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In Case You Missed It -- Judges 17-18, Psalm 145

Micah and his mother have a very strange interaction. We would think it odd for a mother to be pleased with her son simply for returning silver he had stolen, but that is exactly how she responds. She even takes more than a tithe of that silver to construct an idol for Micah to worship. The following line concerning Micah’s idolatry fittingly captures one of Judges’s themes: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 17:6). Whenever some variation of this line appears throughout the rest of the book, we should read it as brief reflection on the evil depicted. For the writer of Judges, there is clear connection between Israel’s lawlessness in these days and the lack of a godly king to lead Israel to follow God. The underlying teaching is that Israel fails to obey the covenant with YHWH because it lacks a king to prevent such wanton evil. Whether it turns it out be true that kings will guard Israel from evil is yet to be seen. What is certain is that the age of judges has led to continual moral disintegration.

Jeremiah Vaught