A story near the end of the book of Judges is a legacy to the emptiness of religion that is built on a false foundation. A man named Micah, with help from his mother, set up idols in a small shrine in his house (Judges 17:1-4). At first, one of Micah's sons was a priest at the shrine, but eventually the job was given to a Levite.
Since Israelite priests were from the tribe of Levi, Micah decided that this Levite would be a good priest for his household religion. He believed that the Levite, simply by his genealogy, would bring God's blessing on his homemade faith (verses 5-13).
After some time, soldiers from the tribe of Dan came through Micah's region on their way to attack a peaceful settlement so the Danites could settle there. As they passed through, they stole Micah's idols and his priest (Judges 18:16-20). Micah's entire religion was stolen.
The idols in which Micah had placed his trust had no power to protect themselves, much less their owner. Yet he had treated them and his religion as something of value. Not only had Micah trusted in a religion of his own making, but the tribe of Dan thought they, too, had discovered something valuable, adopting Micah's former idols and priest as their own.
Their worship probably made them feel better about themselves, but in the end it proved to be of no true value. It was a humanly devised religion, a faith that was built on sand. Micah's self-made religion had let him down.
Have you ever felt like Micah, abandoned by something you believed in? Most people place their faith in things that eventually let them down. But you can place your faith in the One who will never let you down--Jesus Christ.
There is a hope that does not disappoint, a faith that never fails. That kind of faith is built on the Rock, Jesus Christ. There is no other foundation that is worth building on (1 Corinthians 3:11). If what you have trusted in has moved away from you, if your faith is shaken or has faded, perhaps your beliefs weren't really anchored to Jesus Christ. He is our foundation stone. He is the basis for everything we are, everything we do, and most importantly, the wonderful and glorious future he has for us. Only when we give ourselves to him, fully entrust ourselves to him, do we really begin to be what he made us to be.
A false belief may make you feel better for a while, but eventually it will let you down. Some people place their faith in money, in power, or in their reputation. Perhaps your faith is in the government, or in a political party. Perhaps it is in science, or a certain social movement. Many fields of human expertise may do much good, but they can never meet the moral and psychological needs of our souls. They cannot save us from our sins or give us eternal life. They are humanly devised religions that will inevitably let us down.
Our only sure hope is Jesus Christ — our faith must be in him, not in any human, not in any system, not in any organization. He is the One who will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6).
The Sermon on the Mount concludes with a parable about building. Those who build on sand will see their houses fall, while those who build on a solid foundation stone will see their houses endure (Matthew 7:24-27). In the parable, both builders heard the words of Jesus, but the wise builder is the one who acted on those words. It is those who do the will of God who are accepted (verse 21). And God's will is that we believe in the Son of God (John 6:28-29,40). He is the Author and Finisher of our faith, the foundation on which we can build the faith that can never be taken away.