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The False Religion of Dan

INTRODUCTION: In this lesson, a false religion is born. It is born of greed and opportunism. It mixes some elements of true religion with rank idolatry. It is a malady of those who have left the true teachings of the word far behind. God’s people always need to beware of the mixing of truth and error.

  1. MICAH MAKES A HOUSE OF GODS (Judges 17:1-6)
    1. Micah Restores the Stolen Money (Judges 17:1-2).
      1. He lives in mount Ephraim (Judges 17:1).
      2. He had stolen 1100 shekels of silver (Judges 17:2; compare Judges 16:5). To understand the value of this silver, consider that the Levite agrees to ten shekels of silver a year as his salary (Judges 17:10).
      3. His mother had cursed concerning the theft (Judges 17:2).
      4. He admits his theft to his mother (Judges 17:2).
      5. He receives a blessing from his mother (Judges 17:2). As a rule, curses in the Old Testament cannot be removed by a blessing (Genesis 27:33-35).
    2. Micahs Mother Makes Images (Judges 17:3-4).
      1. His mother had dedicated the silver to the Lord (Judges 17:3).
      2. She offers to give it unto Micah (Judges 17:3).
      3. Micah insists on restoring the money (Judges 17:4).
      4. His mother makes two images with 200 shekels (Judges 17:4). What happened to the other 900 shekels?
        1. A graven image (carved out of wood, etc.)
        2. A molten image (formed from molten metal)
    3. Micah Establishes a False Religion (Judges 17:5-6).
      1. He makes a house of gods (Judges 17:5).
      2. He makes an ephod (Judges 17:5).
      3. He makes teraphim (Judges 17:5); human-shaped images, often quite small.
      4. He makes a priest of one of his sons (Judges 17:5).
      5. He does right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6).
  2. MICAH TAKES A LEVITE AS PRIEST (Judges 17:7-13)
    1. A Levite Seeks a Place (Judges 17:7-8).
      1. He wanders from Bethlehem-judah (Judges 17:7).
      2. He seeks to find a place (Judges 17:8).
      3. He journeys to mount Ephraim (Judges 17:8).
    2. Micah Makes the Levite an Offer (Judges 17:9-10).
      1. Micah questions the Levite (Judges 17:9).
      2. Micah offers him a position (Judges 17:10).
        1. A place to dwell
        2. A position as father and priest (see Matthew 23:9)
        3. An income of ten shekels of silver a year
        4. A suit of apparel
        5. A supply of food
    3. The Levite Stays with Micah (Judges 17:11-13).
      1. The Levite accepts the offer (Judges 17:11).
      2. Micah consecrates him as priest (Judges 17:12).
      3. Micah expects the Lord to bless his choice (Judges 17:13); similar to Israel expecting victory because they brought out the ark of God (1 Samuel 4:3-7).
    1. They Send Spies to the North (Judges 18:1-2).
      1. To seek a new inheritance (Judges 18:1)
      2. Five men of valor (Judges 18:2)
      3. To the house of Micah (Judges 18:2)
    2. The Spies Are Blessed by Micahs Priest (Judges 18:3-6).
      1. They recognize the voice of the Levite (Judges 18:3).
      2. The Levite explains his position (Judges 18:3-4).
      3. The Danites ask counsel of the Levite (Judges 18:5).
      4. The Levite sends them in peace (Judges 18:6).
    3. The Spies Discover the City of Laish (Judges 18:7-10).
      1. They find the quiet people of Laish (Judges 18:7).
      2. They bring good report to their brethren (Judges 18:8-10).
  4. THE DANITES STEAL MICAHS GODS (Judges 18:11-26)
    1. They Come to Mount Ephraim (Judges 18:11-13).
      1. With 600 men of war (Judges 18:11)
      2. They pitch in Kirjath-jearim (Judges 18:12).
      3. They come to the house of Micah (Judges 18:13).
    2. They Take the Gods of Micah (Judges 18:14-18).
      1. The allure of Micahs gods (Judges 18:14)
      2. They approach the house of the Levite (Judges 18:15-16).
      3. They steal the gods of Micah (Judges 18:17-18).
    3. They Take the Levite To Be Their Priest (Judges 18:19-21).
      1. They offer the Levite a better deal (Judges 18:19).
      2. The Levite goes with them (Judges 18:20).
      3. They put their children and cattle in safety (Judges 18:21).
    4. They Repel Micah with Threats (Judges 18:22-26).
      1. Micah pursues after the Danites (Judges 18:22).
      2. Micah accuses them of stealing his gods (Judges 18:23-24).
      3. The Danites threaten Micah and his family (Judges 18:25).
      4. Micah fails to recover his gods (Judges 18:26).
    1. They Defeated the City of Laish (Judges 18:27).
      1. They found Laish quiet and secure.
      2. They smote the city with the sword and burned it with fire.
    2. They Built the City of Dan (Judges 18:28-29).
      1. They found it a place of safety (Judges 18:28).
      2. They built a city and gave it the name Dan (Judges 18:28-29).
    3. They Set Up the Graven Image (Judges 18:30-31).
      1. They set up the image and establish Jonathans priesthood (Judges 18:30).
      2. They rival the true tabernacle in Shiloh (Judges 18:31; 1 Samuel 1:9).

CONCLUSION: The children of Israel continue to mix pure religion with idolatry. They have “a form of godliness,” (2 Timothy 3:5) but deny the power thereof.