And he said, You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and you are gone away: and what have I more?…
Micah's distress at the loss of his gods and priest may be regarded on two sides - on the side of superstition and on that of genuine devotion.
I. THE SUPERSTITIOUS SIDE OF MICAH'S DISTRESS.
1. The god that can be stolen must be no true God. Micah should have seen the folly of his idolatry in the catastrophe which had befallen him. If the idols could not protect their own shrine, what could they do for their owner's home?
2. The man whose character is corrupt is worthless as a priest. Yet after the Levite had behaved in the vilest way Micah still felt the loss of him bitterly. This distress came from his superstitious belief in the efficacy of the residence of an official priest in his house, no matter what was the baseness of the man's character or the emptiness of his services.
3. A religion which depends on any material things or human offices for its efficacy is foreign to the character of the spiritual worship of the true God. It was a mistake for Micah to suppose that he would lose the presence of God by losing the images which he had made, or the blessing of God by losing his priest. Nothing that is done to a man's outside life can affect his religious blessings. God dwells in the shrine of the heart. No persecution can rob us of his presence. The Waldenses in their mountain cave had lost every earthly comfort, but they had not lost God. God's blessings are not dependent on external ordinances, though these are the usual channels through which they flow. If we have no visible temple, altar, priest, or service, God can still bless us fully.
II. THE NATURAL SIDE OF MICAH'S DISTRESS. There is much in it which speaks well for Micah. Micah is a religious man. To him the loss of what he believes to be the source of religious blessings is a great trouble. Are not they who can lose the real presence of God in their hearts without any feeling of compunction far more astray than this man with all his idolatry and superstition? God is the light and life of the soul. How strange then that any should live without him and yet not know that anything "aileth" them! But whatever a man makes into a god for himself will interest him deeply. If he makes a god of his money, his art, his child, the loss of his god will plunge him into the darkness of despair.
1. Since we are thus deeply affected by the object of our supreme devotion, let us see that this is no earthly thing which can be stolen or destroyed, but the true, eternal God who will never leave us.
2. God sometimes takes from us the earthly treasures of which we have made gods that we may see the mistake of our idolatry, and so learn to lift up our hearts to the ever-abiding presence. - A.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee?