April 2; Eyes Wide Open

Joshua 18; 3:7-4:24

I don’t think I’ve given much thought to the Levite Micah hired to be his personal priest, until today. It struck me that when the Danites came to town, they recognized the priest’s voice. So they knew him as a member of the tribe of Israel chosen by God to be the keepers of the Truth.

“What are you doing here in Ephraim?” they asked.

“Some guy named Micah hired me to be his personal priest. Sweet gig,” he answered.

The priest even had the nerve to speak for God, but I don’t read where he asked God first. He had become a pagan priest, serving idols in the privacy of Micah’s house, yet passing himself off as a priest of the One True God.

As Christians, God’s kingdom of priests, we are chosen by God to be the keepers of the Truth. People recognize us as “religious,” or “church-goers,” and assume we have a direct line to God. Some may assume that what we do, how we live, must be God-approved by virtue of our identity with Him. (I’m pretty sure that’s where the term “hypocrite” often comes into play)

It occurs to me that the sin of this Levite is grievous. A Levite should have known better than to serve an idol. He couldn’t use the excuse, “I didn’t know,” because he was most likely taught the Ten Commandments before he was potty-trained. He did know. And he chose disobedience with both eyes wide open.

We all know we must live in this world. God does not snatch us up into heaven the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior. We must live in this world – but we should not be living like this world. Maybe the whole town was worshiping idols. “Everybody’s doing it.” But that Levite should have been the one to keep the Truth, and refuse to bow to those images, much less become a priest of evil.

Sometimes it might seem “everybody” is going the way of Satan. It seems people are happier with a church that’s relaxed its standards. Some church-going people talk and act like their unsaved friends six days a week, but still call themselves Christians.

We could point our fingers all day long at a sinful world and a weak church. But what about me? And you? How are we doing protecting the Truth in our own day-to-day?

Does my life, my choices, my words speak the Truth to people who look at me as someone who represents Christianity, who wears the name of my Savior when I call myself a Christian? I know the Truth. I read the Truth every day. So when I choose to blend in with the world (even if I try to convince myself it’s what God wants) I disobey with eyes wide open.

I have been this Levite we read about here in Joshua. I’m not proud of that. But today I stand before you and proclaim that I want my life to stand apart. I want to protect the Truth. I want to live a life that throws a light on my Savior. And I need God to give me the strength and courage to do it.

I’d like to leave you with Paul’s declaration of his own stance. May it be true for all of us:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Romans 1:16)

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