And the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people. – Judges 18:20
Here in the passage of Judges 17-18 we read the account of a man named Micah, who retrieved several hundred shekels of silver for his mother. His mother, in turn, had some of the silver sculpted into gods for her son. Later, this man hired a priest from Judah to be his personal priest. Some time after that, an entire battalion of troops from Dan march through Micah’s town and hijack his priest and convince the priest to be a “father and priest” for and entire tribe of Israel rather than just the house of Micah. The priest’s pride swelled within him, and he joined the Danites as their personal priest.
Although the Levitical priesthood is no longer the path to God, the story of the greedy priest speaks to today’s ministers that go whoring after the money rather than serving the flocks out of the purity of their hearts to feed God’s people. I am not knocking those ministers who draw their livelihood from preaching the Word of God. They are entitled to do so as Jesus put forth and seconded by Paul. The worker is worth his wages, and we don’t muzzle the ox while it treads out the grain.
However, in this day and age of greed and anything goes, much like it was in Micah’s days under the judges, many “preachers” will bounce from one congregation to another looking for that next big, fat paycheck. Others will follow the Rick Warren program of building a “Purpose-driven Church” rather than letting God build the church one soul at a time. Also, we have all heard for decades the numerous TV preachers begging for money weekly and staining the name of Jesus with their ilk.
There are even those pastors who dare to preach the Word of God in all its truth because they fear that what they say might drive away parishioners and take their money with them. These pastors rely upon the “good will” of the people to cough up Bens and Andys into the coffer rather than rely upon God to provide. Even more so in this climate of economic downturn and uncertainty do these types of ministers refrain from speaking up and preaching the Truth of God’s Word in spite of what may happen to their congregation. They appease the masses for fear of losing a dollar or two thousand.
If pastors and preachers think the times are tough now and will behave this way in lack of trust of God, what are they going to do once it becomes illegal, as a hate crime, to preach that Jesus is THE WAY, TRUTH, AND LIFE and THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH HIM because THERE IS NO OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN GIVEN AMONG MEN BY WHICH THEY MUST BE SAVED? Will they cower and become ministers of the accommodating spirit of sin and teach people, as what happened in Israel after Joshua, teaching people do what is right in their own eyes rather than standing up for the TRUTH of God’s WORD – JESUS? The days of apostasy are already upon us.
Father, I come to You in the name and authority of Jesus’ name. There is a spirit of accommodation sweeping through the land with many pastors and preachers holding to its doctrine of demons rather than standing up for the Truth of Your Word even in the face of adversity and the possibility of imprisonment in the near future. We, as a people, no longer want to offend anyone with the Truth of the Word and have decided to love everyone into the kingdom rather than confront them with their sins. Sure we are to have compassion on the people as You do, but You also convict people of their sins through the work of Your Holy Spirit. I will stand alone if necessary and continue to proclaim the Truth of the gospel and risk any consequence that results from doing so because I will not be ashamed of the gospel of Messiah. I want Messiah to proclaim my name before You and the angels of heaven. Why? Simply because I love You! People must know that there is a consequence for their sins called eternal death in torment in the pit of hell. Holy Spirit, please do a work among preachers and wake them up from their greed, arrogance, pride, and self-reliance. Amen.