A Self-Seeking Priest is Good For Nothing But Idolatry
JUDGES 18:19, "And they (the 600 armed Danites) said unto him (the Levite priest of Micah's house), 'Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel?'"
It is necessary to understand the history of this priest in order to evaluate what I am going to say today. I want you to know I love preachers, I am one, and have been for more than 42 years. I have had the joy of pastoring the same church for 25 years. I know this, a preacher needs to be a man, called by God, who will be faithful and loyal to God. When a preacher becomes self-serving and self-promoting he is no good to God or the people he is leading.
This Levite is qualified to work in the realm of Old Testament ministry by birthright. God chose the Levites to do spiritual ministry surrounding the things of the tabernacle, and eventually the temple, but only in accordance with the Mosaic Law. Nowhere is one allowed to deviate from being solely loyal and obedient to Jehovah God. Certainly, it is clear that God would never place His stamp of approval for anyone to minister in the service of an idol. Yet such was the case with this Levite. He was confronted by a man named Micah and solicited to become his personal household priest. Micah was an idolater (read Judges 17) possessing many idols; "And the man Micah had a house of gods and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest." (Judges 17:5) However, when Micah came across this traveling Levite, he thought he could promote his own spiritual kingdom by enlisting a Levite to become his priest. Some of the saddest words concerning ministry are found in Judges 17:11-13, "And the Levite was content to dwell with the man (Micah); the young man was unto him as one of his sons.  And Micah consecrated the Levite, and the young man became his priest and was in the house of Micah.  Then said Micah, Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest." Now in Judges 18:19, this self-serving priest is solicited through the avenue of personal promotion, to enhance his image and influence. Of course, he jumps at the opportunity, not because of a commitment to God, but because of a commitment to self!
It is easy to conclude that if a preacher isn't committed solely and completely to the Lord he isn't any good for anyone. The Apostle Paul stated it well when he said, (Galatians 1:1) "Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) (Galatians 1:9(b)-11) …and if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethern, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man." You see the principle that is taught here in Galatians is this, if a man preaches anything that is not the gospel, which finds its origin in God and in Him alone, that man is to be accursed. The is no room in the ministry for men who are not wholly committed to preaching the whole truth of God's Word.
May God free us today of preachers who are promoters of self! Lord give us men who seek to follow you with all their heart!
Your Friend and HIS,
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. How do you demonstrate your loyalty to God? Is He supreme in your life?
2. How would you rate your commitment level to the Lord? Highly Committed - So-so - or VERY LITTLE.
3. What can you do to insure your commitment to God is pleasing to Him?
4. Write out Matthew 5:13. How would you apply this verse to the Levite in today's devotion? How would you apply this verse to your life?