Preacher for Hire!
Scripture reading for March 15th: Judges 17-21
True preachers called by God are sent by Him to care for and feed the Word of God to His people. God takes care of these preachers and meets their needs through the people they minister to. It is not wrong for a minister of the Gospel to receive financial help from those they serve. But for a minister to hire himself out to a family for pay is perverse. God is the only King and Lord we are to serve!
Our reading today tells the story of a man named Micah from the territory of Ephraim. This man stole some silver from his mother and then decided to return it to her. His mother consecrated it to the Lord! Sounds like a godly mother who was doing a good thing, right? Wrong! The mother was consecrating it to be used to make an idol for her son to place in a shrine in his home! (Judges 17:1-4) Micah then appointed one of his sons as a priest and thought everything was wonderful! They did all this because it was right in their own eyes and they didn’t recognized God as King!
The next thing to happen was the visit of a Levite from Bethlehem looking for a place to stay. When Micah talked with him, he offered him wages and a job of being his personal priest. The whole idea behind this job was that now that Micah had a Levite for his priest, surely God would be happy and bless him! (Judges 17: 9-13) Micah missed the whole point of a relationship with God and personal responsibility to obey God.
This ancient story hits close to home in today’s world. Many times people mistakenly think that if they know the right preacher and have him or her for a friend that God will be pleased and help them. Sometimes people feel that tithing to a certain ministry is a way to gain God’s favor. They reason that giving money is like paying dues to the country club. You pay for the services of the minister and church building whenever you need them! This is a lie of Satan and far from what God is pleased with. Righteous people live by their faith. Preachers are not for hire!