God is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. That does not mean, however, that we see His Kingdom here on earth. In this time and place, we see a mixture of people who revere God as King and those who do not. This results in confusing conversations all around us. Someone might say, “I’m a Christian,” or “Jesus is my Lord,” but then immediately start justifying his drunkenness or drug use, her sexual immorality, cheating on their taxes, or why they think we should be able to put certain people to death out of convenience. Putting God’s name to our actions does not make God our King. This was true in the days of Israel’s Judges as well.
A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah, 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. 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." 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." (Judges 17:7-10 NIV)
Levites were a special group of people in Israel. Their tribe was set apart by God to do certain pieces of the work of God. Levites were not given land as an inheritance, but were eventually given homes in the towns. That’s because their job was not to farm and fight. Their job was to care for the Tabernacle (Tent of Meeting) where Israelites would come to meet God (Numbers 1:50ff; 8:1-26). Certain Levites were set apart as priests to perform the duties of priest at the tabernacle. These Levites were direct descendants of Aaron. Any other Levites trying to do priestly duties were considered in rebellion (See Korah’s Rebellion in Numbers 16 – especially verse 10.)
This young Levite was being asked to act as a priest, but he was not in the line of Aaron. He was being asked to perform these duties in someone’s home rather than at the Tabernacle of God. He was being asked to be paid personally to do this, rather than live off the provisions from God. A Levite should know better, because they were responsible to know the Law of God to perform their duties correctly. This Levite should have said, “No,” for many reasons. But, he did not.
So the Levite agreed to live with him, and the young man became like one of his sons to him. Then Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in his house. And Micah said, "Now I know that the LORD will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest." (Judges 17:11-13 NIV)
Just because we use God’s name does not make God our King. That’s why Jesus taught us to ask God to be our King.
…your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10 NIV)
How about you? Do you see the “blending” of God and the world in the people around you? Have you experienced people using God’s name to justify their own, rebellious actions? Are you being one of those people or do you follow Our King?