Summary: A study of the book of Judges chapter 17

Judges 17: 1 – 13

The Hireling

Now there was a man from the mountains of Ephraim, whose name was Micah. 2 And he said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you, and on which you put a curse, even saying it in my ears—here is the silver with me; I took it.” And his mother said, “May you be blessed by the LORD, my son!” 3 So when he had returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, “I had wholly dedicated the silver from my hand to the LORD for my son, to make a carved image and a molded image; now therefore, I will return it to you.” 4 Thus he returned the silver to his mother. Then his mother took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to the silversmith, and he made it into a carved image and a molded image; and they were in the house of Micah. 5 The man Micah had a shrine, and made an ephod and household idols; and he consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest. 6 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. 7 Now there was a young man from Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah; he was a Levite, and was staying there. 8 The man departed from the city of Bethlehem in Judah to stay wherever he could find a place. Then he came to the mountains of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, as he journeyed. 9 And Micah said to him, “Where do you come from?” So he said to him, “I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, and I am on my way to find a place to stay.” 10 Micah said to him, “Dwell with me, and be a father and a priest to me, and I will give you ten shekels of silver per year, a suit of clothes, and your sustenance.” So the Levite went in. 11 Then the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man became like one of his sons to him. 12 So Micah consecrated the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and lived in the house of Micah. 13 Then Micah said, “Now I know that the LORD will be good to me, since I have a Levite as priest!”

Here is a question for you all to consider, ‘Is your Pastor a hireling? Well, if he has to be picked by a board of elders then he is one. Why, because he needs to be under their thumb, not Jehovah Elyon’s, The Lord Most High. How can one be answerable to Adoni Yahweh while he is answerable to a board. Now, I can already hear the comment about needing ‘accountability’. That is true and that is exactly what a board is suppose to do. If the board sees something sinful in a Pastor, then they should investigate and if true, remove that Pastor from leading the flock. It is plain and simple folks.

I bring this subject up because this in a way is what we are going to see in today’s Scripture. Our Precious Holy Spirit is going to identify an incident in order to demonstrate the sad state of Israel during this time. Its theme is ‘in those days there was no king in Israel’. It does not just mean that this was before the time when there was a king in Israel, it also makes clear that the situations came about because they ignored Yahweh their true King. They had neither the one nor the other. They ignored and refused to acknowledge He Who was King over them and that was why in the end Yahweh would reluctantly give them an earthly king.

The giving of this earthly king was in itself an indication of their failure. God’s ideal for them was that He should be King, and this principle continued and was recognized for some time in that the first kings were called ‘nagid’ (war leader). Thus the writer supported the kingship, but only on the basis that because of the failure of Israel to fully respond to their King they had to make do with second best. It was not God’s ideal. It resulted from men’s faithlessness. Judges was thus an apology for kings in both senses of the word.

This rejection of Yahweh as King is made very apparent in this section of the book of Judges. We will see that this incident and the incident following emphasize that The Great Holy God Yahweh’s commandments were being spurned and ignored. The first majors on the breaking of the sixth and ninth commandments, ‘you shall not steal’ and ‘you shall not covet’, the second on the seventh and eighth commandments ‘you shall not murder’ and ‘you shall not commit adultery’. Furthermore in the first incident the apostasy of Israel is emphasized in the setting up of a rival Sanctuary at Laish by the half-tribe of Dan, and that by a direct descendant of Moses!

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