May 13, 2023
“There was a man from the hill country of Ephraim named Micah. He said to his mother, ‘The 1,100 pieces taken from you, and that I have heard you utter a curse about...”
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“There was a man from the hill country of Ephraim named Micah. He said to his mother, ‘The 1,100 pieces taken from you, and that I have heard you utter a curse about – here, I have the silver with me. I took it. So now I return it to you.’ Then his mother said, ‘My son, you are blessed by the Lord!’ He returned the 1,100 pieces of silver to his mother, and his mother said, ‘I personally consecrate the silver to the Lord for my son’s benefit to make a carved image overlaid with silver.” Judges 17:1-3 (NCSB)
Chronologically, the story of Samson in Judges 13-16 occurs after the events of Judges 17-18. As I mentioned yesterday, the story of Samson is the story of a real man’s exploits, as well as a metaphor for Israel’s idolatry and spiritual adultery. Samson was from the tribe of Dan. (Judges 13:2-3) The tribe of Dan’s moral decline begins with a woman of Ephraim’s worship confusion. She dedicates 1,100 pieces of silver to make an “image” and other objects for her son to worship the Lord. Interestingly, the pinnacle of Samson’s moral, physical, and spiritual decline is when Delilah sells him to the Philistines for 1,100 pieces of silver. In the person of Samson, God is sending a profound message to Dan and all Israel: Serve me as I have commanded you. Do not add or take away from my Torah (Law/teaching).
“This man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and household idols, and installed one of his sons to be his priest. In those days, there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever he wanted.” Judges 17:5-6 (HCSB)
The sin of one person can impact a whole nation. The apostle Paul said, “A little leaven spoils the whole lump.” Galatians 5:9 Jesus said, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod.” Matthew 16:6. That is to say, beware of being unnecessarily legalistic or worldly. The woman of Ephraim’s lack of knowledge of how to worship the Lord was transferred to her son. Then we see how he transferred his idolatry to his own son and then a traveling young Levite priest, looking for people to minister to. “He answered him, ‘I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, and I’m going to settle wherever I can find a place. Micah replied, ‘Stay with me and be my father and priest…’” (Judges 17:10a)
Finally, scouts from the tribe of Dan come to the home of Micah the Ephraimite and steal his Levite priest and his idols.
“The Danites set up the carved image for themselves. Jonathan, son of Gershom, son of Manasseh, and his sons were priests for the Danite tribe until the time of the exile from the land. So they set up themselves Micah’s carved image that he had made, and it was there as long as the house of Israel was in Shiloh.” Judges 18:30-31 (HCSB)
The lesson here is that we should seek ONLY God’s Word to know Him and rest within His Grace, Mercy, Requirements, and Love. Whenever we stray from the truth of the Bible, when we supplement the World’s philosophy for God’s Word, it always trends downward and leads us onto a path of destruction.
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©Steve Wiggins 2021