatever it is for you. Through it all, God stands as who He says He is. He doesn’t change.
- How have you painted your own image of God? Is this right?
- What are the characteristics of God that are true of Him that comfort you in the trials?
- Does your prayer life accurately reflect who God is? Do you believe He is the God of the impossible?
You are good. You are who you say you are. You are so much more than what I can comprehend. You, Lord, are a God of the impossible. Thank you for being above all and above my understanding of good. Lord, thank you for being outside of my image of who you are. Lord, I want to praise you for being a big God.
In Jesus’ name,
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