Judges 16 is perhaps one of the most well known Old Testament narratives. Maybe it is because it has the elements of a modern day blockbuster, or because we learn it (or most of it) at such a young age. Either way, most are familiar with Samson’s downfall and his death. What we are not as familiar with are the two chapters (17-18) that come after the chronicle of Samson. Chapters 17 and 18 recount the story of Micah, the Levite, and the Danites. This might sound like the opening line of a joke, but there are many lessons to gain from the somewhat perplexing account. First, we need to understand that this is not the prophet Micah who comes hundreds of years later to warn Judah of Jerusalem’s impending destruction. This Micah stole silver from his mother. When he returned it to her, she was joyous and took 200 pieces of it to the silversmith to make an idol. Immediately red flags go up (Exodus 20:3-4—No other gods…no graven images… ) when we start reading this narrative. After reading this story, here are a few lessons to learn:
1. You have to have an accurate faith. Micah hired his own priest, built a shrine, made an ephod, etc., but none of these actions were based on God’s teaching (Romans 10:17).
2. Don’t ask for advice from someone who will tell you what you want to hear. Micah’s priest gave the people of Dan a blessing, but I do not believe it was from the Lord. Because of this bad advice, their journey led to the destruction of a peaceful town.
3. Your actions have consequences, which don’t affect just you. Micah’s idol was worshipped for many generations after him (18:30-31). His decisions did not just affect himself, but many of the tribe of Dan for generations to come.