BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday October 28, 2012
THE DOMINO EFFECT
(Spiritual confusion is contagious)
Judges 17 & 18:30-31
In Judges Chapters 17-18, we can clearly see how the knowledge of GOD, and HIS will, had been lost over time. These two chapters are perhaps, Scripture’s greatest example of “spiritual confusion” within the community of GOD. In fact, only in this, the 21st century, can we find a generation as confused as this one was about GOD. It was a time when pagan concepts had totally diluted the religious consciousness of GOD’s people, much like we see in the Christian Church today.
When we begin to mix the “Holy” with the “profane”, it won’t be long before we become spiritually confused, and incapable of distinguishing the difference between the two. That is why it is so important to GOD that we stay focused on HIM, and not on our peers, or ourselves (Psalm 118:8 & Psalm 146:3), and, we are not to take anything from the world and use it in the church (3 John 1:7), be it money, music, miming, clubbing, dances, etc. If it was created for use in the secular world, and contains anti-CHRIST elements, then it shouldn’t be used in the Christian Church, which is supposed to be the “Body of CHRIST”. Now this all seems like “common sense” to some, however, common sense is not so common anymore, especially in the Christian Church. Our desire to have what someone has, and, to do what others do, more often than not, leads us into the Luciferic realm that is controlled by satan. Who we view to be a symbol of success, by the world’s standard and definition of what success is, must not be confused with success by GOD’s standard and definition of the word.
These chapters of the Book of Judges also show us, that, the attitude, “what I do has nothing to do with anybody else!” is ridiculous, especially when it is the attitude of one who is in leadership of his home, church, job, community etc. It is a self-centered, prideful expression that is most often used to justify one’s own sinful behavior. However, Scripture clearly teaches us that “there can be no such thing as sin that is of non-effect”.
In Judges 17, a man named Micah, who lived in the hill country of Ephraim, heard his mother put a “curse” on the thief who had stolen her eleven hundred pieces of silver. Little did she know, at that time, that, Micah, himself, had taken her precious silver. She had apparently used some sort of magic spell, or witchcraft to do this, and it apparently frightened her wayward son enough that he quickly returned his mother’s stolen property to her. His mother’s blessing on him (v. 2) for returning the silver was probably her way of nullifying the curse. Here we see further spiritual confusion when, after calling for the LORD’s blessings on her son for admitting his guilt, she then takes some of the silver (200 pieces), and constructs for him, an image, and an idol for him to worship.
Further exacerbating the situation, Micah takes these idol gods and places them in his house, setting up a shrine as a base for sacrificing to them, and also making a so-called sacred ephod, along with installing some other household idols. And why stop there? The domino effect is just beginning. Micah then installs his own son (who was not a Levite) to be the “father” and the priest of his newly created shrine, because, in those days, Israel had no king, and also had abandoned the GOD of their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and so, “everyone did what seemed right in their own eyes” (Vs. 3-6).
For those who study GOD’s Word here in the 21st century (with the exception of Catholics), we know that JESUS tells HIS followers, in Matthew 23:9, “never to address anyone here on earth as “father” for only GOD in Heaven is your FATHER” (NLT).
Then we see in verses 7-12, as the devil would have it, one day a young Levite, from Bethlehem no less, arrived in Ephraim looking for a place to settle, and he just happened to stop by Micah’s place as he passed through. Bethlehem was not one of the places that were assigned by GOD for the Levites to live in (Joshua 21 & Numbers 35), and so this particular Levite was already living out of the will of GOD before he came there. In fact, by coming there to the hill country of Ephraim, he was still wandering outside of the will of GOD, because he wasn’t suppose to live there either. However, the spiritually confused Micah hires him anyway, and pays him ten pieces of silver per year for his services. He even thinks that the LORD will bless him for his actions (Vs. 10-13).
When we socialize and mix with the world too much, we ultimately will desire to be like them. And before we know it, we begin incorporating their ways and habits back into our repentant lifestyles. We can’t be a friend of the worldly, and a friend of GOD, at the same time, we have to choose one and reject the other. That is why, even when evangelizing, JESUS warned HIS apostles that they were not to hang out with too many worldly people, for an extended period of time (Mark 6:10-11). We are not to mingle and linger too much in the world, after we have pledged our lives to CHRIST JESUS.
Micah, and anyone else, who does not know and study the Word of GOD will most assuredly be duped by satan into accepting his worldly agenda. He can even make one think that he is conforming to something that is OK by GOD, because anyone, who doesn’t know what “the real thing” looks like, can’t possibly recognize “counterfeit” when they see it.
Sadly, we see in Judges 18:30-31 just how the “domino effect of sin” festers, and then manifests itself, far into future generations. And that is because, then and now, “GOD’s people continue to perish from a lack of knowledge”. We must carefully study, research, and inspect everything before we let it into the church, examining it by the standards of GOD’s Word, even if, and probably, especially if, we see other churches, that we deem to be successful, doing it.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website