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Read Judges 17

Micah’s Idols

17 Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse—I have that silver with me; I took it.”

Then his mother said, “The Lord bless you, my son!”

When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, “I solemnly consecrate my silver to the Lord for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you.”

So after he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who used them to make the idol. And it was put in Micah’s house.

Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest. In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah, left that town in search of some other place to stay. On his way he came to Micah’s house in the hill country of Ephraim.

Micah asked him, “Where are you from?”

“I’m a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah,” he said, “and I’m looking for a place to stay.”

10 Then Micah said to him, “Live with me and be my father and priest, and I’ll give you ten shekels of silver a year, your clothes and your food.” 11 So the Levite agreed to live with him, and the young man became like one of his sons to him. 12 Then Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in his house. 13 And Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest.”

Go Deeper

In this chapter, what Micah is doing is creating an idol. This is in violation of the second commandment. He not only was creating an image of God to worship, but he was creating his own image of God. Micah lost track of the fact that he was created in God’s image, not vice versa. God is who God is. God is not who we make God to be. Our own images of God limit Him to a human concept, not the eternal concept He is. In Exodus we read that God describes Himself as, “I am that I am.” In part, this is because there is no possible description or one-word statement to emulate all that God is.

So often we paint our own image of who God is. We paint Him according to our circumstance. Additionally, so often we paint the image of God and use descriptions of what He isn’t. We place Him as not good, or not all knowing, or not gracious. We see the circumstance in our life and let it describe God. We don’t remember who God actually is. He is holy, just, gracious, faithful, provider, kind, and so much more. He is greater than any image we could place on Him.

Remembering that God is so much greater than who we make Him to be will change everything about us. When we fully understand that God is who He says He is and not just who we say He is, everything changes about us and our relationship with God. We can ask the big things, remember who holds us, and above all, remember that our sin isn’t too much for Him. We have to remind ourselves of the character of God and not limit Him to our own image. We serve the God who does the impossible and making Him less is insulting.

He is the only one who saves us from our sins- the small and the big. God has handled the payment of sin. This was not just a saving for Micah and the Israelites who “simply couldn’t get it right,” but for all of us.  The cross was and is and forever will be for the gossip we fall into, the little white lies we tell, the pornography addiction, and whatever it is for you. Through it all, God stands as who He says He is. He doesn’t change.


  1. How have you painted your own image of God? Is this right?
  2. What are the characteristics of God that are true of Him that comfort you in the trials?
  3. Does your prayer life accurately reflect who God is? Do you believe He is the God of the impossible?

Pray This

Heavenly Father, 

You are good. You are who you say you are. You are so much more than what I can comprehend. You, Lord, are a God of the impossible. Thank you for being above all and above my understanding of good. Lord, thank you for being outside of my image of who you are. Lord, I want to praise you for being a big God.

In Jesus’ name,


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3 thoughts on “Judges 17”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    “In those days Israel had no king, so the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes”(v6). Anytime I read these words in scripture it signifies a moral decay within that cannot end well! This is a scary place to be as they (and we can) put our own selfish interests above God’s commands. Human nature hasn’t changed over time and we are allowed a free will to chose or reject God’s ways. His Word clearly displays the blueprint for right living, and we must draw close to Him to be strengthened to take up our cross and follow Him, instead of our sinful, fleshly desires. In the words of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” I confess:

    I am weak but Thou art strong
    Jesus keep me from all wrong
    I’ll be satisfied as long
    As I walk, let me walk close to Thee

    Just a closer walk with Thee
    Grant it, Jesus is my plea
    Daily walking close to Thee
    Let it be, dear Lord, let it be

  2. What I see is that we are good at putting God in a box. We take Him out when and if we need Him but otherwise He is on a shelf or an afterthought. Only in times of disaster, disease or distress do we call out or on Him. I had a death experience almost 4years ago. I died dead. My family was told I would not have brain function or be functional most likely due to being dead for too long. BUT GOD!!! So i have another opportunity with life and want to shout it from the rooftop how spectacular my God is and yet somehow I had to also again dust that “box” off. Since we have been gathering together with a life group and being more involved with believers my “box” is open and overflowing with my God. He is walking hand and hand with me through this journey.

    God I so overwhelmed with how You love me. I am so thankful for another opportunity to keep that box open with You as the focus of all, completely all, of my life. God when I lose focus, thank You for helping me adjust my gaze back to You!!!! In Jesus name amen. Woohoo!!!!

  3. I found it embarrassing to read into the life of Micah and his widowed, rich mother. There were some disturbing parenting traits with both parties that seemed to have became a generational curse all the way to his sons. It was very hard to find good in Micah through this scripture. The only good I found was he gave back every shekel he stole from his mother, and that he did have guilt by the means of trying to make it right with God. Although we see that Micah was lost–way lost. So lost he thought he could “buy” a Levite and ordain him to a priest as his property to impress others and make-up for what he did. ( A Levite who shamed the priesthood himself by not redirecting Micah). Money and power. The fall of so many. These were the two worst idols in Micah’s life I believe.
    The parable of the Tenants came to mind when reading this story. How Micah had no need for a profession- to work- because his mother rewarded him, and how he recklessly spent his inheritance thinking he was doing right to God.

    If you haven’t listened to the podcast “Becoming Something” from Monday, take a listen. They touched upon the importance of work, and how we were created to work and give God glory in all things He has blessed us with.

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