1And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.
2And he said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from thee, about which thou cursedst, and spakest of also in mine ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my son.
3And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the LORD from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten image: now therefore I will restore it unto thee.
4Yet he restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a graven image and a molten image: and they were in the house of Micah. (Judges 17:1-4, King James Version)
You know, it strikes me just how contemporary the above account could be. Set it in any US city, and it would not seem so strange.
1. The woman cursed whomever took her money, presumably using God’s name. After it was returned, she then blessed the very person who stole it using God’s name.
2. The woman had dedicated the silver to make an idol, a direct violation of God’s commandments.
3. The woman had “wholly” dedicated the 1100 shekels “unto the LORD”. The woman actually only used 200 shekels for the idol.
Deception and being deceived are throughout this story. Note the casual use of God’s covenant name in the midst of blatant idolatry. They were willing to use God’s name but not honor His will in their lives.
“Just believe upon Jesus,” people will say. “Just ask Him to enter your heart” – whatever that means.
Belief without obedience is just plain superstition. Mouthing the words of a “sinner’s prayer” is not enough. Mouthing the name of God without repentance is idolatry. Mere belief in God is simply not enough. Like GTA used to say (more or less), “They [the Jews living at the time of Jesus] believed in Jesus. They believed He existed, that He was standing before them and that He was talking to them. They believed on Jesus. But, they didn’t believe Jesus! They didn’t believe what He said. They didn’t believe His message.”