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Micah’s Mother Said…

06/10/2011

Someone once tried to illustrate the differences between men and women by saying that ‘Men are from Mars etc…’. Certainly, we men find the attitudes and actions of our femail companions a little difficult to understand from time to time. This is particularly true when women are defending their sons! Mothers must have always thought a little irrationally about their male offspring. In the book of Judges, chapter 17, we see a little snapshot of family life in the hill country of Ephaim in the years following Israel’s conquest of Canaan under Joshua. There was a man called Micah (not the minor prophet) who bursts onto the biblical narrative with a sudden confession.

Picture the scene. Micah steps into the room. He speaks up, suddenly and without any lead-in.

‘Mother…’.
‘Yes Son?’
‘Mother, do you remember that you had 1100 Shekels?’
‘I do son… And some dirty filthy thief stole them from me… Right from here, right out of my own purse, right here in my own home. It’s disgraceful. See if I get that thief… if I get my hands on him, he will suffer the consequences he will… In fact, I’ve put a curse on that money, and if he even tries to spend it, something really awful will happen to him, in fact, if I ever….’
‘Am, Mum….’
‘What son?’
‘It was me mum. I took your money mum. It was me.’

Now, what did you expect Micah’s mother to say, given that she’d already cursed the money? Here’s her reply, ‘Blessed be my son by the Lord!’

Yes, if it was someone else she’d have demanded retribution, she’d have demanded justice and she’d have demanded the most serious penalty available under the law. But it was not a stranger who took her money, it was her wee boy, her son, the love of her life. So instead of cursing him, she blesses him! Is it any wonder that we men find women so hard to understand sometimes!

Of course, I’m being a bit ‘tongue in cheek’ here. The real issue here is not a woman’s attitude to her son, it’s the fact that only a few short years after their deliverance from Egypt, and their arrival by God’s grace and his preserving mercy in the Promised Land, Israel’s ordinary people had backsliden into idolatry and superstition. Their religion, which should have demonstrated the love of Jehovah the One True God, had degenerated into superstitious cursing, the setting up and worshipping of idols and the employment of irregular religious ‘clergy’.

When Micah made his confession, he returned the money to his mother. She gave it back to him… But the money was now cursed. What could be done with it? Use it for ‘religious purposes!’ They used the money to establish a false shrine, complete with idols and their own family clergyman to work the idols, and Micah firmly believed that God would now bless him, because he had his own personal priest.

In an astute social commentary on his own society, the writer of Judges exclaims, ‘In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.’ (Judges 17:6 ESV)

What an amazing insight into human character. People haven’t changed. We still take God’s blessing for granted. Our natural direction is still to move away from God and his word, and towards man made and man centred idolatrous religion. We may not make wooden and metal idols like Micah and his mum, but we exalt gods of false belief, and we adhere to the modern religions of celebrity worship and self esteem, or the syncretistic gods of diversity, post-modernity and exaggerated ‘human rights.’

In our sinfulness, like ancient Israel, we have dethroned our rightful King, our hearts, thoughts and emotions are far from him, and instead we are doing what is right in our own eyes, and we have brought ourselves under divine judgement.

Yet there is hope, for there is a King. A Saviour, – One who gave up His rights, who laid aside His self esteem, and who humbled himself, and went to a Cross, and died for sinners, to win us back from our sinfulness and waywardness and rebellion. Let us enthrone Him, as our King, in our lives.

Scripture readings: Judges 17:1-6, Philippians 2:4-11

From → Evangelism

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