(Judges 17:1-6)


Introduction:  The events recorded in this and subsequent chapters of this book form a conclusion to the entire book.  The events are all glimpses into the life of a nation concerning which is said:  “In those days there was no king in Israel” and consequently, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”  Such an awful thing as Micah does must be explained in the light of the fact that there is no king in Israel, if only we will remember that Israel does not want the King of God.  When we study these chapters we must frequently exclaim:  Oh, that God would send His Anointed King upon Zion’s Hill and deliver His people.

1.   Micah’s Gods (1-5).

Do you want to see what the “religion” of an apostate covenant-breaker looks like?  Do you want to see where this “religion” originates?  Look with us into the house of this ungodly woman and her son Micah.  There evidently was much of this ungodliness throughout Israel; God’s Word gives us just a glimpse of it in the vicinity of Mt. Ephraim.

Note:  The woman is rich…eleven hundred shekels of silver is a lot of money.  Have you any idea how she might have become that rich?

As you read the first few verses it strikes us that the woman is a worshipper of money, her son a thief, the woman a liar…yet there is religion somehow mixed through it all.  In verse 1 she “blesses” her son in the name of the Lord….but she has just finished cursing at him.  In verse 2 she feigns to have dedicated the silver unto the Lord, and in verse 13 Micah thinks that the Lord will be pleased with her priestly addition.  So there is some show of religion here.  She also tells a lie because she states that the eleven hundred shekels of silver were dedicated to make images, nevertheless, she keeps nine hundred of it after all.

Questions:  (1) Does this woman actually think that she is religious, and that God would be pleased with the images she is going to make?  In Joh. 16:2 Scripture says that the time cometh that whosoever killeth the disciples of Christ will think that he doeth God a service.  Does this woman think that she is doing God a service by committing this abomination?  (2) If people depart from what we know to be the truth, do they still think they are doing God a service….or do they hate the truth.  Is apostasy therefore self-deception or rebellion or both?

The important thing is that out of this ungodly sphere there issues forth a graven image and a molten image and develops pretty soon into a false religion.

Note:  natural man never wants what issues forth from God’s revelation; man wants what proceeds out of hell, out of something like you see here in this Micah’s house.

2.  Micah’s House of Gods (vs. 5).

Micah sets up a sanctuary, supplied with its furniture, Ephod and Teraphim, to tell fortunes, etc.  He also adds a priest to it by simply taking one of his sons.

Question:  Why does he feel he needs a priest?

And there you have a synagogue of Satan.  Remember that all this goes on while the House of God is at Shiloh.  Micah sets up a false sanctuary, a contender, a competition to the House of God.  On every hand you see a religion of self-will, individualism.

Question:  Col. 2:23 speaks of “will worship”; what is that?  In what ways could we today set up self-willed religion?

3.  No King in Israel (vs. 6).

If they had had a king that executed the Law of God, Micah would have been stoned (Cf. Deut. 13:6-8) and Micah’s house burned.  Now Israel has no king.  O that Christ would come to deliver Israel.  But when He comes Israel crucifies Him.  Israel does not want God’s King.  Only grace makes us desire Him.  And if we own this King we shall no longer do what is good in our own eyes, but know ourselves servants of the Lord.



(Judges 17:7-13)


Questions:  (1) How come, do you suppose, this Levite was roaming about?  Was he out of work perhaps or was his salary too low to be where you would expect him to be?  (2) Why should he be so ready to accept this position in the devil-house of Micah?  Was he perhaps a sample of what many Levites were at that time?  (3)  How do you account for it that Micah was so elevated because he had a Levite for priest?  If he remembered enough of the Law of Moses to need a priest, how come he did not remember what Moses said about image worship?

  1. The Roaming Levite (vs. 7-9).

If the book of Judges as a whole gives us insight into national Israel, if Micah’s house gives us a glimpse of what Israel from a religious viewpoint looked like, then this roaming Levite presents us with a picture of what the inner circle looked like.  For he is a Levite, a “Lord’s minister” and of Judah.  Three times the Record tells us by mouth of the roaming priest that he is “sojourning” and looking for a place.

Note:  It looks pretty bad for a church when its ministers roam the country looking for a place to sojourn.  Apply that to those days.  Why do you think he was thus roaming about?  Opinion:  The service of God in the sanctuary had probably so deteriorated that the people “abhorred the offering of the Lord” (Cf. I Sam. 2:17) and consequently the Levites had no “income” so they went a-begging.

But do not overlook the fact that this devil-house of Micah at once appealed to the Levite, even if he received only a beggarly ten shekels a year for his wages.  This evidently reveals the corruption into which the priesthood had fallen (Cf. Eli’s sons).  Anything, if only it brings an income.  And, of course, don’t forget that this Levite was one of them that abhorred the Lord and His service.

2.  Micah Acquires the Levite’s Service (vss. 10-13).

Notice the intimate, but godless connection the Levite allows Micah to establish between them.  The Levite will be to Micah “a father” then “a priest” and in vs. 11 also “one of his sons.”  Micah “consecrates him.”  What an awful corruption.  But notice how well organized the false church is and how closely it can imitate the true.

And the deceived Micah imagines that the Lord will do him good now that he has a Levite for priest.  Very probably he meant that he would get rich now, seeing he was a thief anyhow.

Note:  Some people are superstitious enough to think that if their child is only baptized or if they only go to church or read the Bible (or at least have one in the house), all will be well.

Questions:  (1)  In II Tim. 3:5 we read of people having the form of godliness but denying the power thereof, would that apply to Micah?  How can it apply to us?  (2)  Why does God want us to see this creeping corruption in Israel?  (3)  What is the connection between this Micah’s house of idolatry and the fact that there was no king in Israel?  But isn’t Christ King?



(Judges 18:1-6)


Introduction:  There was no king in Israel.

Note:  This is the same people, nationally, which after a while, when Christ is among them says, “We have no king…but Caesar,” and the same people that objects to it that Pilate writes above the Cross: this is the king of the Jews.

You may expect anything to take place when there is no king in Israel.  One of the twelve tribes can even set out on such a self-willed venture as this one.  If in our last outline we became acquainted with a roving priest, now we strike up acquaintance with a roving tribe.

1.  The Danites Seek An Inheritance (vss. 1-2).

The first matter which engages our attention is this:  how come the tribe of Dan went out looking for territory?  Hadn’t they been treated fairly when Joshua divided the land?  Dan was a very large tribe, had Joshua failed to reckon with that, and therefore given them too little ground?  Were they therefore pressed for “lebensraum”?  Or why anyway do the Danites do this?

Question:  Esau one time sold his birthright.  Israel, in the twelve spies one time turned up its nose at the land of Canaan….does Dan perhaps despise the inheritance of the Lord in this their venture?

Observe:  If you scan the Scriptures concerning Dan you come to the conclusion that Dan does not have a very good reputation.  In Gen. 49, Jacob on his deathbed speaks of Dan as an adder by the way, biting the horse’s heels so that the rider falls backward.  Further, if you read the chronology of Israel (I Chron. 1-8) you discover that the tribe of Dan is not mentioned.  More startling still, when John on Patmos sees the 144,000 of the redeemed, and sees the tribes whence they come, Dan is not reckoned (Rev. 7).

Suggestion:  Could there be a connection between these notices from Scripture about Dan, and the present venture?  If there is such a connection (and I believe there is) then Scripture denounces Dan’s venture most emphatically.  If we do what Dan does here, our names will be stricken out of the generations of the covenant people.

In vs. 1 we read that Dan’s inheritance had not fallen unto them.  This does not mean that Joshua had failed to distribute the land properly for Joshua 20:40-46 tells us that Dan received her inheritance and by lot….as God divided the “House of many mansions” among them.  But, to understand why Dan lacked room, I refer you to Judges 1:34.  Dan was disobedient, careless, too interested in material things to drive out the enemies, and eventually Dan herself got driven into the mountains.  Then, of course, she needed “lebensraum”….for she had been disobedient.  And now Dan sets out to find some land elsewhere.  Canaan does not mean much to them, what they want is ground.  To them all ground is ground.  Holy land….that means nothing….Dan wants ground.

Questions:  (1) What is there about this venture then that is so sinful?  (2)  Why turn to look for land elsewhere instead of drive out the Amorites and then inherit the land given them by lot?

Dan despises the land of inheritance.  They despise the Pleasant land (Ps. 100:42).  How may that sin be duplicated by us in our day?

2.  They Find the Micah House (vs. 3-6).

Note:  They don’t just happen to find this house.  It is of the Lord that they come upon it.  The Lord punishes sin with sin.  Idolatry was just what they were seeking.  This also sheds light on the spirit which was behind Dan’s venture.  At Micah’s house they inquire whether their venture will be successful and the profane priest assures them that their way is before the Lord.  Go in peace, says the false priest, God approves of what you do.  The deceiver and the deceived both lie under the judgment of God.



Judges 18:22-31


Introduction:  In the passage, vss. 7-21, you may read how the spies return and give a favorable report about what land they found.  Promptly an army is sent out.  The expeditionary force lodges at the home of Micah (of course).  And while they steal the idols, they meanwhile entice the priest to go with them.  Then they are on their way to set an entirely modern Dan, streamlined to fit the needs of modern men, being children of Belial.

1.   Micah Loses His Gods (vss. 22-26).

Micah was no little bit incensed when he noticed that these roving outlaws had stolen his gods and his priest.  He therefore runs after them in the hope of retrieving his prized possessions.  He complains:  you have taken everything I have.

But these hardened Danites know how to handle Micah.  They say to him, “Don’t utter another word or these soldiers here will run you down and kill you.”  Micah figured that silence was the better part of valor, so he departed.

And the Danites pressed forward, well equipped to set up an idol sanctuary.  If only the priest’s fortune telling comes true now and their journey may be successful.  How could it ever be?

Questions:  (1) Look in Micah’s house now, there are no idols there anymore; his “sanctuary” is gone….is he less of a sinner than he was yesterday?  Discuss this in view of the Second Point and “restraint of sin”.  (2)  Fighting to obtain one another’s gods, as Dan and Micah did, does that help explain the world’s wars?

2.  The Danites Set Up a New Dan (vss. 27-31).

The expedition was eminently successful.  They easily capture the helpless defenseless little city of Laish.  They ruthlessly murder the innocent inhabitants, burn the city and on its ashes reconstruct a city of their own.  In it they erect the idol sanctuary, and Jonathan, son of Gershom of Manesseh becomes priest.

Observe:  How the idolatry, first hatched in that woman’s mind, then set up in Micah’s house, has now increased until it becomes the religion of a tribe.  Oh, the development of sin!  Vs. 30 informs us that this sanctuary continues here until the day of the captivity.  Hence, this new Dan continues and maintains its iniquity throughout all the history of the kings.  And in vs. 31 its antichristian character is set forth.  God’s House is in Shiloh, but Dan despises the House of God and God Himself.

Questions:  (1) How may the venture of Dan be re-enacted in the church of today?  (2)  When Jesus is on earth, what examples of the Nel-Danitish religion does He find and condemn?