Chaos In The Family

Judges 17:1-6

God in His wisdom established 3 institutions in society, namely, the home, human government and the worshipping community.

The Basis for Society

The home is the first because it is the basis for society. When God put Adam and eve in the Garden, he laid the foundation on which humanity is to build on – the home. When this foundation crumbles, society begins to fall apart. As the Psalmist writes, “If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)

The events described in Judges 17 took place earlier, before the rule of the Philistines. The purpose of the author for recording this incident was to show how wicked the people of Israel had become where “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). More importantly, it reveals the chaos in the home when the foundation is torn down!

Broken Commandments

Our story thus begin with a man named Micah. He had a family (v5), although nothing is said about his wife. The impression we get is that his mother lived with him and she was wealthy. Apparently, someone had stolen 1,100 shekels of silver from her and she duely pronounced a curse on the thief, not knowing that it was actually her own son. It was the fear of the curse rather than the fear of the Lord that caused Micah to confess his sin and return the money. Now, instead of reprimanding him of his evil deeds, she neutralized the curse by blessing her son! In gratitude for the returned money, she dedicated 200 pieces of the silver to the Lord by making an idol! And this idol remained at Micah’s house together with a shrine, an ephod and other gods! (v5)

Consider for a moment what this particular family had done. They had managed to break almost all of the 10 commandments and yet, not feel the least guilty before the Lord! The son first coveted the silver, stole it and then lied about his action. In doing so, he broke the fifth, eighth, ninth and tenth commandments. Then, together with mum, they violated the first 2 commandments by making an idol and worshipping it! Furthermore, due to his private shrine, he even had the audacity to ordain his own sons as priests (v5b), knowing full well that nobody outside the family of Aaron could do so

Obedience is Key

As we reflect on this simple account, the question asked is, what is the cause of the chaos within the home? The answer simply is that Micah and his family didn’t submit to the authority of God’s Word. May we learn from this mistake and seriously take the challenge to build our family altar at home by teaching our children to obey God’s commandments

Pastor Darren is the Executive Pastor in COOS. He is also the head of the Inter Generational Division which comprises of UnbanKidz (Children’s Ministry), Youth, Family Life and Family Inclusive Network or FIN (Ministry for children with special needs). He is married with 4 children.

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