The end of Chapter 18 of the book of Judges relates the story of the Danite soldiers who stole Micah’s property and Levite calling him to “come with us and be to us a father and a priest.”

When we consider the spiritual decline of the nation during this period it’s obvious of the truth of the descriptive refrain: “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”  The nation had become so religiously depraved that they believed they could use a stolen priest and stolen images to receive blessings from God.

They did not want God, the true King, to rule over them. They merely wanted to manipulate him to get what they wanted in life. The Danites felt that this priest and his religious articles were important for them to possess if they were to be successful in conquering Laish. They were good luck charms; it was pure superstition.

When I was a young boy, I watched a neighborhood bully destroy my best friend’s kite while I stood by and watched. My friend ran home crying. I walked home. His mom called mine and told her what happened. My mother asked me why I didn’t stop the bully. I was ashamed that I didn’t have the courage to intervene for my friend. I then took a scapular. A scapular is a religious item that I had learned if I carried it with me or wore it around my neck it would protect me from harm. I showed it to my mother and told her I was going to go beat up that bully. She told me that the scapular wouldn’t help me. That was not what it was meant for. I had a very childish view of my relationship with God. He could be manipulated to meet my needs when I wanted him. That’s the way the Danites understood their relationship with God as well.

We really don’t want God to be God of our lives; we want him at our beckon call. Therefore, some holy water or religious words, or bumper sticker, or necklace, or any one of thousands of religious rituals give us a feeling of security.  Jackman says, “It is truly tragic. Such conformity to rites and ceremonies without a heart that is humbly submitted to God, in obedience to His Word, is just superstition. The aim is to have all of the benefits without any of the equivalent cost. It is welfare state religion, which uses Christianity rather than paganism as its foundational superstition.”

I suppose there are still ways I struggle with seeking God to meet my needs and wants in life rather than seeking to live my life for Him. I’m still trying to grow up in my faith.