What Else Do I Have?

12/16/2013

Its OK to be a Nut - header image

This Holiday season “stuff” is on my mind. I have to buy and wrap some stuff before December 25 and then receive some stuff (which always makes me a little uncomfortable). “Stuff” in and of itself is not bad, but sometimes the stuff that we stuff into stockings can get in the way of the important stuff.

There were some folks in Judges Chapters 17 and 18 whose pursuit of stuff led them to circumstances so bizarre and pathetic that the writers from Days of Our Lives might think to themselves, “Hm, that’s a little far-fetched…maybe it should be toned down a little because people won’t believe it!”

I invite you to read these two short chapters before proceeding (but it’s okay if you don’t!):


http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%2017&version=NIV

To paraphrase: A man named Micah steals some silver from his mom and then admits his theft. She is so happy that she has it made into an idol and gives it back to him. “What a good boy!” (Someone call Dr. Phil, quick!) He sets up a shrine and then along comes a young fortune-seeking priest whom Micah hires to be his house priest, idol and all. The priest sells out and takes the money. Then along come some spies from the tribe of Dan who are looking for a good area to conquer without a fight. They see some isolated land farther down the road, so they return with their army. On the way, they remember the silver and stop in to grab the idol. When the priest questions them, they offer him a job as their priest! “Sure!” says the bandwagon Levite.

The neighbors organize and go after the army.  Here’s the scene:

As they shouted after them, the Danites turned and said to Micah, “What’s the matter with you that you called out your men to fight?”
24 He replied, “You took the gods I made, and my priest, and went away. What else do I have? How can you ask, ‘What’s the matter with you?’”
25 The Danites answered, “Don’t argue with us, or some of the men may get angry and attack you, and you and your family will lose your lives.” 26 So the Danites went their way, and Micah, seeing that they were too strong for him, turned around and went back home.

Micah, whose mercenary priest and stolen idol were stolen from him, asks, “What else do I have?” Wow, I guess you really did have nothing, Micah. And no better are the Danites, who are successful in raiding the land and then proceed to worship the stolen idol under the direction of this priest.
Putting your faith in stuff is dangerous business, because stuff can go away

quickly. Just ask the stockbrokers when the Great Depression started.
Fortunately for us, Jesus has the answer as always. In Matthew 6:20, He teaches:

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”


Now that’s the kind of treasure I want this Christmas!


Prayer: Dear God, help us to see the manger on the other side of the presents this Christmas. Let us not be distracted for even one second from the immensity of your sacrifice and rescue of us. Thank you for the hope, peace, joy and love that are possible only through a relationship with your son Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

 

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