Other than knowing it is a time of no leader in Israel, Judges 17 didn’t tell us much. Judges 18 picks up where the previous chapter left with Micah stealing and making silver idols.
“In those days Israel had no king.” – Judges 18:1
Israel currently has no king, although they are God’s people and God is supposed to be the king of kings. Not in this case. The Israelites are kingless.
“The priest answered them, ‘Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord’s approval.’” – Judges 18:6
A group of people stop to see Micah and Micah’s priest lets them know they have God’s approval in their journey.
“They answered, ‘Come on, let’s attack them! We have seen the land, and it is very good. Aren’t you going to do something? Don’t hesitate to go there and take it over. When you get there, you will find an unsuspecting people and a spacious land that God has put into your hands, a land that lacks nothing whatever.’” – Judges 18:9-10
The Danites, under the impression they have the support of God, are prepared to attack.
“When the five men went into Micah’s house and took the idol, the ephod and the household gods, the priest said to them, ‘What are you doing?’” – Judges 18:18
Micah’s silver idol is about to be stolen.
“The priest was very pleased. He took the ephod, the household gods and the idol and went along with the people.” – Judges 18:20
So much for a moral priest. I guess priests in the days of the old testament were no better than many priests today.
“Then they took what Micah had made, and his priest, and went on to Laish, against a people at peace and secure. They attacked them with the sword and burned down their city.” – Judges 18:27
Where’s God? Nowhere to be seen. That’s how he rolls. He disappears when needed and meddles when he’s not needed.
Hmmm…not sure what to think of this chapter. It’s basically about the Israelites with no leader doing less than moral things. Then again, even when they had a leader and God was with them they were murdering, raping, and plundering. The only difference is they have no king. I believe this chapter is a setup to show the problems that exist when the Israelites turn from God. However, given their morality does not differ from when they are with and without God, does it really matter if God is in the picture?
Coming Soon: Judges – Chapter 19: A Levite and His Concubine