The theme of reaping what one sows continues and expands in Chapter 18. Micah’s worship of false gods and purchase of the services of an ungodly priest are seen by a group of five spies from the tribe of Dan, who offer the opportunistic priest a better gig. The personal sin of Micah provides the seed for the congregational sin of the entire tribe of Dan. By the end of the chapter, the tribe has established corporate idolatry in Northern Israel in direct defiance of God’s guidance to His people.
The seeds we sow in our sin do not only reap a deadly harvest for ourselves, but lead and entice many to follow us on a path of destruction. These two chapters set the stage for Israel’s eventual destruction and exile to Babylon. Micah never saw Israel go into exile. He never knew on this earth the magnitude of his decision to set up images to worship and to engage a Levite to authorize his pagan cult.
What small compromises have we made that will bear fruit in future generations? Will one person’s apostasy lead a nation astray and result in destruction for millions? As a writer, this story tempts me to put away my pen in fear that my words could miss the mark and lead others down the wrong path.
What arrogance to think that I could share my imperfect thoughts and create anything but trouble! I confess that everything I know about God could fill a Barbie-sized teacup even after twenty-six years of study and following Him. I confess that although some days I pray earnestly for God to give me the right words, other days I rely on my own understanding — what a foolish and dangerous thing to do! I pray that God would grant anyone who reads my words discernment and that those words that are flawed would dissolve from the page leaving only His truth. Whether it is my words or others outside of God’s Holy Word, pray for discernment. “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1