What’s In A Name?

Judges 17-18 tell the story of a man named Micah.  We begin with Micah admitting to his mother that he had stolen 1100 shekels of silver (about 28 pounds) from her.  She cursed the man who did it, but did not know that it was her own son.  Upon hearing the curse, he returned the silver to her and she consecrated it to the Lord.  How did she do this?  She took about 5 pounds of it and gave it to a silversmith.  She had the silversmith make an idol and overlay it with the silver.  Micah takes the idol and some household gods along with some other items and makes a shrine in his house.  He then hires a Levite to be his personal priest.  He thought that he would receive the favor of God because he hired this Levite to be his priest.
Micah’s name literally means, “Who is like Yahweh?”  His very name meant that there is no god like the one true God, Yahweh!  Yet he does not live up to his name.  In fact, he worships idols and exalts them to the place that only God deserves.  We all wear a name – Christian.  It means to be a follower of Christ.  Are we living up to the meaning of the Name we wear?  Are you following Jesus?  Or are you following your own plans and desires?  Are you doing the will of Christ or are you living to please yourself?  Are you actually following Jesus or are you living as a Christian in name only?  Perhaps you have heard it said, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a Chevy” (or something like that!).  The point is that just because you call yourself a Christian and because you do churchy things, it doesn’t make you a follower of Christ.  The one who follows Christ is the one who sacrifices for Jesus.  The Christ-follower understands that the life he or she has been given is not their own.  Our lives belong to our Lord.  Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian.  Tithing doesn’t make you a Christian.  Reading your Bible doesn’t make you a Christian.  Praying doesn’t make you a Christian.  Don’t get me wrong!  These are all good things that Christians do.  But if we don’t do them because we love and follow Jesus, we are not doing them for the right reasons.  We go to church and we read our Bibles and we pray and we tithe because we love Jesus.  We do good deeds because we love Jesus and we love others.  We wear the name of Christ.  Let’s act like it as we follow Him.

Judges 17

New International Version (NIV)

Micah’s Idols

17 Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim 2 said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse—I have that silver with me; I took it.”

Then his mother said, “The Lord bless you, my son!”

3 When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, “I solemnly consecrate my silver to the Lord for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you.”

4 So after he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who used them to make the idol. And it was put in Micah’s house.

5 Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest. 6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

7 A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah, 8 left that town in search of some other place to stay. On his way he came to Micah’s house in the hill country of Ephraim.

9 Micah asked him, “Where are you from?”

“I’m a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah,” he said, “and I’m looking for a place to stay.”

10 Then Micah said to him, “Live with me and be my father and priest, and I’ll give you ten shekels of silver a year, your clothes and your food.” 11 So the Levite agreed to live with him, and the young man became like one of his sons to him. 12 Then Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in his house. 13 And Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest.”


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