Now in those there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
— Judges 21:25
What was the condition of Israel in the time of the judges? Due to the shortage among the priests, the judges, and the prophets, the condition of the people degenerated. With all three of these groups becoming dysfunctional, the situation among God’s people went from bad to worse. Not only did the people fall into confusion and immorality, but they even began slaughtering one another within the land (Judg. 20).
Beginning with Judges 17, a series of events occurred which illustrate how poor the situation had become. A man named Micah stole some money from his mother but then returned it to her. Having dedicated the money to the Lord, she had some of it made into two images. These were set up for worship in Micah’s house. He even made an ephod (a garment for a priest), first setting up one of his own sons, and then a Levite, to act as priest! Men from the tribe of Dan then came along, stole his idols, and carried off his priest to the north country, where they established their own shrine.
Adapted from David: After God’s Heart, page 15.
Tomorrow: “The Degradation of Israel (2)”