In our reading for today (Jdg 17-21), we have nothing but tragedy. When WE get to choose that which seems right to us, all kinds of atrocities and base desires begin to appear.
Judges chapters 17-21 shows a series of nasty events designed to display how people can spiral into evil rather quickly when they do not look to God. Listed below are some events to show how wild, carnal, and evil God’s people had become.
Chapter 17: Micah
Micah was a thief, even stealing from his own mother. He stole 1,100 shekels of silver (or about 550 ounces; at today’s silver prices worth $8,200), then returned the money to his mother only out of fear because she invoked a curse upon the lost money (17:2). He had a large idol made with the silver, and also an ephod and other, smaller idols (17:5). Micah found a Levite from Jerusalem and convinced him with money to stay and be the priest for the idols he had in his house (17:10). In essence, this Levite sold his soul for money (18:4).
Chapter 18: the Danites
People from the tribe of Dan were on the warpath, looking for land (18:1). In their search, they come across Micah and his family and realize that there is great value in all the idols he has. In addition, the Danites want the priest to serve their tribe, and not just Micah and his small family. The Danites decide to steal the idols and offer to pay the Levite to now be their priest and serve them, to which he agrees (18:19). Even though God did not want His people to worship and serve idols, they simply ignored God and did what was right in their own eyes.
Chapter 19 – the Levite and his concubine
This story will make anyone cringe. Wow, people were rotten back then because they did not try to do what God wanted, they just did what they wanted. Here are the highlights:
Chapter 20 – The war in Israel
Chapter 21 – More bad examples
In all these events, God is showing how people were fickle, changing themselves, their rules, even His rules to meet their wants and desires. Truly, “…everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” – Jdg 17:6; 21:25
Aaron Baker works with the fun church family at Foristell.