Judges Chapter 17
Last week we studied about the last two years of
Samsonís life. His failure to control his lusts caused him much
grief and heartache. After giving up the secret of his strength to
Delilah, Samson was bound and put into prison where he had to grind
day after day. Finally, on his last day, he was brought before a
large number of Philistines in a huge house, and he pushed the beams
of the house apart destroying both himself and more Philistines than
he had slain earlier. His total reign as king was 20 years. This
week, we cover Chapter 17 where we begin with the story of Micah.
I. Confusion, Civil and Religious
Judg 17:1 And
there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.
Micah, as we are told, lived in Mt. Ephraim.
He seemed important to many, but he was a great hindrance to the
people of God.
II. Micahís Idols
Judg 17:2 And he
said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were
taken from thee, about which thou cursedst, and spakest of also in
mine ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother
said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my son.
We find Micah discussing the 1100 shekels of
silver that she lost. Micah admits that he took the silver and is
now returning it. Perhaps Micah had heard that the curse had been
placed on the silver and fears to keep it.
Judg 17:3 And
when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his
mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the
LORD from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten
image: now therefore I will restore it unto thee.
There is open idolatry being done here as the
mother suggests taking the silver and making a molten and graven
image. A molten image was metal heated and poured out to make a
design. The graven image was an image carved out of a rock or a
piece of wood. Regardless of which image you made, it was against
the rules God laid down in Exodus 20 in the 10 commandments.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any
graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the
Have you ever been in a church where there
are so many pictures and statues that you tend to get lost in the
imagery of the building. I believe that is why God does not want us
to make any image that might confuse us with the true worship of
God. As Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, true worship
is to be from the heart.
John 4:19 The
woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
John 4:20 Our
fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem
is the place where men ought to worship.
John 4:21 Jesus
saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall
neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
John 4:22 Ye
worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is
of the Jews.
John 4:23 But the
hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the
Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to
John 4:24 God is
a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and
Godís desire is for each of us to worship him
with a pure spirit. Our hearts need to be pure and we need to
worship God in truth.
Judg 17:4 Yet he
restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred
shekels of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a
graven image and a molten image: and they were in the house of
The women takes 200 of the shekels to pay the
founder to make the molten image.
She says that she is building the image for
her son. As parents, we have a responsibility to teach our children
correctly and lead them in the ways of the Lord. It is sad to see
Micahís mother leading him astray. Either she did not know the
commandments God had given her people, or she refused to live by
them. Be sure of this one fact. We do affect our children in more
ways than we realize. They will tend to follow our pattern of
living even more than the things they are taught.
2 Tim 3:14 But continue thou in the things
which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom
thou hast learned them;
2 Tim 3:15 And that from a child thou hast
known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto
salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by
inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Tim 3:17 That the man of God may be
perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Young Timothy had known the scriptures from
the time he was a child. And what we learn when we are young,
particularly in our formative years, sticks with us through our
whole life-time. How much greater the responsibility is to us to
raise our children up in the church their whole life.
In verse 4 Micah restores the money to his
mother. She takes this money and gives it to a founder to make the
images. Making images was a craft that many people used for making
a living during biblical times. We read the story of Demetrius over
in Acts 19 that shows how he led the whole city in a riot.
Acts 19:23 And the same time there arose no
small stir about that way.
Acts 19:24 For a certain man named
Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana,
brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;
Acts 19:25 Whom he called together with the
workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this
craft we have our wealth.
Acts 19:26 Moreover ye see and hear, that
not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath
persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods,
which are made with hands:
Acts 19:27 So that not only this our craft
is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the
great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should
be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.
Acts 19:28 And when they heard these
sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is
Diana of the Ephesians.
Acts 19:29 And the whole city was filled
with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of
Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord
into the theatre.
Acts 19:30 And when Paul would have entered
in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.
Acts 19:31 And certain of the chief of
Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he
would not adventure himself into the theatre.
Acts 19:32 Some therefore cried one thing,
and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part
knew not wherefore they were come together.
Acts 19:33 And they drew Alexander out of
the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned
with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.
Acts 19:34 But when they knew that he was a
Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out,
Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
Acts 19:35 And when the townclerk had
appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there
that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper
of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from
Acts 19:36 Seeing then that these things
cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing
Acts 19:37 For ye have brought hither these
men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of
Acts 19:38 Wherefore if Demetrius, and the
craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law
is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another.
Acts 19:39 But if ye inquire any thing
concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful
Acts 19:40 For we are in danger to be
called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause
whereby we may give an account of this concourse.
Acts 19:41 And when he had thus spoken, he
dismissed the assembly.
This craft was associated with the false idol
worship of Diana. It is worthy to note that some things are
associated one with another, that we might be wise in our daily
lives. Remembering that astrology tables are associated with the
stars and witchcraft makes us know to not associate with these
things. Physics, mediums, witches, and Satanic worship are all much
alike when you look into their associations. And we are to shun
even the appearance of evil in our lives. There are other
industries that are involved in producing products that conflict
with the Christian way of life. We as Christians should not work
for companies that bring heartache and destruction to others (like
the liquor industry does.) There are many others, and God will
direct your steps to stay away from those that are bad.
Judg 17:5 And the
man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and
consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.
Micah sets up a whole house of false gods.
This one that his mother has made for him is just one of many that
Micah builds for himself. And it says that he makes an ephod and
teraphim. The ephod was for his son to wear. This was a sacred
vestment that was designed to be worn by the high priest only. The
high priest was not to serve one man, but the whole nation of
Israel. And it was in service to the true and living God.
Exo 28:4 And these are the garments which
they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a
broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy
garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister
unto me in the priest's office.
Exo 28:5 And they shall take gold, and
blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.
Exo 28:6 And they shall make the ephod of
gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen,
with cunning work.
The teraphim that he made was a household
god, most likely formed to look like a human. In the dictionary,
the teraphim is a word that occurs only in the plural form, and
denotes images connected with magical rites. All of this practice
of idolatry was strictly forbidden to Godís people.
Josh 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and
serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which
your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt;
and serve ye the LORD.
Josh 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to
serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the
gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the
flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as
for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Josh 24:16 And the people answered and
said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other
Josh 24:17 For the LORD our God, he it is
that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from
the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight,
and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the
people through whom we passed:
Josh 24:18 And the LORD drave out from
before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land:
therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.
Oh for people today to desire to serve God
with this vigor and determination. Not many care much for Godís
house, or even for God at all it seems. And while we donít think of
men and women today building their own god house as Micah was said
to have made, I wonder if in Godís eyes men and women are not still
doing that. If we have two television sets in every room tied into
200 cable channels, a home entertainment center, a personal computer
or two, a stereo with 10 or 15 attachments, an x-Box game system, a
Sony play station, and 150 games to keep our minds off God, I wonder
if in Godís sight we havenít built our own little idol house. Iím
as guilty as anyone, and not one thing mentioned here is bad to it
self when used properly and not abused with our time, but if we are
too busy to read our bibles and come to church, maybe we need to
reevaluate our position. The Holy Spirit will guide us into all
truth the Lord promised. Letís be tender to His leading, and shun
things that may be wasting many of our valuable hours each week.
John 9:4 I must work the works of him that
sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Psa 90:12 So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Judg 17:6 In
those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which
was right in his own eyes.
Does this sound familiar? I thought about
how our nation is in a state of confusion, and it is due to each one
deciding what is right or wrong on their own without regard to God.
God has set up the rules, and unless we obey those rules and follow
after His commands, we will not have a happy and fulfilling life.
Israel did that which was right in their own eyes. Why do we agree
about what is right and wrong? It is because of the Bible being our
final authority as to right and wrong. But the lost, and even
carnal Christians, do not have that consistency to know what is
right and wrong. We should thank the Lord for giving us the signs
along the road of life to keep us from running off into the ditch or
plunging over an embankment to destruction. This doing what we
think is right or wrong is dangerous. And if we look to the world
for its prevailing standards, you will have no morals due to the
standards changing everyday. Godís rules conflict with the worlds,
because the children of this world are not serving, in many cases,
the true God Jehovah.
Mat 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep
in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and
harmless as doves.
Mat 10:17 But beware of men: for they will
deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their
Mat 10:18 And ye shall be brought before
governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and
Mat 10:19 But when they deliver you up,
take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given
you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
Mat 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but
the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
In Joshuaís farewell speech, he spoke of the
need of men and women to look to God for their value system.
Josh 24:19 And Joshua said unto the people,
Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous
God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.
Josh 24:20 If ye forsake the LORD, and
serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume
you, after that he hath done you good.
Josh 24:21 And the people said unto Joshua,
Nay; but we will serve the LORD.
Josh 24:22 And Joshua said unto the people,
Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the
LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.
Josh 24:23 Now therefore put away, said he,
the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto
the LORD God of Israel.
Josh 24:24 And the people said unto Joshua,
The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.
III. Micah Hires his own Servant
Judg 17:7 And
there was a young man out of Bethlehemjudah of the family of Judah,
who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.
This young man, who came from Bethlehem-Judah
was named as a member of a significant Levite family. He had lived
for a while in Bethlehem-Judah, but now had moved on and arrives at
Judg 17:8 And the
man departed out of the city from Bethlehemjudah to sojourn where he
could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of
Micah, as he journeyed.
Judg 17:9 And
Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am
a Levite of Bethlehemjudah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a
Judg 17:10 And
Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a
priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and
a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in.
The young man pleases Micah. He is free to
go to work, and is not attached to anyone or any place at this
time. This would appear to be the perfect religious attachment to
his own personal god-house. A Levite, one of Bethlehem-Judah. So
Micah makes a deal with the young man, Jonathan. If we would live
with Micah and be a father (a confessor) and priest, he would pay
him 10 shekels annually. Not only that, but he would furnish him
with a new suit of clothes each year, and provide for his food. As
we all know, there are many in this life that will do almost
anything for money. Even if it contradicts the standards God has
set down, if it is a money making proposition, they still will do
it. God help us to have high standards of integrity, and never
stoop so low as to compromise our lives for money.
1 Tim 6:10 For the love of money is the
root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred
from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Tim 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee
these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith,
love, patience, meekness.
Judg 17:11 And
the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was
unto him as one of his sons.
Judg 17:12 And
Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest,
and was in the house of Micah.
Judg 17:13 Then
said Micah, Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have
a Levite to my priest.
Jonathan looks the situation over, and
accepts this offer. The young man is treated like one of Micahís
sons. No doubt, Micah thought he now would have God on a string and
be assured of blessings because he now had a Levite as a priest.
This shows how little Micah really understood about God. Many today
have no idea that we need to worship the Lord a specific way and
specific method, according to His rules which are laid down in the
Word of God. Many activities in churches today are not God
honoring, but rather bring gratification to the person, not to God.
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Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act
spreads, and many will be blessed.