Judges 17 Commentary
We should not be fooled by the lip service to the name of the LORD by the characters in this chapter. They have clearly forgotten the first two Commandments. We have encountered this kind before: people having a very vague picture of worship but still proceeding with their worship. The worship of the creator God has finely and delicately defined instructions. Any violation is fatally punished. Ignorance is no defense.
So what we have in this chapter is man’s way of worshiping God in direct violation of the set standards. So Micah builds a shrine and goes ahead and installs one of his own sons as a priest. The fact that Micah thinks of the young Levite from Judah as a more suitable candidate means that Micah knows something about the law concerning the acceptable practices in the worship of the LORD.
Micah said, “Now I know that the LORD will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest.” We have paganism written all over Micah’s practices. The mention of the name of the LORD and the supposedly good intentions of his practices cannot stand in defense of a direct violation of the Commandments of the LORD.
What is the shape of our worship and who shaped it? Micah doesn’t seem to have bothered too much about it. But we should be concerned. A God we manufacture with the tools of our imagination and model according to our experiences and observations; a God we define by our practices; a God we feed and carry around by our ambitions likes and dislikes; such a God doesn’t exist. If we have learned anything from the scripture, it is this: that the LORD holds His own and defines how man is to offer worship. And the Ten Commandments are a complete list given in the simplest of languages for the simplest of us. And when measured against the Ten Commandments, Micah falls way too short. He is a very bad example of religion and provides a good case study for our own.
More resources visit http://www.lovingscripture.com