Today, we welcome Stephen Downey from The Pocket Testament League. Stephen has a passion to see God’s word in the hands of all people regardless of culture. He can testify to how the Holy Spirit transforms people’s lives by reading God’s word. It will be great to hear what God has been doing through the ministry of The Pocket Testament League over this past year.
Also today, we will give thanks to the Lord for the life of two little boys, Tristan and Dillon. Sean and Danielle Mangkuwerdojo have realized the blessings God has given them in entrusting Tristan and Dillon to their care. They are keen to have the boys dedicated to God. It is our desire to walk with them and encourage them in raising the boys in the knowledge of God and in a way where they will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
We are nearing the end of our study of the book of Judges. We focus on Judges 17 today. We come face to face with what I have called ‘homemade religion’. There are primarily two major players viz. a man named Micah, and his mother. It is really an example of just how far Israel has slipped in those days when Israel had no king and when everyone did as they saw fit. To cut a long story short, Micah and his mum, decided to make a carved image and a cast idol out of some silver that Micah had originally stolen from his mum. Weird I know!
What we witness in this account is how these two people believed they had God’s blessing on the shrine they set up in their home for worship. It did not bother them that they violated the second commandment. They also went on to appoint Micah’s son as a priest which also contravened God’s decrees. It got worse. When a wandering Levite knocked on their door, they offered him employment as their very own ‘private’ priest. They believed that the Lord would bless them in their pursuit of a homemade style of religion!
A pleasing and more palatable ‘homemade religion’ is in stark contrast to that of a ‘gospel focused faith’ where God seeks faithful and obedient people to allow Him to change their hearts so as to become more like Jesus. Whilst our culture may have a distaste for God and His teachings, we must be very careful not to drop them so as to fit in with our culture’s sensibilities! There is much we can learn from the folly of a ‘homemade religion’ that may be more appealing to us in this 21st century.