This post follows the Bible reading plan available at oaktreechurch.com/soap.
Chapter seventeen begins the first of the last two stories in Judges. No date is given for this narrative, only that “Israel had no king” (Judges 17:6). However, the abject moral depravity displayed may indicate that this was later in the historical timeline, although the lack of a Danite homeland may imply earlier (Judges 18:1). A man named Micah had stolen “eleven hundred pieces of silver” from his mother (Judges 17:1-6). When she pronounced a curse on the thief, he confessed and returned the money. Because of his honesty, she dedicated the money to God but promptly used it to purchase or make idols, which Micah put into a shrine in his house.
At an unknown point, Micah met a young Levite from Bethlehem (Judges 17:7-13). He was traveling to find another place to live and minister when Micah hired him to serve in his house at his shrine. They agreed to an annual wage, and the Levite moved in with Micah, becoming “like a son to” him. In addition to Micah being wrong to create and worship idols and this Levite being wrong to agree to serve Micah and his idols as a priest in the name of Jehovah, Micah was also wrong to think that having a Levite on his payroll would bring God’s blessings.