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Judges 18 – The People Who Forgot Their Calling 士师记 18 – 忘掉呼召的人 

Wednesday, 25th January 2023

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon


V1 ‘In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for itself to dwell in; for until that day their inheritance among the tribes of Israel had not fallen to them.’ Samson was from the tribe of Dan, he was born a miracle and was appointed the saviour of Israel. But Samson did not live out the destiny God has given to him, he chose to live his own selfish and lustful desires. He did not respond to God’s calling but live according to his own wilfulness. The Danites did not have an inheritance for themselves because when they did not respond to God’s calling, then they lost the opportunity to take the land as their inheritance.

V3 ‘While they were at the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young Levite. They turned aside and said to him, “Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? What do you have here?”’ They were in the mountains of Ephraim, it was not the place of the Temple of God, but when they saw a Levite, who was there, they asked why he was doing there. It’s easy for people to ask questions when we are not in the place we supposed to be.

V5-6 ‘So they said to him, “Please inquire of God, that we may know whether the journey on which we go will be prosperous.” And the priest said to them, “Go in peace. The presence of the Lord be with you on your way.”’ This sounds like what a lot of Christians would say, but how do we know what we say is really from God? The young man appointed himself as the priest, and the words he spoke were pleasing to people. But what should God’s appointed prophet say? We should not seek to please people but to please God. Priests and prophets of God are servants of God, therefore they should speak the truth from God, not the words people like to hear.

The young man did not bring teaching to the Danites, but used comforting and encouraging words to make them feel good about themselves. The Danites were not in the land they were appointed to be, they went out and sought troubles for the other tribes of Israel, but as the servant of God, the young Levite did not speak the truth. We must be careful of the words we speak to people, examine ourselves, are we really speaking the words from God, or just our own words?

V7 ‘So the five men departed and went to Laish. They saw the people who were there, how they dwelt safely, in the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure. There were no rulers in the land who might put them to shame for anything. They were far from the Sidonians, and they had no ties with anyone.’ The people of Laish lived a comfortable life, they had no one to rule over them and tell them what to do, but they also did not have any connections with others. They lived in their own cave, their own comfort zone, and they did not set themselves apart as holy for God. The people of Laish forgot about God’s calling, they became like the Sidonians, the Gentiles, and gave up on God’s calling and blessings as the people of Israel.


V9-10 ‘So they said, “Arise, let us go up against them. For we have seen the land, and indeed it is very good. Would you do nothing? Do not hesitate to go, and enter to possess the land. When you go, you will come to a secure people and a large land. For God has given it into your hands, a place where there is no lack of anything that is on the earth.”’ God’s calling for Samson and the people of Dan were to drive out the Philistines and take back their appointed land, but they only saw the people in Laish, who had no lacking in anything. God’s light has shone upon His people, we must rise up and take up the calling. Stop fighting against our own brothers and sisters, but to set ourselves apart as holy, and respond to God’s calling.

V14 ‘Then the five men who had gone to spy out the country of Laish answered and said to their brethren, “Do you know that there are in these houses an ephod, household idols, a carved image, and a moulded image? Now therefore, consider what you should do.”’ The five men of Dan came to the house of Micah, took away his carved images, idols, and priest. They did not even allow the priest to speak. As the servant of God, we must speak up, this is a generation without Father, anyone can be our father and anyone can be our priests. Do not let this behaviour become our behaviour, God has appointed authority over us and authority over our church, do we believe in God’s appointment? Or do we seek to find our own authority and our own father for ourselves?

In this time of darkness, we cannot see the light, and we often act blindly. The Levite lost his calling as the servant of God, and became the people who lived their life lacked nothing. He did not set himself apart as holy, but to enjoy the richness of the world with the people of Dan.

V24 ‘So he said, “You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and you have gone away. Now what more do I have? How can you say to me, what ails you?”’ Micah knew what he did was wrong, he made his own god and appointed his own priest. At the end he paid the price, his own gods and his own priest could not save him or help him.

V26 ‘Then the children of Dan went their way. And when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house.’ When we become the people lacking nothing on this earth, we will lose our hope in God and in His Kingdom. We will easily give up on our calling and eventually we will lose everything.


V30 ‘Then the children of Dan set up for themselves the carved image; and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.’ The people of Dan again sinned against God, they carved their own gods, made their own idols, and appointed their own priests. Their end result was destruction. When we chose this world, chose our lustful desires, chose not to be ruled over, chose to live in our own cave, chose what is pleasing in our eyes… then at the end we will walk into destruction.

God is calling us out from darkness and go into light in 2023, we must let go of what we hold tightly onto in our hands, and respond to God’s calling, live in the Tree of Life, and became the great nation God will made us into.

士师记 18 – 忘掉呼召的人                                                     

2023年1月25日 星期三


一、v.1-7 安居无忧的生活

V1 “那时”指的是十七章第6节所讲的时候“那时,以色列中没有王,各人任意而行”。之前的参孙是“但”支派出来的士师,是一个最贫穷微弱的小支派。他蒙神拣选,有从神而来的力量,却没有帮助但支派得地为业。参孙不愿回应神的呼召,只愿意随着自己的情欲而行。参孙离开后,但支派的人没有得到神的应许,仍然在“寻地居住”。我们要与神同行,放下自己的情欲,跟着他走,才能得地为业。

V2-4 以法莲是当时以色列最繁华发达的地方,所以但支派的那五个“勇士”看到本该在圣殿服事的利未人才疑惑地问他问题。

V5-6 但支派的人向利未人求问,而利未人不是神所设立的先知,却自以为是,对求问的人讲表面“鼓励造就”的话。现在的我们是否也这样自以为是先知,却只跟别人讲些表面好听的话去讨好他们?

V7 真正的先知本该向人讲出他们生命中的问题,然而这个利未人没有教导这些勇士,没有让他们看到是他们但支派没有按照神的呼召而行,反而只是讲好听的话,让他们沉醉在自我欺骗中,觉得自己仍然走在神的道路上。安居无忧的生活让人很容易继续陷在自己的罪中打转。但支派的五人看到拉亿是一个没有人管理、没有人帮助他们分辨对错的地方。那里的居民仿佛躲在自己的山洞,本来是一群应该去得地为业的属神子民,却变成游牧民族,跟外邦人没什么两样。我们所向往的安居无忧的生活反而让我们忘记了从神而来呼召。

二、v.8-26 安居无忧的民


V9-10 那地一无所缺,确实让人垂涎。然而,神没有让但支派的人去杀自己兄弟来夺取这地。神给但支派的命定是赶走非利士人来得地为业,可是这几个人没有看见自己是“勇士”,只看到别人安居无忧的生活。我们要承认在过往的年岁中我们确实忘了神的呼召。我们从自己的家乡来到这里,不是为了成为这地安居无忧的民,而是要兴起发光,改变这个世代,为神得人如得鱼。

V14-19 但支派的五个勇士带领自己支派的人来到米迦家,将利未人和神像带走。当利未人、祭司问他们的时候,他们竟然禁止祭司说话。本来是人跟着祭司走,结果这群人却要祭司跟他们走。在一个无神的世代,人们不听祭司说话,不要神给他们选的祭司,反而自己去挑选祭司,让祭司跟着自己走。

V20-21 那个利未人本该知道律法,却只看到以弗得和神像给他的好处。在混乱蒙蔽里,我们看不到神,只看到自己手中所能抓住的物质。失去呼召的利未人已经变成安居无忧的民,不断膨胀自己。他贪恋这个世界,忘记了神给他的命定和身份。

V24 米迦所讲的话原文是…“我所膏立的祭司”。以色列人都知道祭司是不能私自按立的,他们也不能拜偶像,然而米迦明知故犯。如今米迦自己做的东西都不能保护他,他看到的别人强大的力量,只好离开, 这就是见风使舵。当我们失去属神子民的身份时,我们就只能看环境或看别人来做决定。我们忘记呼召,安乐于自己的情欲中。

三、v.27-31 灭亡的结果


V30-31 他们拣选祭司是看人不看神,结果就是灭亡。