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Judges 17-18

Judges 17 - 18  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  57:57
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Pastor Mike teaches the book of Judges focusing verse-by-verse on chapters 17-18: Micah and the Levite

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Judges 17-18

As we get to the last 5 chapters (17-21) of Judges many scholars believe we are seeing things that took place closer to the death of Joshua, so we are not looking at chronological order here. As we look at chapters 17-18 tonight we will see the state of the people in their sin and hypocrisy against God.

Verses 1-2

So we have a cursing mother with a thieving son who’s name can mean “like the Lord”.
After he confesses to stealing her fortune she then becomes super religious and blesses him in the name of the Lord.
How confusing and hypocritical when children see parents who in one breath ar praising God and in the next cursing and cussing.

Verses 3-4

Exodus 20:4–5 ESV
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
On top of the image she had made did you also notice that her dedication of the silver went from 1,100 pieces to 200?
Now it is in Micah’s house… The Lord is not in his house, but a carved image is...
Unfortunately far too many people prefer their religion to God, they want their version of God instead of who the Bible declares who God really is.

Verse 5

Who does this guy think he is?!
Now he has made little household idols on top of the one his mommy paid for.
“ literally, terephim—gods that were worshipped in hopes of gaining prosperity and guidance.” (Guzik)
Shrine is a small place to worship.
Consecrated one of his sons...
Micah is setting himself up as a spiritual guru of sorts. He’s made a place of convenience for himself and others to come and worship his shiny new idols. All the while the ark is in the tabernacle in Shiloh where the Priests and Levites are who are supposed to be performing the various duties of worship before God as they wear the priestly garments which include the ephod.
What we really see happening here is Micah setting up his own religious system, and that can only be viewed as being opposed to God and His system of worship that He designed for mankind.
I’d hate to be in Micah’s shoes on judgement day!

Verse 6

Proverbs 14:12 ESV
12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Verses 7-8

How can a Levite be from the land of Judah?! Uh oh, we have a contradiction, better throw away our Bibles and quite Christianity! At least that’s what some of said when they read this.
Oh wait! False alarm I forgot about
Numbers 35:1–8 ESV
1 The Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, 2 “Command the people of Israel to give to the Levites some of the inheritance of their possession as cities for them to dwell in. And you shall give to the Levites pasturelands around the cities. 3 The cities shall be theirs to dwell in, and their pasturelands shall be for their cattle and for their livestock and for all their beasts. 4 The pasturelands of the cities, which you shall give to the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city outward a thousand cubits all around. 5 And you shall measure, outside the city, on the east side two thousand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits, the city being in the middle. This shall belong to them as pastureland for their cities. 6 “The cities that you give to the Levites shall be the six cities of refuge, where you shall permit the manslayer to flee, and in addition to them you shall give forty-two cities. 7 All the cities that you give to the Levites shall be forty-eight, with their pasturelands. 8 And as for the cities that you shall give from the possession of the people of Israel, from the larger tribes you shall take many, and from the smaller tribes you shall take few; each, in proportion to the inheritance that it inherits, shall give of its cities to the Levites.”
We just read last verse that the people did what was right in their own eyes and that goes for this young Levite who is out trying to hire himself out as a priest for profit.
Good thing this kind of thing doesn’t happen today… (TV preachers, self proclaimed spiritual leaders…)
We will soon see that Micah’s house was a pretty popular place for people to show up at.

Verses 9-11

Well, a legitimate Levite as Priest is better than a son for a priest. Micah will surely have more clout amongst the people now right?
Unfortunately Micah will take this to mean that God is blessing his idolatry and his made up religion.
As for the Levite.... He is what we refer to as a hireling...

Verses 12-13

Who told Micah he had any authority or right to be ordaining priests?! It doesn’t matter when you are making God into your own image and making up your own religion I guess.
Ordaining is setting one apart for the ministry. This Levite was in a sense ordained by birth through his lineage to serve God, but he wanted a job with better pay and benefits and found one with Micah.
We will soon see just how much farther the young Levite will be able to further his career in the next chapter...

Chapter 18

Verses 1-2

Um, why is Dan seeking for itself an inheritance when God already gave them the land of their inheritance?
Because Dan who had the 2nd highest number of soldiers in the census taken in Numbers refused to do the hard things required to take their inheritance. Instead they let the Canaanites have what God gave them and now they are looking for somewhere “better”… But nothing is better than God’s best for us.
Oh look where they ended up! At Micah’s roadside caffe, hotel, and idol worship shrine!

Verses 3-6

Either they new him or his accent gave him away.
Notice how spiritually confused and rebellious and hypocritical these Danites are.
You are on a rebellious and sinful mission to do better than what God gave you, and you are asking a rebellious and sinful idol worshipping priest who has hired himself out to a man who has made up a religion to compete with God is the journey will succeed.
No, the journey of rebellion and disobedience to God will not succeed!
But of course they got the answer they were looking for because the Levite is a hireling and not a man of God who is in communion with God nor hears from God.

Verses 7-10

The Danites saw a mirage, something that wasn’t true, but they wanted it anyway, even though God had already given them something better. They wanted what someone else had built and worked for. They wanted someone else’e dream.
Exodus 20:17 ESV
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
It is true that the Sidonians were on the list of people that God told the Israelites to drive out, but this was not their place, their land, nor their destiny give to them by God.

Verses 11-13

Guzik makes a good point when he writes...
Judges 4. They Assemble an Army of 600 to Take Possession of Laish (11–13)

Curiously, they assembled an army of 600 men to fight for the city of Laish in the land of the tribe of Ephraim; yet they could not fight for the land of their own tribal allotment. For some reason (to them and often to us) a distant battle seemed easier than a close battle.

Oh hey it’s Micah’s house again with the young Levite idol worshipping priest.

Verses 14-18

That’s a weird thing for religious folks to do? It’s kinda like going to a hotel when the cleaning crew has the doors unlocked and stealing all the Gideon’s Bibles out of the dresser drawers.
Or maybe a bit more like someone breaking into the church to steal my teaching Bible, microphone, notes, and the communion set.
On the one hand they are crooks and criminals and on the other their theft is so that they can be religious.
It reminds me of what Paul warned Timothy the last days would be like...
2 Timothy 3:1–9 ESV
1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

Verses 19-21

And, there is the promotion the Levite had been dreaming of.
little ones in front - setting a rear guard for when Micah would come...

Verses 22-24

The gods I made...
If you gotta make your gods, you will find yourself having to keep track of them too...
Aren’t you glad we serve the God who made us and keeps us?
Also his man made priest is gone. What a sad day for Micah.
Aren’t you glad we have Jesus Christ as our High Priest? Unlike the wishy washy Levite for hire, Jesus is the one described like this in the book of Hebrews...
Hebrews 7:25–26 ESV
25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.
Hebrews 13:8 ESV
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Verses 25-26

Ouch! The man who once had prestige as one who made himself to be a spiritual guru with false idols and a hireling for a priest, is now left lonely, weak, and humiliated.
Think of what a man with that kind of zeal could accomplish if he had just served the true and living God to begin with. But it is no surprise given the fact his home had a mother who cursed and cussed in one sentence and gave praise and blessing in the next. No wonder Micah was the kind of man he was.

Verses 27-29

Verses 30-31

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