Tolerable Venture

Judges 18:11-21

11Then six hundred men of the Danites, armed for battle, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol. 12On their way they set up camp near Kiriath Jearim in Judah. This is why the place west of Kiriath Jearim is called Mahaneh Dan to this day. 13From there they went on to the hill country of Ephraim and came to Micah’s house. 14Then the five men who had spied out the land of Laish said to their fellow Danites, “Do you know that one of these houses has an ephod, some household gods and an image overlaid with silver? Now you know what to do.” 15So they turned in there and went to the house of the young Levite at Micah’s place and greeted him. 16The six hundred Danites, armed for battle, stood at the entrance of the gate.

17The five men who had spied out the land went inside and took the idol, the ephod and the household gods while the priest and the six hundred armed men stood at the entrance of the gate. 18When the five men went into Micah’s house and took the idol, the ephod and the household gods, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?” 19They answered him, “Be quiet! Don’t say a word. Come with us, and be our father and priest. Isn’t it better that you serve a tribe and clan in Israel as priest rather than just one man’s household?” 20The priest was very pleased. He took the ephod, the household gods and the idol and went along with the people. 21Putting their little children, their livestock and their possessions in front of them, they turned away and left.

Introduction

What are tolerable ventures for Christians? This generation can offer diverse ventures, ranging from risky extreme to ordinary events. And Christians are always challenged to venture of something great and uncompromised enterprises. What venture do you wish to pursue before you leave this earth?

During winter do you venture on extreme sports like snowboarding?

A pastor of family ministries has left a remarkable difference at his church. His writing and speaking ministry to families were helpful to countless homes and lives around the world accordingly. He is the author of Hectic to Healthy: The Journey to a Balanced Life and Faith and the Modern Family: How to Raise A Healthy Family in a ‘Modern Family’ World.

It’s not addressed if snowboarding is one of the programs that the pastor suggested to have a healthy and balanced life. Yet at the age of 53, the pastor suffered a heart attack while on a snowboarding trip.

The pastor looks very healthy in his slim body frame so that thousands of people took seriously his books about healthy balanced life.  Yet, his tragic end may serve as a notice or warning that no program or idea can control life span. Once again, it practically proves that physical appearance can be deceitful.

But, why did God allow an effective servant to die on snowboarding venture? Could it be less tragic if he died inside his home while washing dishes or mopping the floor? What kind of death can be more acceptable to you?

Death is the ultimate proof that God has ordained the days of humankind, whether ordinary person or a faithful servant of God.

It says in Psalm 139:16, 16Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

We can control life partially but not absolutely. God has ordained our days. It could be an adventure we enjoy if our actions comply with God’s design. We can obey God and still experience great adventures like family camp.

When the Danites ventured on searching for a territory they can call their own, they camped at Mahaneh Dan as necessity for rest but could also be fun.

11Then 600 men of the Danites, armed for battle, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol. 12On their way they set up camp near Kiriath Jearim in Judah. This is why the place west of Kiriath Jearim is called Mahaneh Dan to this day. 

“Mananeh Dan” is properly translated “Camp of Dan.” Perhaps, whenever someone asks about the origin of Mahaneh Dan, they’ll mention the adventures of the Danites when they were on mission venture for a place to stay.

Their camping adventure could be ordinary but when they took the idols of Micah, it made their camping at Mahaneh Dan unforgettable. It implies that taking Micah’s idols was their communal idea when the 600 men stood at the gate.

1. Stand

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13From there they went on to the hill country of Ephraim and came to Micah’s house. 14Then the five men who had spied out the land of Laish said to their fellow Danites, “Do you know that one of these houses has an ephod, some household gods and an image overlaid with silver? Now you know what to do.” 15So they turned in there and went to the house of the young Levite at Micah’s place and greeted him. 16The 600 Danites, armed for battle, stood at the entrance of the gate.

Those who took the idols of Micah were not punished, why? Those idols were important to Micah but not necessary significant to the community practices in Israel. Anyway, at that period, everyone did as they saw fit. It’s tolerated when no judge who may prosecute those who took away the properties of Micah.

The Danites were supposed to be on their godly mission to find a territory for their tribe, yet, they ventured on taking the idols of Micah, why? The image overlaid with silver that the Danites took has the silver Micah took and returned to his mother. Was it a result Micah’s offense when he took his mother’s silver?

And in Proverbs 13:22, 22A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

It says in Proverbs 28:24, 24Whoever robs their father or mother and says, “It’s not wrong,” is partner to one who destroys.

It also teaches us in Proverbs 30:11-13, 11There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers; 12those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth; 13those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful.

Haughty eyes or arrogance are in the same sentence with those who have no respect with their parents. Micah may have been proud of his idol overlaid with silver and household gods. Was it a result of his disrespect to his mother?

It says in Ephesians 6:1-3, 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—3“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

We did not choose our parents. To honor parents honors God who chose them for us. Respect of parents implies that we agree that God selected the best.

What is biblical “long life?” Does it mean many years of living? Some Bible translations interpret it as enjoyable life. We can obey His command to respect parents when Christ’s Spirit bears fruit of joy in us, and we’ve got satisfied life.

2. Satisfy

17The five men who had spied out the land went inside and took the idol, the ephod and the household gods while the priest and the 600 armed men stood at the entrance of the gate. 18When the five men went into Micah’s house and took the idol, the ephod and the household gods, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?” 19They answered him, “Be quiet! Don’t say a word. Come with us, and be our father and priest. Isn’t it better that you serve a tribe and clan in Israel as priest rather than just one man’s household?” 20The priest was very pleased. He took the ephod, the household gods and the idol and went along with the people. 21Putting their little children, their livestock and their possessions in front of them, they turned away and left.

The young Levite was pleased. He was satisfied with the Danites’ offer.

Previously, he ventured out for a place to serve and Micah took him as priest. So, when he was satisfied with the Danites’ offer to be their tribal pries, it confirmed that he was really searching for a place to serve the Lord. It’s easier to agree that serving the tribe of Dan instead of just for Micah’s household was better choice.

When the Danites took the idols of Micah and the young Levite remained quiet did it imply that he tolerated it? The “No” comment stance of the young Levite, did God ordain it? This episode is inserted in the ventures of the Danites.

What is it that you have done that attracted confusion if such venture is acceptable to God or not? Whatever we venture into, we need God’s approval even if others’ opinion encourage or confuse us. Proverbs 16:9 says, 9In their hearts hu>mans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Ezra

Whatever God says, it happened as recorded in the Scripture. In order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation to build a temple in Jerusalem.

And it says in Ezra 1:5-6, 5Everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. 6All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.

When Christ is active in our hearts, as part of His body, we work together according to His will and purposes. When we use our Spiritual gifts, Christ is at work in us, and we will enjoy and be satisfied in the ministry we venture into.

In 1 Corinthians 12:6, 6There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Apostle Paul encourages us in Philippians 2:12-13, 12Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

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