So when he returned the money to his mother, his mother took two hundred pieces of silver, and gave it to the silversmith, who made it into an idol of cast metal; and it was in the house of Micah. This man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and teraphim, and installed one of his sons, who became his priest. In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes. Judges 17: 4-6 NRSV
If you don't have a king, then you don't have anyone to enforce the laws.
Before this book, reading Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua, you get the feeling that God is supposed to be their true king. That God has given The Law. How does God enforce that law? By promising all sorts of good things for God's people if they follow those commandments and all sorts of bad things if they don't.
We have clearly seen what bad things can happen if The Law is not followed. We are beginning another story of such things. A son secretly steals silver from his mother who then curses the one who stole it. Then, when he returns the money and admits his guilt, she blesses him and gives him part of the silver so that he can make an idol of it! He takes that idol and sets up his own household god, complete with priest.
They are doing things that seem right in their own eyes but not in God's eyes. I am quick to point out all the faults of Micah and his mother, but how many times have I done things my own way rather than God's way? How often do I do things that seem right in my own eyes? What household gods are holding sway in my own life?
God, you have given us The Way. But we keep doing it our way. Forgive us, we pray. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Question of the day: What are you doing right now that seems right in your own eyes but on closer examination is not right in God's eyes?
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims