Judges 18

Sin’s Perfect Storm


 In Judges 17 we read of a man who had set up an idol in his house to protect him from a curse his mother had made against the person who stole her silver.  The man was the thief. At first things went well and he even gained a Levite who agreed to be the man’s priest, but things take a turn in Chapter 18.

 In Chapter 18 the tribe of Dan shows up and takes the idol and the priest.The man is left with nothing.  The tribe of Dan is looking for a place in the Promised Land that they might claim for themselves.  Laish, a city in the far north of the Promised Land, seemed like just the place for them to settle so they invade the city, kill all the people , rename the city Dan. There they set up their newly acquired idol and shrine manned by their very own priest, but that was not God’s plan.

 When the Promised Land was divided up the tribe of Dan was given an area west of Jerusalem all the way to the coast. It was a fertile area and an ideal location, but there was one problem.  The Philistine’s were in possession of the land and the tribe of Dan could not drive them out. This did not catch God by surprise.  God knew that the Philistines would be tough so he raised up a Judge from the tribe of Dan and gave him great power and ability to overcome the Philistines.  His name was Samson.

 Samson was a powerful man that proved to be able to overcome the Philistines with little effort, but Samson did not lead the tribe of Dan into their allotment of the Promised Land.  Though he was a judge for 20 years he was, uh, distracted and it would appear his time was cut short. The tribe of Dan was left without a leader.

 Proverbs 29:18a says, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.” NASB

That was the case with the tribe of Dan.  Without Samson to lead them they struck out on their own.  They came across a Levite priest serving at the shrine where the idol was set up to protect the man from his mother’s curse. They inquired of the priest if their journey would be successful. Though the tribe of Dan is in the wrong place doing the wrong thing, the Levite blesses their mission and a city living in peace is destroyed.  The tribe takes and sets up the idol and shrine and these become a snare to Israel for the entire kingdom age until the Assyrians come and take the city and the nation of Israel, some 300+ years later.  Someone said, “sin will cost you more than you wanted to pay and keep you longer than you wanted to stay.”  That was certainly the case here.

 Samson was not doing what he knew God had called him to do. The tribe of Dan was not where they were supposed to be nor doing what they were called by God to do.  The Levite was also not where he was supposed to be nor doing what God called him to do. Neither was the man who stole the silver.  All of these contributed to the downfall of themselves and the nation. Each one sowed to the wind and together they all reaped a destructive tornado that affected the lives of people for centuries.

 Given what we have read and know now, the real question becomes, what has God called us to do and are we doing it?  In all seriousness we need to stop and reflect on this question because deep down inside we really do know the answer.

 May God give us insight and may God make us strong and courageous!

Pastor Dave