Clueless–in the Bible (Judges 17-18)

Sumerian Ceramic Idol Figure w/ TL sold at auction on 30th August |  Bidsquare

Every now and then, the Bible tells us a story that makes us raise our eyebrows and say “What???”

Judges 17 tells of a man of Ephraim who steals a great sum of silver from his mother, then gives it back; and they’re both so happy, they decide together to use some of the silver to create a molten idol. So much for the Second Commandment.

Next, they hire a Levite to be the priest for their shelf-full of idols. The Levites were entrusted with God’s word. There’s no hint that anybody involved in this transaction took that seriously.

In Judges 18, along comes an army of Danites looking for new land. They steal the silver idol and for good measure make off with the hired Levite, too: he’s looking to move up in the world. Once they get to where they’re going, they set up the silver idol as a god that they can worship, and the bent Levite settles in as their priest.

Dig the last verse of Chapter 17:

“Then said Micah [the idiot who stole the silver and set up the idol in the first place], Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.”

Wow. Even in this present age, spiritually polluted beyond anything many of us thought possible, you can’t beat that for sheer cluelessness!

He steals from his mother. They set up an idol, to worship it. They find a corrupt Levite who doesn’t know the Ten Commandments, or just completely disregards them. And “the LORD will do me good”??? Really?

Churches, take warning. This bell tolls for thee.


6 comments on “Clueless–in the Bible (Judges 17-18)

  1. One mistake that many have made is to conclude that ancient Israel worshipped properly. It was more a case of continual flux. They strayed, then they came back, only to stray again … rinse and repeat.

    They had the Law, but it was not in their hearts. Some of it was lack of faith, while perhaps selfishness was another root cause. Even though Israel was afforded many advantages do to the Law, there were people in Israel whom envied the people of other nations.

    After being released from Babylonian captivity, some chose to go to Egypt, where they ceased to exist as an identifiable group. Imagine that! The True God had parted an ocean and destroyed the greatest army on earth to deliver them out of Egypt, yet some wanted to go back to that. What folly.

    An idolatrous Levite is truly a shameful thing. The fool felt that a human (the Levite) would obligate God to bless him. Sadly, I see the same thing happening in our day, as people cling to mainstream churches that have become apostate, feeling that somehow this affiliation will save them. Churches and church leaders don’t save anyone. Only Jesus can do that.

    1. Archaeology suggests that **after** the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon, little household idols were very much less common than they used to be.

    2. They did seem to have learned that lesson. They were warned more than adequately before God let the Babylonians have their way. However, the returned Israelites didn’t do all that well in other areas. By Jesus’ time, the Law was obscured by tradition and oral law, which amounted to human opinions of what was right and wrong. I’m in no way anti Israel, but the track record of the nation was not all that good.

  2. Often as I read the Bible (and I’m currently reading some of Jeremiah and 2 Kings {I have a chronological Bible}), I feel as if I’m reading something that could be straight out of today’s newspapers. The disregard for the Lord God and everyone doing what they feel like doing no matter if it’s right or wrong……sounds like today.

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