Judges 17: Dangers of Defining Right and Wrong in Your Own Eyes (Moral Relativism)

Place your trust God’s Word alone for defining right and wrong1

Introduction: Judges chapter 17 marks the beginning of the final part of the book of Judges. The beginning portion of the book described the evil that plagued Israel as a whole. The middle portion of the book described the failure of the Jews to follow God’s appointed deliverers, and the failure of later deliverers to stay holy for God. The final portion of the book reveals how the Jews had become corrupted on the individual, family, priesthood, and tribal levels. Chapter 17 uses an illustration of a family to demonstrate the broader corruption within Israel. This chapter also uses the story of one Levite to illustrate the broader corruption of God’s priesthood. Although the story in chapter 17 is not dated, some believe that it occurred shortly after Joshua’s death. Like the retelling of the battle of Joshua’s nephew in the beginning of the book, some believe that this story is told out of chronological order for thematic purposes. This chapter is important and timely for society today. It illustrates at the individual, family, and church levels what happens when a country’s civil leaders, church leaders, and parents fail to exhort their citizens and children to live according to God’s standards of morality. Over time, society will take God’s mercy and grace for granted. In most cases, society will also come to adopt a “libertarian” worldview of morality. Each person will do whatever is right in their own eyes. Each person will also pick and choose between the standards that God teaches in the Bible and mankind’s standards. Just as it is today, this was how the Jews lived between the time of Joshua’s death and the establishment of the monarchy: “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” (Jdgs. 17:6). This chapter provides seven warnings of the evil that comes from living by a system of moral relativity, used by many today.

First, from Micah’s failure to repent after stealing 1,100 pieces of silver from his mother, God reveals that an evil person rebels against His Law without repenting. Second, from Micah’s mother’s misguided decision to create a graven image of God from the stolen silver, He reveals that an evil person corrupts His Holy Word. Third, from Micah’s decision to create his own personal priesthood, He reveals that an evil person corrupts worship. Fourth, from the description of each person doing what was right in his eyes, He reveals that an evil person determines his own morality. Fifth, from Micah’s bribe to a young Levite to join his counterfeit priesthood, He reveals that an evil person corrupts others who seek to serve God. Sixth, from Micah’s consecration of the Levite into his false religion, He reveals that an evil person falsely claims to act upon God’s authority. Finally, from Micah’s misguided belief that God would prosper him for corrupting a Levite priest, He reveals that an evil person is blind to His truth.

1. An Evil Person Rebels Against God’s Law Without Repenting. Judges 17:1-2.

  • Micah’s mother’s blessing after her son stole from her. The final section of the book of Judges begins with a man named Micah’s theft and return of 1,100 pieces of silver from his mother: “1 Now there was a man of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Micah. 2 He said to his mother, ‘The eleven hundred pieces of silver which were taken from you, about which you uttered a curse in my hearing, behold, the silver is with me; I took it.’ And his mother said, ‘Blessed be my son by the Lord.’” (Jdgs. 17:1-2). Micah did not deserve his mother’s blessing after stealing her silver. Instead, he deserved to be punished. He violated at least four of God’s Commandments. First, he violated the Eighth Commandment against stealing (Ex. 20:15; Dt. 5:19; Eph. 4:28). Second, he violated the Fourth Commandment by dishonoring his mother (Ex. 20:12; Dt. 5:16). Third, he violated the Third Commandment by profaning God’s holy name (Ex. 20:7; Dt. 5:11). Because believers represent God, theft dishonors His holy name: “Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.” (Prov. 30:7-9). Finally, he violated the Tenth Commandment by coveting his mother’s gold (Ex. 20:17; Dt. 5:21). The amount a silver that he took was also substantial; 1,100 pieces of silver (Jdgs. 17:2). By comparison, each of the five Philistine governors offered Delilah 1,100 pieces of silver to deceive Samson (Jdgs. 16:5). 1,100 shekels equaled more than 140 pounds or 63 kilograms of silver. Thus, Micah’s mother was extremely wealthy in her time. Micah’s sin was compounded by his failure to express any remorse or even apologize for his theft. He only returned the silver after his mother stated a curse for whoever took the money (Jdgs. 17:2). Micah’s mother’s blessing was a misguided effort to reverse her own curse upon her son. She should have first insisted that her son repent and present a trespass offering before God (Lev. 6:1-4). In the case of any type of theft, the sinner was to restore all stolen funds plus at least a fifth of the value of the stolen property as a penalty or 120% of the total (Lev. 6:5). Finally, where the sinner, as here, has no remorse, the penalty was four times the value of the theft: “He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.” (2 Sam. 12:6). Thus, Micah owed 4,400 pieces of silver as a penalty to God for his sins.

  • When you sin, repent. A person who reads this story and scoffs at Micah’s sins misses the point of this story. Like Micah, all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Ro. 3:23; Ecc. 7:20). Like Micah, you have at times broken many if not all of God’s Ten Commandments. When you sin, you must repent. If you repent, Jesus will wash away your sins. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jo. 1:9). Have you repented of your sins?

2. An Evil Person Corrupts God’s Word. Judges 17:3-4.

  • Micah’s mother’s decision to create a graven image of God from the stolen money. Micah’s mother wanted to thank God for the return of her money. Thus, she took a tithe of the 1,100 pieces of silver and gave 200 pieces to a silversmith to create a graven image of Yahweh for the family and servants to worship: “3 He then returned the eleven hundred pieces of silver to his mother, and his mother said, ‘I wholly dedicate the silver from my hand to the Lord for my son to make a graven image and a molten image; now therefore, I will return them to you.’ 4 So when he returned the silver to his mother, his mother took two hundred pieces of silver and gave them to the silversmith who made them into a graven image and a molten image, and they were in the house of Micah.” (Jdgs. 17:3-4). Sometimes even well-meaning worship of God can go astray when believers seek to create images of God. God’s Second Commandment prohibited the use of any image to depict Him: “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” (Ex. 20:4-6; Dt. 5:8-10). “You shall not make other gods besides Me; gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.” (Ex. 20:23; Lev. 19:4). “You shall make for yourself no molten gods.” (Ex. 34:17). God also prohibited the use of money obtained by unholy means from being used for temple purposes. For this reason, the priests could not accept the bribe money from Judas when he tried to give back to the treasury out of remorse following Jesus’ death (Matt. 27:6). Thus, although Micah’s mother was sincere in her worship motivations, she was sincerely misguided.

Micah created an idol for worship2

  • The Jews’ similar mistake with the golden calf. This was not the first time that the Jews’ worship violated the Second Commandment. When Aaron built the golden calf, he did not intend to create a new god. He instead tried to use a golden calf to depict Yahweh so that the people could touch and look upon the deity that delivered them from Egypt. “He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.’” (Ex. 32:4). God did not accept the well-meaning but misguided attempt to worship Him. He told Moses that the Jews’ worship of Him had become corrupted: “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them.” (Ex. 32:7). Micah’s family’s mistake also would not be the last time the Jews violated this Commandment. The Jews later made a bronze serpent to worship. In a foreshadowing of Jesus, the bronze serpent symbolized God’s power to heal those afflicted from their own sins when they looked upon it in faith (Nu. 21:8; Jo. 3:14). But the people later began offering incense (a symbol of prayer) to the symbol and not directly to God. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, King Hezekiah ordered his men to destroy this symbol of faith that had become idolatrous (2 Kgs. 18:4). Although that symbol has been expunged today from Jewish worship, it can still be seen today as the symbol used for the medical profession in many parts of the western world.

  • A person who creates physical images of God the Father is cursed under the Law. Even a well-meaning idol of God the Father will bring on a curse for those not redeemed by Jesus for breaking the Law: ‘“Cursed is the man who makes an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’” (Dt. 27:15). Even though well meaning, the Jews’ act of building the golden calf resulted in 3,000 deaths (Ex. 32:27). Hundreds of years later, King Jeroboam was also cursed when he created graven images for the people to worship: “you also have done more evil than all who were before you, and have gone and made for yourself other gods and molten images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back” (1 Kgs. 14:9).

  • Avoid all symbols or statues for prayers to the saints or Mary. If a Christian offers prayers directly to a statue of a saint, Jesus’ mother, or some other physical sign, the Christian’s sin is no different than that which King Hezekiah condemned. Jesus taught that worship should be directed to only God alone (Matt. 4:10). There is also only one mediator between man and God, Jesus Christ: “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 2:5). Thus, praying or petitioning to Mary, the saints or any other person usurps the role that God the Father has appointed exclusively to Jesus. It also most likely violates the Second Commandment.

  • Worship Jesus in spirit and truth. Although some might feel that the rules for the Second Commandment are black and white, the Bible is clear that not all religious images are prohibited. God, for example, told Moses to add cherubim figures on the curtain which separated the tent of meeting from the Holy of Holies (Ex. 26:31). Jesus also stated that because His disciples had seen him, they had seen God the Father (Jo. 14:7-9). Paul also referred to Jesus as the “image of the invisible God.” (Col. 1:15). Thus, we need not recoil simply because someone has created an image of Jesus. Where should we draw the line today? We should first note that everything God does is done for a reason. Jesus could not have come earlier than He did. The time of his exact crucifixion had been prophesied by Daniel. Moreover, the Jews had to learn of their need for a savior through their inability to comply with the law. It is also important to note why Jesus did not come later. Besides he needed to come at an exact time to fulfill Daniel’s prophecy, Jesus came at a point in history when His image could not be captured in an oil painting, a picture, or by video. We can infer from this that Jesus did not mean for us to know or worship His image. The definition of faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1). Jesus never wanted us to know if His skin was dark or light. He did not want us to know if He had dark eyes or green eyes. He did not want us to know if He had a large nose or missing teeth. Jesus also never wanted us to know if He became muscular working as a carpenter or if he was skinny. He also never wanted us to know what His hair and beard looked like. Jesus is much bigger than any image that we can create of Him. Most attempts to portray Jesus today also show Him in a more charismatic human form than He most likely had: “He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.” (Is. 53:2). Oddly, in paintings or depictions of Jesus, almost none show Him wearing phylacteries or tassels. Yet, because Jesus kept the Law, He would have worn both (Dt. 6:8, 11:18; Nu. 15:38). Jesus did not criticize those who wore them as being misguided. He instead criticized those who wore excessively long phylacteries or tassels merely to be noticed by others (Matt. 23:5). Jesus said that we should worship God the Father in His spirit form: “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, . . . true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’” (Jo. 4:21-24; Dt. 4:12-19). Because we don’t know what Jesus looked like and because most historical depictions showing Him without Jewish attire are most likely wrong, worshiping Him in spirit is also the safest way to avoid misrepresenting what He really looked like on earth.

3. An Evil Person Corrupts Worship Through Rebellion Against God. Judges 17:5.

  • Micah’s decision to create his own personal priesthood. After Micah’s mother created a graven image, Micah compounded her error by creating a shrine and an ephod to allow for sacrifices and worship with his own priesthood on his family’s property: “5 And the man Micah had a shrine and he made an ephod and household idols and consecrated one of his sons, that he might become his priest.” (Jdgs. 17:5). Gideon previously created an ephod to allow people to worship him: “27 Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah, and all Israel played the harlot with it there, so that it became a snare to Gideon and his household.” (Jdgs. 8:27). In the Bible, an ephod was meant to be a holy covering over the chest of the High Priest (Lev. 8:7; Ex. 28:4). It had 12 precious stones worn over the priest’s heart (Lev. 8:8; Ex. 28:15-20). The 12 stones represented the 12 tribes of Israel (Ex. 28:21). The purpose of the ephod was to remind the High Priest to love God’s people. Gideon perverted the ephod to have the people come and bow before him and his idols. Instead of a breast plate that showed his love for the people, it was designed to have the people show their love for him. Micah’s motivation was not to receive the worship directly for himself. Instead, he wanted to control the worship under his own terms. Both misuses of the ephod were evil, corrupted worship in God’s eyes.

  • Only the Levites were allowed to approach God’s altar in His appointed place. God previously decreed to Moses that only the priesthood through the tribe of Levi could be priests or approach His altar: “So the LORD said to Aaron, ‘You and your sons and your father's household with you shall bear the guilt in connection with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear the guilt in connection with your priesthood.”’ (Nu. 18:1). “So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons that they may keep their priesthood, but the layman who comes near shall be put to death.” (Nu. 3:10). “So when the tabernacle is to set out, the Levites shall take it down; and when the tabernacle encamps, the Levites shall set it up. But the layman who comes near shall be put to death.” (Nu. 1:51). “as a reminder to the sons of Israel that no layman who is not of the descendants of Aaron should come near to burn incense before the LORD; so that he will not become like Korah and his company-- just as the LORD had spoken to him through Moses.” (Nu. 16:40). The altar was also to be kept in the appointed place of God’s choosing, not in the place chosen by mankind. “But you shall seek the LORD at the place which the LORD your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come.” (Dt. 12:5, 13, 18). The pagan altar violated all these rules.

  • Honor Jesus in your worship by voluntarily keeping His Ten Commandments. Jesus is the only mediator between you and God the Father (1 Tim. 2:5). “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”’ (Jo. 14:6). “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (Jo. 10:9). You show your love and devotion for Him in your worship when you keep His commandments out of love and not out of obligation: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jo. 14:15; 21). He was the “I AM” who gave the Ten Commandments to Moses (Ex. 3:14; Jo. 8:58). Thus, the Commandments that He refers to are His Ten Commandments. Are you trying to keep all Ten of His Commandments as an act of devotion and love toward Him?

4. An Evil Person Determines His or Her Own Morality. Judges 17:6.

  • Moral relativism governed Israeli society. Micah was just an example of what had become of Israelite society. God’s Word was no longer the measure or source of truth. It had become just one of many things from which each person could decide to follow or reject in creating their own system of morality: “6 In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” (Jdgs. 17:6; 21:25). Both then and now, God warns believers not to adopt a relativistic standard of morality: “You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes;” (Dt. 12:8). He knows that if believers accept all types of morality as equal, they will compromise their walk. For the Jews, He knew that they would eventually become “ensnared” by the Canaanite practices if the Jews did not kill them. These included child sacrifices, temple prostitution, and idolatry (Ex. 23:33). Because of these practices, the Canaanites were under God’s judgment (Gen. 15:13-16). Instead of destroying these unclean influences, the Jews mixed these unholy influences with the teachings of the Bible and did evil: “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes, and then they soon did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.” (Matthew Henry on Judges 17).3 The Ten Commandments provide God’s fixed standard of morality. When some preach that they are irrelevant today, many who listen will do what is right in their own eyes.

  • A leader can also cause people to move away from God’s morality. Samson, the author of the book, wrote it after the Jews established a monarchy and order. Four times, he stressed he absence of a king (Jdgs. 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25). But merely having a king or an appointed leader is no guarantee that the people will follow after God’s morality. Nearly every king at some point was condemned for doing evil in God’s eyes because they did what was right in their own eyes. These include: “Saul (1 Sam. 15:19); David (2 Sam. 12:9, for the Bathsheda / Uriah affair), Nadab (1 Kgs. 15:26), Baasha (15:34), Omri (16:25), Ahab (16:30), Ahaziah of Israel (22:53), Jehoram of Israel (2 Kgs. 3:2), Jehoram of Judah (8:18), Ahaziah of Judah (8:27), Jehoahaz (13:2). Jehoash of Israel (13:11), Jeroboam II (14:24), Zechariah (15:9), Menahem (15:18), Pekahiah (15:24), Pekah (15:28), Hoshea (17:2), Manasseh (21:2), Amon (21:20), Jehoahaz of Judah (23:32), Jehoiakim (23:37), Jehoiachin (24:9), and Zedekiah (24:19.)” (Daniel Block, The New American Commentary: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture, Judges, Ruth, Vol. 6, B & H Publishing Group 1999 p. 484, fn. 43). Thus, a believer should look to God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to determine what is right and wrong.

  • Let God’s Word and the Holy Spirit guide your walk. God warns each believer against being guided by what feels right in his or her eyes: “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Prov. 14:12; 16:25). God’s warning to the Jews apply to modern society, which has rejected God’s Word for moral relativism: “This is very much like the modern, follow-your-heart or let-your-heart-be-your-guide thinking. Modern culture regards this as the ideal state of society. But the Bible and common sense tell us that this kind of moral, spiritual, and social anarchy brings nothing but destruction. - - right to the eyes of Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, but God said it was wrong. - - right to the eyes of the sons of Jacob to sell Joseph into slavery, but God said it was wrong - - right to the eyes of Nadab and Abihu to offer strange fire before the Lord, but God said it was wrong - - right to the eyes of King David to commit adultery with Bathsheba and cover it with murder, but God said it was wrong. - - right to the eyes of Judas to betray Jesus, but God said it was wrong.” (David Guzik on Judges 17).4 Your heart is wicked and will deceive you: “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). Thus, let the Word guide your choices in life: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105). The Holy Spirit will help you to remember the Word and apply it in your life. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (Jo. 14:26, 16; 15:26; 16:13). Are you reading the Word and praying for the Holy Spirit to guide you?

5. An Evil Person Corrupts Others Seeking to Serve God. Judges 17:7-10.

  • Micah’s bribe to a young Levite to join his counterfeit priesthood. During the time of the Judges, Israel’s corruption was not limited to the families. It extended even into the priesthood. As an example of a wider problem in Israel, Micah corrupted a Levite from fulfilling his God-given duties as a priest: “7 Now there was a young man from Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah, who was a Levite; and he was staying there. 8 Then the man departed from the city, from Bethlehem in Judah, to stay wherever he might find a place; and as he made his journey, he came to the hill country of Ephraim to the house of Micah. 9 Micah said to him, ‘Where do you come from?’ And he said to him, ‘I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to stay wherever I may find a place.’ 10 Micah then said to him, ‘Dwell with me and be a father and a priest to me, and I will give you ten pieces of silver a year, a suit of clothes, and your maintenance.’ So the Levite went in.” (Jdgs. 17:7-10). This account reveals that Micah was aware of the problems posed by trying to have his son serve as priest. He apparently knew that only the Levites were meant to serve as priests. Thus, in his mind, his chance encounter with a Levite allowed him to perfect his false religion. He was guilty of bribing a “young man” (Jdgs. 17:7) to leave the path that God had set for him as a Levite to follow Micah’s false religion. Moreover, those who mislead the youth from following God are subject to some of the greatest condemnations: “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6; Mk. 9:42).

  • The Levite’s greater sin in participating in the counterfeit religion. As a Levite, the man who became a priest was charged with knowing God’s Word. If God sent the Levite to Micah, he was to rebuke Micah, not to join in his counterfeit religion. If Micah refused to repent, he was tasked with bring charges against Micah that could have led to his stoning for creating a false religions with false idols (Dt. 13:6-11). Overall, the Levite was guilty of seven sins. First, the Levite was to serve in God’s priesthood, not the false religions of mankind (Dt. 12:4; 13:6-11). Second, the Levite was to only serve in God’s appointed place of worship, not in a place chosen by mankind (Dt. 12:5, 13, 18). Third, the Levite was not to serve graven images, the sin which caused 3,000 deaths at mount Horeb (Lev. 22:31). Fourth, the Levite was called upon to be holy (Ex. 22:31; Lev. 11:44-5; 19:2). Accepting a monetary bribe to disregard his calling dirtied his holy calling. At that time, the priests were only allowed to accept animal or produce offering for their service (Dt. 18:3-5). Fifth, the Levite was a “young man”, and therefore not yet eligible to serve as a priest anywhere (Jdgs. 17:7). A Levite could not be a priest until he had completed training and was 30 years old (Nu. 4:3, 30). Sixth, a Levite was to be separated from the world. For this reason, God gave the Levites 48 cities to live in (Nu. 35:1-8; Josh. 21:1-42). By agreeing to live with Micah, he lived outside of his appointed place. Had he lived in a Levite city, a fellow Levite would have likely rebuked him for the path that he had chosen. In Micah’s household, he lived away from God’s intended system of accountability. Finally, the Levite mixed things of the world with the things of God. This corruption began within his parents. The Levite was a man of confused ancestry “of the family of Judah, who was a Levite”. (Jdgs. 17:7). Instead of staying separated, his parents intermarried between the tribes of Judah and Levite. His half breed status likely raised questions about his ability to either be a priest as a normal Levite or own land like a normal person from Judah. This might have explained why he was traveling in the hill country of Ephraim and why he was so willing to accept employment in a home that offered him a chance to be a priest. The Levite’s sins did more than just hurt himself. His sins later caused the entire tribe of Dan to stumble in false worship.

  • Don’t cause others to stumble. Any believer in Jesus is part of His “royal priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:9). As a believer, you are also the “light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). As a believer you are also an “ambassador” for Jesus (2 Cor. 5:20). Your conduct should not cause any other person to stumble in their walk with God (1 Cor. 10:32; 8:13). Are your actions a fair representation of the light and love of Jesus? Or, are you allowing the desires and passions of your flesh to control you and cause others to stumble?

6. An Evil Person Falsely Claims to Act on God’s Authority. Judges 17:11-12.

  • Micah’s consecration of the Levite into his false religion. Micah not only corrupted the Levite to serve in his house, he also presumed to have God’s authority to consecrate the priest in his false religion: “11 The Levite agreed to live with the man, and the young man became to him like one of his sons. 12 So Micah consecrated the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in the house of Micah.” (Jdgs. 17:11-12). Like Micah, there are many false prophets who claim to have God’s authority in counterfeit worship.

  • Be wary of false leaders and prophets who seek to lead you astray. Throughout history, there have been many who falsely claimed to have God’s authority as they set up new religions. Believers must be wary of these false leaders: “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matt. 7:15). “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.” (Matt. 24:11, 24). Thus, you must test every person who seeks to guide you on your walk with Jesus: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 Jo. 4:1; 1 Thess. 5:21). When people claim to speak for God, are you testing those claims against God’s Word?

7. An Evil Person is Blinded to God’s Truth. Judges 17:13.

  • Micah’s misguided belief that God would prosper him for corrupting a Levite. Treating his corrupted Levite like a good luck charm, Micah believed that God would bless him for using a Levite in his counterfeit worship: “13 Then Micah said, ‘Now I know that the Lord will prosper me, seeing I have a Levite as priest.’” (Jdgs. 17:13). Like many today, Micah was blind to his sins: ‘“Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see; who have ears but do not hear.”’ (Jer. 5:21; 4:21). “Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed.” (Is. 6:10; Ro. 11:8). If you have come to reject portions of Scripture, like sex outside of a Biblical marriage, you are also spiritually blind to your sins.

Micah, his mother, and the Levite worshiped his idol5

  • Invite Jesus to expose the hidden sins in your heart. If you say you are without sin, you are like Micah, and the truth is not in you (1 Jo. 1:8). To remove the scales from your eyes, you must pray for the Holy Spirit to expose and convict you of your hidden sins (Ps. 139:23). Jesus comes to give sight to the spiritually blind: “And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”’ (Jo. 9:39; Lk. 4:18; Matt. 11:5; Is. 61:1). Are you praying for Jesus to expose and convict you of your hidden sins?