God is Good—All the Time
Micah decided that Shiloh was too far away to go when he wanted to worship (18:31) so he ignored God’s prohibition and made himself an idol as well as a shrine, and found himself a Levite to serve as his own personal priest (17:3-13). He had the audacity to believe this: “Now I know the Lord will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest” (17:13).
In Judges 18 we discover that when the Levite got a better deal he abandoned Micah and took the idol and all the other religious symbols with him. In an odd way, God did what Micah anticipated but not in the way Micah anticipated it. God removed all the things that were leading Micah away from Him. God was being good to Micah even though the poor man probably didn’t think so as he watched his priest ride away with a troop of Danites, taking his idols with them.
Job, who also had no reason to suspect that God was being good to him, expressed it well when he said: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21).
Micah was not a righteous man. Job was. Neither man would have thought that God was being good given the circumstances of their lives. And though they were men of completely different dispositions as far as spiritual things were concerned, God did what was good for both because He can’t be anything other than good.
Psalm 25 embraces both kinds of men when the psalmist writes: “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant. For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great” (8-11).
God’s actions always have a redemptive purpose. Whether it be to bring the wayward unbeliever back home, or to stimulate growth in the one who believes, God always works to bring glory to His name through changed lives. We don’t know what the impact of God’s actions in the life of Micah had. But we do know that Job developed a new understanding of God through his experience.
The example of these two men reminds us that when God removes something from us He leaves behind a note. On the note is written: “God is good all the time. All the time God is good.” And written as a postscript at the bottom is this: “Stay tuned, there is something better to come.”