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JUDGES SERIES – CHAPTERS 17 & 18 (MICAH)

September 14, 2018

From Judges chapter 1 through chapter 16, the Bible shared the life of twelve of Israel’s judges, and it also shared the spiritual disobedience of the Israelites and the political destruction in the land. Beginning with the story of Micah the Ephraimite, the remaining five chapters of this book shared the moral depravity of the people, the perversion of social norms, and the religious apostasy that occurred during the period of the early Judges and is considered by some to be an “appendix” to the book.

The chapter begins by introducing Micah who stole 1,100 pieces of silver from his mother, and after he heard the curse that his mother proclaimed on the thief, he admitted that it was him and he returned the stolen silver to her. Micah’s mom used a portion of the returned silver to make a graven image and a molten image which was placed in Micah’s home. Also, Micah made his own private shrine in his home with the idols, and an ephod and teraphim.

At first, Micah had his son installed as his priest until he met and replaced him with a Levite from Bethlehem-judah who was traveling the land seeking employment. Micah consecrated this Levite, and he received wages, shelter, food, and clothing as his compensation for service.

It is in the household of Micah that five Danites spies discovered the Levite while they were searching for new territory for their tribesmen. They questioned him about his presence in Micah’s home, and they requested the Levite to inquire of God whether they would be successful in their venture. After receiving a favorable oracle, the spies went on and found the quiet, secure, prosperous Canaanite city of Laish.

Returning home and reporting their findings to their brethren they rallied up six hundred armed warriors and their families and proceed to Laish, but along the way, the five men shared the information about Micah’s Levite, the ephod, teraphim, graven and molten images. So, in route to Laish, they stopped at Micah’s home, and these men offered the Levite a position in their tribe which he readily accepted, and they stole Micah’s ephod, teraphim, graven and molten images.

When Micah who was not at home when the robbery took place found out what had occurred, he gathered the men of his town and pursued after the warriors. When he met up with them, they dissuaded him from entering into a fight which he would surely lose, so he and his men returned home without his stolen property.

The Danite warriors continued on to Laish where they captured and burnt the city and
killed its’ inhabitant. Eventually, they rebuilt the city and called it Dan. Additionally, they set up Micah’s graven image with Jonathan, the son of Gershom and his sons as priests to the tribe of Dan.

Conclusion: Israel’s denial of God as their king resulted in spiritual and political chaos. God meant for Israel’s government to be a Theocracy; however, Israel preferred a government with a man as their king similar to the nations that surrounded them. This was stated in both chapters 17 and 18, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 18:1). Israel pleased themselves and continually ignored God’s Laws. Hence, Israel’s failures were exhibited in their homes, in their worship, and in their society.

Though Micah and his mother included the name of God in their speech, they did not apply the laws and instructions of God in their actions. Both they and the Danites acted contrary to the instructions given to Moses by God for them. The Israelites were not to have idols or shrines in their homes (Exod. 20:4; Lev. 26:1; Deut. 4:14 – 19; 5:7- 9; 27:15). God specified where the Tabernacle and worship were to take place (Deut. 12:1 – 14) and the priest in Israel was to be from the tribe of Levi and the descendants of Aaron and not a family member or person from other tribes (Num. 3:9 -10). Plus, the Levites were assigned specific cities in which to live and serve (Num. 35:1- 8; Josh. 21:1- 41) and they were to supported by the tithes of the nation and not by individuals (Num.18:21 – 32; Deut.14: 28 – 29; 26:12 – 15).

The Danites were the first tribe to initiate an idolatrous system of worship, and history revealed years later, it was in Dan, Jeroboam erected a golden calf for the Northern tribes to worship.

Spiritual Application: Violations of God’s law will not draw you closer to Him or cause Him to bless you.

Disobedience to one of God’s commandment opens the door for other acts of disobedience.

When you acknowledge God as your king, you are obligated to follow His laws.

When you have stolen, restitution is the right thing to do.

Remember, thou shalt not commit idolatry.

Stay in your assigned place.

Don’t allow money or comfort to compromise your principles

Understand the difference between a hireling and a true priest. An opportunist is always looking for opportunities.

Be aware, seduction and deception are key weapons of the adversary.

When your life is in danger, be careful what you say.

People are often indifferent to the injustices that they inflict upon you.

Isolation can be dangerous for your well-being. It is good to have people around you to come to your rescue as needed.

 

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