Judges Chapter 17

There had been several judges who had led Israel since the time of Joshua’s death. The Israelites were in bondage to the Philistines. They had been led by Samson, who sacrificed his own life in captivity among the Philistine leaders, in order to destroy them. The time of Israelite judges continues with the following:

1 And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.
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.
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.
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 Micah.
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.
6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Micah was an Ephraimite, who had taken silver shekels from his mother. He repented and returned them to her. She told him that she had wanted to dedicate them to the Lord for Micah, and had the plan to make an image with them. She tried to give it to him, but he returned it to her. She took them and had them made into a graven image for their household. Micah had a house of false gods and consecrated his own priests, including his son.

At this time, all of Israel was living according to their own desires. They did right by themselves and did not live under one ruler. A nation does not become unified by this kind of lawlessness. If they had lived as a nation devoted to the Lord, they would have been given the direction needed to be one and do what was right by God; not that which was right according to individual men.

7 And there was a young man out of Beth-lehem-judah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.
8 And the man departed out of the city from Beth-lehem-judah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed.
9 And Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Beth-lehem-judah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place.
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.
11 And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was unto him as one of his sons.
12 And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.
13 Then said Micah, Now know I that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.

A Levite of the tribe of Judah, journeyed to the house of Micah from Beth-lehem-judah. As a Levite, he had no inheritance, and he was looking for a place to live. Micah offered his home if he would be his priest. Micah offered to pay him and provide food and clothing to him. The Levite accepted and was content living there. Michah treated him as family and consecrated him as a priest for his family. Micah felt he would please the Lord, by having a Levite for his priest.

The Levites had a right and obligation to become priests in Israel, though I think if he had been living as a priest to the Lord, he would have been serving in the tabernacle. It appears to me, to be an issue of consecrating false priests for his worship of false gods. This is a case of one trying to do what was right, in all the wrong ways. The Lord had established one way with many specific rules and great blessings connected with that singular plan. This path that Micah had chosen, was not going to bring him the blessings of the Lord. In our day, there is also only one path that the Lord has given us. We are to follow the example and teachings of the Son of God, even Jesus, and that is the one path that will bring us closer to God. There will be many other ways that we could choose to live and many that may seem good on the surface, but only the one path will lead us to return to live with God and receive of the greatest blessings he has to offer.

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