And he went in and sat down in the open square of the city, for no one took them into his house to spend the night.
It is always God’s people’s responsibility to look for those who have need and meet that need in the name of the Lord. The Levite and his group had to wait for the old man from the hill country of Ephraim to show him hospitality. Don’t be rude to people in Jesus’ name. Care for them. When there’s a genuine need, meet it, and speak the truth of the gospel with both your mouth and your actions.
In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of the people of Dan was seeking for itself an inheritance to dwell in, for until then no inheritance among the tribes of Israel had fallen to them. 2 So the people of Dan sent five able men from the whole number of their tribe, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to explore it. And they said to them, “Go and explore the land.” And they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there. 3 When they were by the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young Levite. And they turned aside and said to him, “Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? What is your business here?” 4 And he said to them, “This is how Micah dealt with me: he has hired me, and I have become his priest.” 5 And they said to him, “Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether the journey on which we are setting out will succeed.” 6 And the priest said to them, “Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord.”
This was a time of apostasy in Israel. Unhappy with the life the Lord had given to the Danites, they wen’t out to explore their options. They were surprised to find a Levite in a house of idolatry “what are you doing here?!” His response was telling “a man’s gotta eat, I’m a religious leader here in this pagan place, they pay me…” So they asked for him to seek “God” and they used the generic name, not the name of the Lord. It’s always obvious when people are trying to pretend like they know of the things of God. Micah didn’t take the time to actually seek God, he just immediately replied with what the people wanted to hear. When being God’s man is just a job, then you do your best to say what the people paying you want to hear. When preaching God’s Word is a vocation, most of the people who hear it won’t like it, only those in tune with the Lord will receive it.
Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.” 3 But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.”
Our entire culture, in and outside the church it seems, has a general belief if we want something it has got to be right. We are falling apart because we are saying wrong things are right simply because someone has a desire for them. Don’t fall into Samson’s trap. Don’t allow your “belly” to be your god. Let God be your God. He is the one who judges right from wrong. He is the one who sets the standard. The fact that you have a desire to do something you find hard to resist makes it more likely to be sinful. God doesn’t say “well, yes, that’s sinful, but I didn’t know you wanted to do it… okay, go ahead” I mean, honestly, that’s ridiculous when you think about it that way… isn’t it? Do right, be right, trust Jesus.
Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior, but he was the son of a prostitute. Gilead was the father of Jephthah. 2 And Gilead’s wife also bore him sons. And when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You shall not have an inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.” 3 Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob, and worthless fellows collected around Jephthah and went out with him.
You may not have had the best home life. You may not be supported by your family. But don’t allow that to cause you to flee from the task God has for you. Don’t get caught up in a crowd who will drag you down, don’t let your mouth write checks you’re not prepared to cash… follow Jesus, trust him.
And his mother’s relatives spoke all these words on his behalf in the ears of all the leaders of Shechem, and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, “He is our brother.” 4 And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, who followed him.
Abimelech gained his popularity because of nepotism. Then he paid to have people follow him… and he killed his competition. Just because you have your position because of your family/influential friends, just because you have a group following you looking for what you can do for them, and just because you can “win” doesn’t mean you’re right. Trust in the Lord and lead people to Jesus.