Judges Chapters 17 & 18


Intro: For 16 Chapters of the book of Judges we have seen the people of Israel go around & around in the same downward spiral.

A)Sin / Suffer under an oppressor – they would then grow tired & cry out to the Lord – He would raise up a deliverer – Delivered - Peace


B) The Deliverer would die – and the cycle would repeat all over again


C) Those Chapters are a sad commentary on the people of Israel

because no matter how often God warned them or what miraculous intervention he made on their behalf

1) they refused to learn the lesson of whole hearted obedience to God


C) In the first 16 Chapters the focus was on the Judges that God raised up 

1) In the last 5 Chapters the emphasis changes – two stories are recounted that are designed to give us insight into the moral conditions of the times


D) The two stories are related for a very specific reason: they teach us what happens when people  turn away from the authority of God’s word to religious and moral anarchy.


E) V.6 really sums up the Problem of the people of Israel- 6 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.


The Book of Judges is really a good case study in the Dangers of Relativism -  The Dangers of the Fluctuating standards of man

A)The danger of moving away from the Standards found in God’s word concerning what He calls Good & Evil – do follow what seems right to us


B) No absolutes – no standardsThat is what was happening w/ Israel - They were living in a way that seemed right in their own eyes

1)And  they assumed that it must have been right in God’s eyes but nothing could have been further from the truth


C) That is what makes Judges so practical to Christians living in the 21st century

1) We too live in a society where the standards are becoming blurred – where there are no absolutes & where relativism is the buzz word.


D) These two stories that conclude the book of Judges should cause us to consider where we are at as a culture

1) And  where we are headed if we continue down this road of self seeking & self direction – it will lead to our ruin.


E)These two stories are a sad & sobering account of what happens when men turn from the Lord & his word to follow their own ways.

1) These two stories reveal to us  that Religious Apostasy leads directly to moral confusion.       

                                                 RD v. 1-6


The name Micah means “Who is like Jehovah?” but the man certainly didn’t live to honor the Lord.

A)He steals 1,100 pieces of silver from his  own mother { this was huge some since 10 shekels was the normal wage for a year. –


B) Well the mom pronounced a curse on the thief, not knowing that she was cursing her own son.

1)Now  It was the fear of the curse, not the fear of the Lord, that motivated Micah to confess his crime and restore the money.


C)Then the mother joyfully neutralized the curse by blessing her son. / her logic -He might be a thief but at least he is an honest thief.

1) In gratitude for the return of her money, she dedicated part of the silver to the Lord and made an idol out of it.


D)Her son added the new idol to his “god collection” in his house, a “shrine” cared for by one of his sons whom Micah had consecrated as priest.



Have you ever seen a family more spiritually and morally confused than this one?

A)They managed to break almost all the Ten Commandments and yet not feel the least bit guilty before the Lord!


B) Micah isn’t honoring his mom / he lies / he steals / he is an idolater  & he selected on of his son’s to be a priest


C) Certainly Micah knew that the Lord had appointed the family of Aaron to be the only priests in Israel;

1) and if anybody outside Aaron’s family served as priests, they were to be killed (Num. 3:10).


Micah and his family are a picture of that which was a common problem in Israel in those days. – Self made religion /

A) Micah was seeking to worship the true and living God – but doing so his own way !!!!


B) V.4 Micah first sets up a shrine - sort of a small temple, a place where others would come and worship these idols.

1) Micah imitates the worship at the true Tabernacle of God, by making an ephod - a specific garment worn by priests.


C) In addition to this first idol, Micah also made household idols - gods that were worshipped in hopes of gaining prosperity & guidance.


D) Finally, Micah establishes a priesthood among his sons; he has

done everything he can to make a rival religion in Israel.

1) But The purpose of the shrine, the beautiful ephod, the attractive idols, and an established priesthood was to serve and please man, not God –



People do that today: They create an idea in their minds of what God is like but the image they have created is only partially Biblical if at all

A)Loving God – so he doesn’t Judge / Doesn’t condemn sin

B) Or I want a Righteous God – He hates sinners / abortionist / Homos / He is a god who is angry all the time

1) That image fails to take into consideration that God hates sin / but loves the sinner.


C) Then there is the all accepting God – Broad minded – accepts all faiths and ways that people want to make up for receiving Him

1) One person’s “higher power” is a plant / another’s is his surf  board – another’s is Jesus – it doesn’t matter to God. [NOT TRUE ]


Sign of the last days  2 Tim 4:1-4

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.


A)That is how the Episcopalian Church could a few weeks ago appoint an openly Homosexual Priest as Bishop of New Hampshire

1) We are going to do what is right in our own eyes – Not what the Bible says is right or true { Create our own view of God


B) No one wants to see a Bad picture of himself or herself  being circulated around – More prideful than that -  Black mail – Bong in Oregon

1) We definitely don’t want to see our picture in a place where it doesn’t belong – Wanted Poster / Obituary – when were not dead {embarrassing


C)But when we are talking about How God is to be viewed it is not an issue of Embarrassment / or Pride –

1) It is a matter of Eternal Life / or Eternal death for all of man kind

Who He is / How to Know Him / what He stands for cannot be confused


D) Because Micah and his family didn’t submit to the authority of God’s Word, their home was a place of religious and moral confusion.

1) It gets worse – RD v.7-13


Now here we see another Problem that was the result of the people doing what was right in their own eyes

A)Micah’s problem was one of Self made religion – The Levite’s problem was one of [self seeking service] – Levite for Hire


B) There is one Phrase that is repeated twice that tells us a great deal about this Levite – first mentioned in v.8 & repeated in v.9

1) The man departed from the city of Bethlehem in Judah to stay wherever he could find a place.


C) In other words he sets out from Bethlehem looking for a place to better himself


Now that is a perfectly natural ambition – except in this case it was totally contrary to the will of God

A)The man was a Levite- Levites were men who had a call of God upon their lives –


B)They were not to be opportunist – going from place to place looking for a better gig.

1) They had assigned specific cities in which to live- where they were appointed to serve the Lord


C) This Levite represents a man who refused to be satisfied with God’s arrangement for his life.

1) God had given this man an area of service and had he lived & served faithfully with in the sphere of his divine calling – the Lord would have extended his area of ministry.


D) But instead of being content with God’s appointment for his life – he sees an opportunity to better himself – 10 shekels was a good wage – took it

Problem with many in the body of Christ today: Discontent with their appointment – their Sphere of Influence { Place in the body

A)Pastors who live as hirelings – looking for the right “package”


B) Recently received a inquiry from a Willow Creek sister Church – looking for a new Pastor

1) CD – Budget – Growth - 


C) But if a person is basing his decision on those type of things – it can be a real Problem – The MAIN ISSUE IS CALLING

1) I know that I have been called to Pastor this Church – no desire or ambition to go any where else –


D) Content – knowing I am in the center of God’s will for my life.

1) Salary is not an issue - / Prestige – Janitors make more than the Pastors at this Church – Medium range of the Congregation { Calling


E) Teachers at are School – grossly under paid – doesn’t help that our school has only had 2 tuition increases in 9 yrs

1) Why do they do it ? CALLING – Called to this Church – This School – this Philosophy of Ministry.


F) But there are those in ministry who let things like Salary & benefits  be the driving force for them – BEST GIG – maybe not called there

1) Guy Pasturing a Church of 250 flourishing – moves into a situation where he is Pastoring a Church of 1200 – Floundering – Not called to that


But Pastors & School teachers are not the only ones to make that mistake – People serving in the body can do the same thing

A)They can find themselves discontent – with where God has them – they feel they deserve a different position –


B) One of Satan’s most subtle devices for sowing discord in the body of Christ is to get Christians dissatisfied with their circumstances in the area of service – How come I can’t do that -

So you have these people trying to move into places that they don’t belong – or that God hasn’t called them to –

A)Thinking that this is going to improve their Status in the Church or with a certain – group – It is service for all the wrong reasons


B) People who never even pray about being involved in certain areas of ministry because they think that it is beneath them


C)  Micah was following Self made religion / - the Levite was into

Self seeking service – the two were right for each other

1) Micah is thinking – I got a real Levite now God is really going to bless me and the Levite is thinking – this is a great gig – Nice place / good pay


D) Everyone is doing what is right in his own eyes – (Proverbs 14:12)

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.


E) When man follows his own instincts, his own inclinations, it leads to ruin. We need to follow God’s way, not our own.




Now it is important to note that v.1 doesn’t mean that the tribe of Dan was not left out in the distribution of the land –

A)Josh 19 makes it clear they were given a territory between Ephraim & Judah that stretched out to the Mediterranean Sea


B) The problem was that Dan refused to trust God by driving out the Amorites,

1) as a result of their unbelief – Judges 1:34 tells us they were forced into the hill country & forced to live in two towns


C) The tribe of Dan was left with two Choices – As a tribe they could repent for their unbelief & trust God to keep his word – go up against the Amorites

1) Or they Could look to new areas – find a more comfortable place to dwell

where the battles would be easier . – That is what they Chose

D) It wasn’t that the Danites were committed to Peace – they were dedicated to ease –

1) Why fight the Amorites when you can blitz a defenseless city like Laish

V.7 Quiet & Secure


E) So instead of taking the land that God had allotted to them – they settled for a place that was easier –

1) It was a good land – but they were not going to grow in the area of their Character being deepened because – of their want of ease!!! { ROBERT


There is a saying that we often use in our day for avoiding conflict – “taking the path of least resistance”

A)And there are those who will compromise themselves to the 10th degree because of their desire to avoid confrontation


B) Taking the path of ease – so I am not going to confront my teen age kids about what music they are listening to. Or movies watching

1) Take the path of ease – take the path of least resistance


C) I am not going to get involved in that ministry or that cause – I am not even going to pray about – it because – I am comfortable –

1) I don’t want the boat to get rocked


D) There is probably no greater danger to the Church in America than our love of ease.


E) In many ways we resemble the Church of Laodecia mentioned in Rev.3

15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.17 Because you say,'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' -- and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked -- 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

Laodecia was a Church that thought they had it all – they were rich they were self sufficient & they were comfortable

A) They had all the necessary comforts of this life – but little depth of Character or spirit


B)They were useless – They had an appearance of being together but the life of the Lord had departed long ago { Your life ?


If we would be enlarged, we must accept all that God sends us to develop and expand our spiritual life. We are so content to abide at the old level that God often has to compel us to rise higher by bringing us face to face with situations that we cannot meet without much greater measures of His grace. It is as though He had to send a tidal wave to flood the lowlands where we dwell to compel us to move into the hills beyond. God, like the mother bird, sometimes has to break up the comfortable, downy nest, letting us drop into empty space. There we must either learn to use an entirely new and higher method of support or sink into failure and loss. We must do or die, fly or fall to our destruction.


 A. B. Simpson in A Larger Christian Life. Christianity Today, Vol. 32, no. 16.


Spurgeon who said – Don’t pray for a lighter load but pray for a stronger back


B) My wife and I just returned from spending a week on the Island of Maui -

1) We had a great time – relaxing – refreshed – renewed – But as great as it was – it was a VACATION- not life – I wouldn’t want it to be life


C) Wouldn’t want to live a life – No impact – no battle – just kicking back trying to figure out – what eat / drink / what wear/ what beach


D)Jesus told his disciples don’t you worry about those things: eat, wear, live – [nations of the world do ] – you seek first the kingdom


D) Now you can read that passage in either Luke or Matthews gospel and understand that Jesus is talking about Provision –

1) My father is going to take care of you – He knows your needs – It is true it is a passage about provision – but it is more


You see when Jesus tells his disciples to seek first the kingdom – he is telling them that they were chosen for a higher calling –

A)They had a mission – on this earth to accomplish –it was the furthering of the kingdom of God –


B) Listen Church – that is our mission as well – That means we are going to have to travel on a path of resistance – trials tribulations – persecutions

1) Life of prayer & dependency upon the Lord if we are going to make it



C) Getting ready to enter into another building project – at the same  time we continue to send 100,000’s of dollars every year to the mission field

1) Not about Buildings it is about the kingdom.


D) Unless God miraculous provides we probably won’t be able to build all that we are going to want right away – But not cutting missions

1) Rapture happens and we have all this money in the bank – What good?


E) The life of ease is the shallow life – The life that is marked by depth is the life that says I am going to walk on the path God has prepared for me

1) I am not going to run from my Problems – I am going to run at them

David Vs Goliath



The Danites choose the life of ease – they ended up in a place they didn’t belong, just doing what was right in their own eyes – Happy [ Rd v14-21




A) So On their way to Laish, the army of 600 men come to take Micah’s shrine for themselves.


B)Here is a strange combination of low morality and strong religious feeling; 1) like feeling that you really want to get into God’s Word, so you steal someone’s Bible.


C)During the Los Angeles riots, a reporter came across three looters leaving a store. He asked them what they took, and the first two told him off with profanity; but the third man said, “I got some gospel music. I love Jesus!”.


D)  We also see that the Levite goes with the army from the tribe of Dan.

1) He has a better offer – his congregation is growing – one man to a whole tribe His heart was glad because he was filled with ambition;


E) he cared nothing for Micah, only for the pay and status that he might get by being the priest for a whole tribe instead of a mere family.


RDV. 22- 24  You have taken my gods – The absurdity of that statement

A) Why does Micah have to rescue his own god? Shouldn’t his god

be able to take care of himself?


B) But Micah’s god is nothing; perhaps he sensed the irony when he said, You have taken away my gods which I made.


Psa 135: 15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, The work of men's hands. 16 They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; 17 They have ears, but they do not hear; Nor is there any breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them.


C) Each of us will either worship a god of our own making, or we will worship the true God who made us.

1)But the gods we make are always less than us; it’s all a way of worshipping ourselves.

D)The foolishness of Micah’s elaborate idolatry is exposed by his

complaint, v.24 Now what more do I have?

1)His life lived after false gods made him empty; his false god didn’t bring him any lasting good.


E) The sad testimony of many today – who live for the god of self / the god of money – god of power & prestige


                               Rd v. 25-31


 Well it would seem that everything worked out just right for the tribe of Dan – They got a new place to live / Priest / idols{ Life was great!

A)See you do not always reap the harvest of your sin immediately


B) Dan paid for their sin – they paid dearly – 1st of all in the book of

1 Chronicles when  the list of tribes & families is given –

1) Dan is not even mentioned – they seem by that time to have vanished from the scene – vanished into obscurity – most likely due to their intermarriage with the Philistines


C) Dan did not take what God had given to them – they did take what God had not given to them – In the process they lost all that they had


2nd thing to note is that thousands of yrs later – John is writing in the book of Revelation Ch. 7 – Introduced to 144,000 Billy Grahams

A)12,000 from each tribe – but the tribe of Dan is missing from the list


B) They refused to follow God’s mission for them in the land of Israel – they instead chose an easy way

1) Therefore God refused to give them this special ministry of Blessing for him in the Future !!!


These Chapters warn of us the Dangers of Self made religion

Self seeking service

                  The Love of easy living !!!!