Judges 18:1-6

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 12, 2017 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“In those days Israel had no king.
And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking a place of their own where they might settle, because they had not yet come into an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. So the Danites sent five of their leading men from Zorah and Eshtaol to spy out the land and explore it. These men represented all the Danites. They told them, 'Go, explore the land.' So they entered the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah, where they spent the night. When they were near Micah’s house, they recognized the voice of the young Levite; so they turned in there and asked him, 'Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? Why are you here?'
He told them what Micah had done for him, and said, 'He has hired me and I am his priest.'
Then they said to him, 'Please inquire of God to learn whether our journey will be successful.'
The priest answered them, 'Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord’s approval.'” (Judges 18:1-6)

This passage starts out with the phrase, “In those days Israel had no king.” This phrase occurs 4 times in the chapters of Judges 17-21. This shows how much Israel wanted a king to bring the nation back to morality, since it had gone so far downhill.

This passage focuses on the tribe of Dan. All of the tribes were supposed to have their own land (except the Levites who served as priests throughout the nation), so why didn’t Dan? Back in Judges 1:34-35, the Amorites had confined them to the hill country. They were stuck between the Amorites, Philistines, and their fellow Israelite tribe of Judah. They had land there as given to them by God, but they didn’t like to be stuck like that. They wanted something better! This showed their lack of trust in God, that they wanted to have something more than what God had provided for them.

So the tribe of Dan sent spies to search out a better place for them to live. Those spies ran into the Levite living in Micah’s house. The Levite’s accent likely caught their attention, since he was from Judea. They were surprised to find a Levite in that area.

The Danite spies assume that this Levite is a priest for the one true God, so they inquire to him about their journey. They had no idea that he was the priest for idol worship. It’s likely that the Levite was wearing the ephod while making their request, since ephods were transitioning from use in worship of God to worship of idols. We don’t know if the priest’s response is really from God or not, but it at least appears favorable for the spies.

This lack of a king in Israel was causing all sorts of unrest and ungodly things to happen. The people of Dan didn’t trust God for His provision of their land. The spies didn’t know if they were doing the right thing or not. Idol worship was happening. The spies didn’t seem to care whether their answer really came from God or not. If Israel as a nation had been truly focused on God and not entrenched in the immorality of idol worship as well, they would have had clear answers and trust on all of these matters.

Where in your life are you losing focus on God? In Proverbs 3:5-6, we’re commanded, “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in ALL your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (caps mine). We’re not supposed to trust in God with only that part of our lives that attends church on Sunday mornings, but with ALL our heart - that means in ALL areas of our lives. It’s so easy to lose focus on God or not be willing to put our trust in Him for everything in our lives, since we like to control things (or try to) ourselves. Look to God for provision in every aspect of your life, and He will provide.

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