“What do you mean, ‘What’s the matter?’” Micah replied. “You’ve taken away all the gods I have made, and my priest, and I have nothing left!”
“Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.” ― John Calvin
Here in Judges 18, we see the folly of a false religion. It is a crude and simple idolatry, and the foolishness of it is lost on these men. Micah had installed his very own personal priest, and had carved some idols to enhance his spiritual status. We see in Micah, the silly and shortsightedness of the idolater. He engages in some ‘unauthorized’ theology, that allows him this liberty.
But the ill-advised idolatry seems not only silly, but bizarrely primitive. It’s kind of a ‘do it yourself’ custom religion. Micah had a spiritual need, and met it with hiring his own priest. However, the roving tribe of Dan, with an armed force of 600 men, have decided to take the entire ensemble to be their own. It now seems foolishness has led Dan astray.
The bickering between Micah and these warriors would be imprudent if pushed. Micah has just lost his religion by brute force. The ‘priest’ and all the accouterments are now forcibly taken from him. I suppose this is the painful folly of his ‘homemade’ religion. He watches as the riders take it all away.
What an empty spiritual condition! But religious people often seek out idols to help them deal with life. An idol can be anything that takes God’s place in a person’s life. But the results are sad. A counterfeit faith of any kind is profoundly sad. The modern version has become much more sophisticated, but the end result is the same. It would seem that idolatry is etched in our DNA.
“Those who worship false gods [idols] turn their backs on all God’s mercies” (Jonah 2:8).
The only way to protect yourself in a time of spiritual anarchy is to come to the true and living God. Insist on your needs be met by Him. We really must shun anything that could take His place. Our idolatry is different today, but God has never changed.