1 There was a man of mount Ephraim whose name was Micah. 2 He said to his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you, about which you cursed, and spoke of in my ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother said, Be blessed of the LORD, my son.
- God is the Source of all blessing. Numbers 22-24 make this clear.
- Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
3 And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the silver to the LORD from my hand for my son to make a carved image and a molten image: now I am giving it back to you. 4 So he restored the money to his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver, and gave them to the refiner, who made of it a carved image and a molten image: and they were in the house of Micah. 5 And the man Micah had a house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.
- She dedicated it to the LORD to make an idol.
- God forbids idols. They are nothing but immovable objects that can do nothing. God made all things. He is jealous. These people weren’t seeking truth. God provides truth when truth is sought.
- Exodus 20:4 You are not to make any carved 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 earth:
- Exodus 34:14 you will worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.
6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did what was right in his own eyes. 7 And there was a young man out of Bethlehem-Judah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he visited there. 8 And the man departed out of the city from Bethlehem-Judah to sojourn where he could find a place: and as he journeyed he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah. 9 And Micah said to him, Where have you come from? And he said to him, I am a Levite of Bethlehem-Judah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place. 10 And Micah said to him, Dwell with me, and be a father and a priest to me, and I will give you ten shekels of silver by the year, and a double suit of clothes, and your food. So the Levite went in. 11 And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was as one of his sons to him. 12 And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah. 13 Then Micah said, Now I know that the LORD will do me good, because I have a Levite as my priest.
- God is holy and cannot bless unrighteousness.
- In scripture, ignorance is never a valid excuse for wrong action.
- God expects us to learn His ways.
- They are not too hard.This man trusts what is right in his own eyes according to verse 6 and thought God would bless it.
- 1John 5:3 this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
- Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean unto your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
- Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what the LORD requires of you, it is to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
1 In those days there was no king in Israel: and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought an inheritance to dwell in; for to that day all their inheritance had not fallen to them among the tribes of Israel. 2 And the children of Dan sent five men of their family from their borders, men of valor, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to walk through the land, to search it; they said to them, Go, search the land: who when they came to mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there. 3 When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man, the Levite: they turned in there and said to him, Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? And what do you have here? 4 And he said to them, This is how Micah deals with me; he has hired me, and I am his priest.
God gives the best advice
5 And they said to him, Please ask counsel of God, that we may know if our way that we go will be prosperous. 6 And the priest said to them, Go in peace: the way which you go is before the LORD.
- The Levite told them that God approved of what they were doing. God’s advice is the very best on earth or in heaven.
- Isaiah 28:29 This comes forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.
- James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and does not upbraid; and it will be given him.
7 Then the five men departed, came to Laish, and saw the people that were there, how they dwelt securely, in the custom of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; there was no ruler in the land humiliating them in anything; they were far from the Zidonians, and had no dealings with any man. 8 And they came to their brothers to Zorah and Eshtaol: and their brothers said to them, What do you say? 9 And they said, arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good: and are you still? Do not be slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land. 10 When you go, you will come to a secure people in a large land: for God has given it into your hands; a place where there is no lack of anything that is in the earth.
- Remember that the promised land for Israel is God’s illustration of the life of blessing that He has for us on earth.
- His word reveals unfathomable blessings of His place for us in this life.
- He has given the land into our hands. We learn of our land and conquer it by learning and believing God’s word.
11 So six hundred men of the family of the Danites went from there, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, armed with weapons of war. 12 They went up, and camped in Kirjath-jearim, in Judah: this is why they called that place Mahaneh-dan to this day: behold, it is behind Kirjath-jearim. 13 And they passed there to mount Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah.
God commanded destruction of idolaters
14 Then the five men that went to search the country of Laish, answered and said to their brothers, Do you know that in these houses there is an ephod, teraphim, a carved image, and a molten image? Now consider what you have to do.
- They didn’t do what God said to do in such instances.
- Idolatry leads self and others to eternal death. God is life.
- Deuteronomy 13:12 If you will hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God has given you to dwell there, saying, 13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known; 14 Then you are to investigate, search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; 15 You will surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is in it, and its animals, with the edge of the sword.
15 And they turned that way, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, to the house of Micah, and saluted him. 16 And the six hundred men appointed with their weapons of war, who were of the children of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate. 17 And the five men that went to search the land went up, entered there, took the carved image, the ephod, the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were armed with weapons of war. 18 These went into Micah’s house, and took the carved image, the ephod, the teraphim, and the molten image. Then the priest said to them, What are you doing? 19 And they said to him, Be silent, lay your hand on your mouth; go with us and be a father and a priest to us: is it better for you to be a priest to the house of one man, or that you be a priest to a tribe and a family in Israel? 20 And the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod, the teraphim, and the carved image, and went in the midst of the people. 21 So they turned and departed, and put the little ones, the livestock, and their wealth before them.
- They put the little ones and livestock ahead of them to protect them from harm in case Micah retaliated.
- Micah stole the 1100 shekels from his mother. Then they made it into an idol (Judges 17).
- Then the tribe of Dan stole the idols.
- 22 And when they were a good distance from the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses near Micah’s house gathered together and overtook the children of Dan. 23 They called to the children of Dan. And they turned their faces and said to Micah, What ails you that you come with such a company? 24 And he said, You have taken away my gods that I made, and the priest, and you have gone away: and what do I have left? And you ask me, What ails you?
- Micah thought he’d lost everything when they took the impotent little statues and the Levite who was his priest.
- This is God’s correction of Micah for trusting wrong things.
- God displays to us the ineffectiveness of all the wrong things we trust.
- If Micah made it, it is not a god.
- God made us. We didn’t make Him.
- The only God, the true God is everywhere. He can’t be stolen from anyone.
- Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things in it, since he is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, since he gives to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the boundaries of their habitation; 27 So they will seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being;
25 And the children of Dan said to him, Do not let your voice be heard among us, or angry men will run upon you, and you will lose your life, with the lives of your household. 26 Then the children of Dan went their way: and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and returned to his house. 27 So they took the things that Micah had made, and the priest that he had, and came to Laish, to a people that were quiet and secure. They struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire. 28 There was no deliverer because it was far from Zidon, and they had no business with any man; it was in the valley that lies by Beth-rehob. And they built a city, and dwelt in it. 29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel: however the name of the city was Laish at first. 30 And the children of Dan set up the carved image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. 31 They set up Micah’s carved image, which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.
- The Lord alone is God.
- Exodus 20:3 You will have no other gods before me. 4 You will not make for yourselves any carved 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 earth:
- Exodus 34:14 you will worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Jeremiah 10:10 the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth will tremble, the nations will not be able to abide his indignation.
1 And it happened in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehem-Judah. 2 And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him to her father’s house to Bethlehem-Judah, and was there four whole months.
- Verse 3 and Judges 20:4 says this man was her husband.
- All scripture is from God.
- God forbids fornication for man’s good.
- 2Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
- 1Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.
3 And her husband got up and went after her, to speak to her heart, and to bring her back, having his servant with him and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father’s house: and when the father of the girl saw him, he rejoiced to meet him. 4 And his father in law, the girl’s father, retained him; and he stayed with him three days: they ate and drank, and remained there.
- The pattern of creation shows that God made a mate for man.
- He made the mate from the man and made her to fit the man. ‘Help meet’ means helper that fits.
- Much divorce occurs from getting a helper that does not fit. One size does not fit all. Every woman is not right for every man: just like no two sets of fingerprints are the same.
- This scripture, by calling him ‘her husband,’ shows us that this was the woman God designed for him.
- Genesis 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an helper fit for him. 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam and he slept: and he took one of his rib/sides, and closed up the flesh underneath; 22 And the rib/side, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
- Mark 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause a man is to leave his father and mother, and cleave/cling to his wife; 8 And they two will be one flesh: so then they are no more two, but one flesh.
- Philippians 4:19 But my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
- Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from those that walk uprightly.
5 And it happened on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the girl’s father said to his son in law, Strengthen your heart with a bit of food, and afterward go your way. 6 And they sat down, and ate and both of them drank together: for the girl’s father had said to the man, Please be content to remain all night, and let your heart be merry. 7 And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again. 8 And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart: and the girl’s father said, Please strengthen your heart. And they lingered until afternoon, and both of them ate. 9 And when the man rose up to depart, he, his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the girl’s father, said to him, Behold, now the day draws toward evening, Please stay all night: behold, the day grows to an end, lodge here, that your heart may be merry; and rise early tomorrow for your journey that you may go home. 10 But the man would not stay that night, he rose up and departed, and came over opposite Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him. 11 And when they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said to his master, Please come and let us turn into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it. 12 And his master said to him, We will not turn aside into the city of a foreigner, that is not of the children of Israel; we will cross over to Gibeah. 13 And he said to his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of these places to lodge all night, in Gibeah, or in Ramah. 14 And they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down on them when they were by Gibeah, which belonged to Benjamin. 15 And they turned aside there, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah: and when he went in, he sat down in a street of the city: for no man took them into his house to stay.
- The place is closed up. Not much hospitality. The reason soon becomes clear.
16 And behold, an old man came out of the field from his work at evening, who was also from mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of the place were Benjamites. 17 And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city, the old man said, Where are you going? And where are you coming from? 18 And he said to him, We are passing from Bethlehem-Judah toward the side of mount Ephraim; I am from there: and I went to Bethlehem-Judah, but I am now going to the house of the LORD; and there is no man that receives me into his house.
- The Levite was going to worship God.
- The old man who offered them his hospitality was not a Benjamite.
19 There is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is food and wine for me, and for your handmaid, and for the young man who is with your servants: we do not lack anything. 20 And the old man said, Peace be with you; however let all your needs lie upon me; only do not stay in the street. 21 So he brought him into his house, and gave provender to the asses: and they washed their feet, and ate and drank. 22 Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, surrounded the house, beat at the door, and spoke to the master of the house, the old man saying, Bring out the man that came into your house, that we may know him.
- Like Genesis 19, Sodom and Gomorrah, this was homosexual gang rape. This is the limit of depravity that God allows rebellious man to sink to in His longsuffering.
- God has provided abundantly for all man’s needs.
- Man’s rebellion causes emptiness of heart that nothing can fill.
- This is the point where God says enough.
- He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah at this point also.
- Genesis 19:5 And they called to Lot, and said to him, Where are the men which came in to you this night? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.
- 2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance.
23 And the man, the master of the house, went out to them, No, my brothers, no, I beg you, do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not do this stupidity. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter and his concubine; I will bring them out now, humble them, and do with them what seems good to you: but do not do such a vile thing to this man.
- If this man were honorable he would protect his daughter.
- f this Levite were honorable he would protect his woman.
- God is the opposite of man. He gave Himself for us.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him not perish, but have everlasting life.
- John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
25 But the men would not listen to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her out to them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go. 26 Then the woman came in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, until it was light. 27 And her lord rose up in the morning, opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and behold, the woman, his concubine, had fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were on the threshold. 28 And he said to her, Get up, and let us be going. But no one answered. Then the man took her up on an ass, and the man rose up, and went to his place. 29 And when he was came to his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, divided her together with her bones into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel. 30 And all that saw it said, no deed like this has been done or seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt to this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.
- Godlessness leads to depravity and into the lake of fire.
- God’s love is the most fulfilling love in the universe.
- When God’s love fills us then other relationships become what they should be.
- Evil cannot satisfy man. When man turns from God to evil to meet his personal needs, this is the result.
- Refinement and culture mask the hideous heart of unregenerate mankind.
- This is the truth.
- Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
- John 10:10 The thief comes for nothing except to steal, to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 13 The hired servant flees, because he is a hired servant and does not care for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
- John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me will never hunger; and he that believes on me will never thirst.
- John 10:28 And I give to them eternal life; and they will never perish, neither will any man pluck them out of my hand.
- Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
SUMMARY: Judges 17-19
- God gives the best advice
- He commanded the destruction of idolaters because they lead to eternal death
- The LORD is our ultimate fulfillment