Micah Makes a Pagan Shrine

The idols my heart adores are all those things which I demand for joy and significance. A well known pastor in New York tells a wonderful story about a time when he discovered this application in his own life. He came home one Wednesday evening (after a board meeting) whistling w … More


We have now completed the history of the Judges. This portion of scripture gives us a full picture of what it was like to live in a day of moral and political disorder before there was a king in Israel (v. 6). We find here a sharp contrast between Samson and his mother and Micah and his mother.

Micah was regarded as a religious man. He had “an house of gods” (v. 5). Yet he stole a huge sum of money from his mother, only to return it without any explanation (vv. 1-2). His mother had theoretically dedicated this money to the Lord but she did not hesitate to give a sizable portion of it for the fabrication of idolatrous images (v 3). Little did she seem to realize that the living God will not share His honor with any man or idol.

Micah then set up a little pagan idol in his home and designated one of his sons as head of his shrine (vv. 4-5). Probably similar things were done in other parts of Israel as it says “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (v. 6). It is really a shameful thing to permit our lives to be divided between the Lord God and idols.


It would be good for me to ask each person in my family to give their definition of an idol. Hopefully most of them will come up with the idea that an idol is anything that comes between them and the Lord. An idol can be a toy, a car, a person or almost anything. Then I need to share with them how easy it is for me to have an idol and how I need to be careful not to allow idols in my life.

Judges 17:1-6 (English Standard Version)

There was a man of the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Micah. And he said to his mother, "The 1,100 pieces of silver that were taken from you, about which you uttered a curse, and also spoke it in my ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it." And his mother said, "Blessed be my son by the LORD." And he restored the 1,100 pieces of silver to his mother. And his mother said, "I dedicate the silver to the LORD from my hand for my son, to make a carved image and a metal image. Now therefore I will restore it to you." So when he restored the money to his mother, his mother took 200 pieces of silver and gave it to the silversmith, who made it into a carved image and a metal image. And it was in the house of Micah. And the man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and household gods, and ordained one of his sons, who became his priest. In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

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