Summary: Vast numbers of people seek their own promotion, forgetting the fact that God is Master Promoter. David wrote, "For promotion comes neither from the east or the west of the south. But, God is one who sets up one and puts down another."
Overcoming the Problems of Self-Promotion
Vast numbers of people seek their own promotion, forgetting the fact that God is Master Promoter. David wrote, "For promotion comes neither from the east or the west of the south. But, God is one who sets up one and puts down another." (Psalm 75:6,7)
Illustration:Golf immortal Arnold Palmer recalls a lesson about overconfidence:
It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament, and I had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. I felt I was in pretty good shape. As I approached my ball, I saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned me over, stuck out his hand and said, Congratulations." I took his hand and shook it, but as soon as I did, I knew I had lost my focus. On my next two shots, I hit the ball into a sand trap, then put it over the edge of the green. I missed a putt and lost the Masters. You don’t forget a mistake like that; you just learnfrom it and become determined that you will never do that again. I haven’t in the 30 years since.
Carol Mann, The 19th Hold, Longmeadow.
Let us learn from the life of Micah that errors to avoid involved with self-promotion.
The Mistake of Self-Promotion – (Judges 17,18)
1. Micah eagerly pursued a pathway that might lead to his self-promotion to his own peril. One day, a Levite came to Micah’s house in the hill country of Ephraim. Micah found in the Levite a man of similar self-promoting motivations. The Levite was seeking great thigns for himself. God once told Jeremiah, "Do you seek great things for yourself, seek them not, for behold I will bring evil upon all flesh." (Jer. 45:5)
2. Micah failed to recognize the Levite for who he was – a confused wanderer. Since Micah was willing to overlook the Levite’s backslidden ways, he welcomed him into his house to team up in selfish pursuits. The Levite was wandering around looking for an escape from his responsibilities. He should have been ministering in Jerusalem. In the city of God he could have carried out his duties as a priest. However, the Levite sought an escape where he could live life for his own selfish exploits.
3. Micah and the Levite both let their frustrations lead them to nefarious activities. Do not let your circumstances control your better judgment.
4. Micah put self-promotion, prosperity, and power before his willingness to trust the Lord for all of these things. Failure to put the Lord’s interests before our own is a recipe for disaster.
5. Micah failed to learn how to be content in his own circumstances. Paul said, "I have learned the secret of being content in any circumstances. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:12,13)
6. Micah and the Levite combined their selfish interests to plan a devious scheme. When you walk with wise men you will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Micah wanted the Levite priest to sanction his idolatrous practices and the Levite wanted a job with some clout.
7. Both Micah and the Levite lacked Godly wisdom because they relied on human wisdom to solve their problems. One day five spies from Dan came to Micah’s house. When they met the Levite, they asked him for a blessing and he gave it to them. Later, the men from Dan offered the Levite a chance for a promotion. The men from Dan said, "Now that we have the carved image, the ephod, and the other household gods of Micah, do not 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?" Then the priest was glad. Deceitful men attract other deceitful people.
8. Micah and the Levite’s desire for selfish interests led them into a web of troubles. The Levite should have refused the offer from the men of Dan to steal both Micah’s idols, but his previous actions had led him to a position of compromise that set a pattern in motion. When you give into one idol it is usually a matter of time before you will give into other false idols.
9. The Levite was looking for a fast way to get promoted without allowing God to advance him according to the divine plan. Do not run ahead of God or you will live to regret it.
10. Micah and the Levite refused to accept the fact that the Lord has called us to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and then He will promote us at the proper time.