17.1 The book of Judges is unique in this section of the remaining chapters. These five chapters are an appendix, a summation, and an overview of the times. They reveal the core of the people in this era, and reveal it’s subsequent consequences. Things start here that take a thousand years to eradicate. The events in this book are difficult to place on a timeline. Some postulate they are in sequence. Another view places them in geographical settings, beginning in the north with Deborah, moving to the center with Gideon, then the east with Jephthah, and finally the west with Samson. None of the judges ruled over the entire 12 tribes, all of them were regional at best. The major theme is there was no king in those days and every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Ultimately this was disastrous. In the mix of failure and idolatry there were those who never compromised. Boaz in the book of Ruth, is an example of a faithful man in the midst of wholesale departure from truth. Spiritual compromise always leads to moral corruption. 

17.2-13 the genesis of idolatry. This introduces us to the DNA of idolatry. How did a people with such a magnificent beginning end up being entangled with idols for a thousand years? The introduction of image worship, and the final story of Israel warring against each other, are the two major points in these last five chapters. Woven into these are the tribe of Dan moving from it’s inheritance in the south to the north. Micah attempts to put a religious spin on his idolatrous image by inviting a Levite to be his priest. This proves to ultimately be the most damning part of Israel’s idolatry. Israel tried to blend her religion with other religions. This is always more reprehensible in the eyes of God. The wandering Levite gets hired as a personal priest to Micah. This is a complete reversal in every way of the purpose of the tribe of Levi. The tribe of Levi was to serve the entire nation as priests, and their inheritance of tithe and offering supported them. The spirit of God is writing for all future generations to see the result of man made religion. The new Testament speaks of pure religion in James 1.27. It uses the term undefiled. The universal failure of man is always manifested in his attempt to improve on what God has set in place. The result? Spoiled, defiled, religion. It reeks of a single drop of poison in a fresh clear glass of water. James says this kind of religion is vain, empty and profitless. This type of religion produces what occurs in the next chapters of Judges. Mayhem, murder and molestation rule the land.

Thanks for reading today….