In the movie Castaway, a man was stranded on a desert island for 4 years following a plane crash. After his rescue, the authorities told him that their initial efforts following the crash had failed because they had searched in the wrong area—thinking that the plane had gone down 400 miles from where it crashed. Since their starting point was completely wrong, they had little chance of success even though their efforts were admirable.

A man named Micah also wrestled with the proper starting point. He wanted to worship God, but he went about it in the wrong way. When he returned 1,100 pieces of silver he had taken from his mother, she had an idol created out of 200 of the coins. She said that the silver was “dedicated” to God and that the idol was in “honor” of her son (Judges 17:3), but she, and Micah, should have known this was an affront to God (Exodus 20:4).

What’s more, Micah decided to make his own private shrine to God (Judges 17:5). Then he made images to go into his “temple.” This went completely against God’s commands, but perhaps it looked right and reverent to him. Micah even found a real Levite priest and employed him (Judges 17:12-13). God will surely bless me, Micah thought. I can now receive all I want through this convenient way of worshiping Him.

But was it acceptable? Look at Leviticus 10:1-3. Nadab and Abihu offered “the wrong kind of fire” to God with deadly results. What did God truly desire from Micah? Worship that showed that he loved God with all his heart, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5).

That’s our starting point: Love the God who loves us. We’re called to worship Him and reflect the love He’s lavished on us. May we do that well today!

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Exodus 3:1-22