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Judges 17:1-18:31

Reading today’s Old Testament passage reminds me that things are pretty much the same today as they were 3-4 thousand years ago, nothing new under the sun. Here we have pictured some family dynamics that have gone awry. We have a son who has stolen from his mother and the return of the money, under threat or fear of a curse, is seen as time to get “religious” and honor the son who stole it. As we read on, we find out that the son’s mother is a grandmother because this man Micah has a son; what a godly example he is for his offspring, NOT.

Superstition, and superstitious have permeated Israel, not only is the God who protected them in the desert, the God who brought them out of Egypt with a might hand not served, he is looked on as one of many gods to be manipulated, a god that can be transferred from one person to another. When a nation falls into this kind of thinking, the children and other family members are used as a means of protection by the head-of-household, or the ones with the biggest posse and the greatest forth of strength. Three times, we read that either the son (1 time) or the priests (twice) were set-up to be “protection” for grown men. (17:5, 10; 18:19). Is this not what Abraham and Isaac subjected their wives too but magnified?

Whether we actually install our children as priests and give them a title as father, when we instruct our children to tell the Bill Collector on the phone that we are not in, when we stand back and send our children to the front of the line so that people will give them preference and force “mercy and grace,” we are setting up our children to be proctors like Micah and the men from Dan. When God moves from being our protector, our provider, our strong tower, when God moves from being a personal God to just a god, our children and relationships become a tool to be used to get what we want. We in effect, like Micah, like Dan establish our own religion build our own idols, even if it is not metal or stone, and offer up our children, spouses, and “friends” and other relationships on the alter of our fears.

Love desires to benefit others at the expense of self – for God so loved the world …; Lusts desires to benefit self at the expense of others. What is it? Do we love or lusts? Some very tough questions that I need to answer.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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