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March 6, 2024 - Judges 17-24

Depravity at its greatest.  Micah had stolen a great deal of money from his mother.  He returned the money to her and she, then, gave it back to him and instructed, “I dedicate the silver to the Lord from my hand for my son, to make a carved image and a metal image” (17:3).  And so, the man made a carved image and an ephod, set up a household of gods, and even ordained one of his own sons as priest to these gods.  We should not be surprised; after all, “In those days there was no king in Israel.  Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (17:6).  Additionally, a Levite (One who served before the Lord!) was traveling, stopped at this man Micah’s house, was treated well, and decided to stay on.  He became a priest before these false gods.  To turn away from the one true God to idols made of silver:  such evil!  But the evil did not stop there; the tribe of Dan took the idol and “set up the carved image for themselves” (18:30).  Think this was bad enough?  The following story tells of a Levite who took another man’s wife to be his concubine.  The story only gets worse with the report of the violation of the concubine and the dismemberment of her body.  This is really bad stuff, so bad that we just want to stop reading.  But stop we must not.  We must understand the depths of depravity to which the human heart can stoop.  And we must look for one to redeem us from this dilemma.  The good news?  There is such a One!

 

To the Lord, Jacob cried, “I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps” (Genesis 32:10).  To Jesus, the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8).  And so, with all the saints we rejoice, knowing that we have been justified, not by our own goodness but by his grace (Titus 3:7).

 

Your works, not mine, O Christ,

speak gladness to this heart;

they tell me all is done.

they bid my fear depart.

To whom but you, who can alone

for sin atone, Lord, shall I flee?   -- Horatius Bonar (1859)

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