I. You cannot serve the LORD and idols (v.1-6)
II. You cannot trust Jesus and yourself (v.7-13)
III. You cannot love the LORD and money (17:10-11, 18:4-6, 18-20, Matthew 6:24)
IV. If you serve idols or trust yourself or love money, the temporary results will be either 1) empty hands or 2) enslavement. The eternal results will be destruction (ch.18, Philippians 3:18-19)
- Chapter 17 begins showing the depths of Israel’s apostasy. The first section, Judges 17:1–18:31, is an example of their religious corruption. Read verses 1-5. What did Micah confess to his mother? How did his mother respond? What did she do with the silver and who did she dedicate it to? What did Micah do with the carved image? How is this reminiscent of Exodus 32:1-10? How does Exodus 20:4 reveal the foolishness of Micah and his mother? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?
- Read verses 6-13. How should verse 6 make us long for Jesus? Further evidence is shown here of Israel’s religious corruption. This time it is not a family in general, but a Levite in particular. Why did the Levite become “content to dwell with the man”? Were priests meant to be private servants of families of public servants of the people? What did Micah think would happen now that he had a Levite as his very own priest, according to verse 13?
- After showing the religious corruption of a family (Micah and his mother) and of a Levite, the narrative now turns to showing the religious corruption of an entire tribe, the Danites. Read verses 1-6. Why were the five Danites spying out and exploring the land? Where was the Danites allotted territory according to Joshua 19:40-47? How does Judges 1:34-35 help us understand why they did not possess an inheritance? Where did they end up finding lodging? What did they ask the Levite to do? Does anything in the text say that the Levite actually inquired of the LORD? How does Jeremiah 10:21 shed light on the stupidity of this kind of promise? What does Jeremiah 10:21 say the results of such stupidity would be?
- Read verses 7-21. What did the Danites find when they scouted the land of Laish and how did they respond? How should they have responded? What did they end up doing to Micah and the Levite? How did the Levite respond? What else stands out to you in these verses and why?