Notes: June 8, 2008 – Judges 17 – 18

Notably missing from the list of west bank tribes in Judges 1 was the tribe of Dan. We read about their conquest today.

Micah (not the prophet) hires a priest (Judges 17).

  • When Micah confesses that he stole money from his mother, she rejoices and gives 18% of it to have an idol (not American) cast (1-4).
  • Micah built his own shrine and set one of his sons to be his priest (5).
  • It was common for men to do what they thought was best; they had no settled leadership (Judges 2:6).
  • When a Levite came by looking for a place to settle, Micah stole the opportunity to hire his own “legitimate” priest (7-13).

Dan (the tribe, not the man) hires a priest (Judges 18).

  • 5 Danite spies meet Micah’s priest while they are searching out the land (1-6).
  • Upon returning home, they report the ease with which they will be able to take the bountiful territory (7-10).
  • When the 600 Danite soldiers enter the land, they come to the house of Micah; and the aforementioned spies enter Micah’s shrine and take all of his religious items (11-18).
  • Further, they persuade the Levite to leave Micah’s employ for the much larger prestige and salary for ministering to the whole tribe of Dan (Judges 2:19-20).
  • When Micah demands that they return his stuff, the Danites threaten his life, and the lives of his family, whom they had taken captive (21-26).
  • Micah’s idol became the center of Danite idolatry that lasted until 605 BC (27-31).

Meditation Points:

  1. Yes, we are talking about Israel, the nation that was miraculously delivered from Egyptian bondage. Yes, the same people who were told countless times not to make idols or any other likeness of God.
  2. Do you feel better than others because you have a priest?  Who is your priest?
  3. Common sense is not always God’s sense.
  4. How many people would have refused the offer of the Danites? Who wouldn’t want the greater responsibilities and income of a larger congregation?
  5. Might does not make right; but it does help one to continue in his evil ways.
  6. Remember these chapters later when we read about idolatry in Israel and the reasons behind the Babylonian captivity.