Highlights In Today's Reading:
Without godly leadership, many of the Israelites led unrestrained lives guided by their own lusts and self-interest rather than the Word of God.
Unlike his godly parents, Samson's moral and spiritual conduct were probably much more like that of his tribe during the period of the judges. Samson, a Danite, violated his calling as a Nazarite and Judge by his immoral and unspiritual conduct.
The tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for unto that day all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel. . . . when they (the five spies) came to Mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there. When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite. . . . And he said unto them, Thus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath hired me, and I am his priest. And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous (18:1-5).
Although the tribe of Dan was powerful and had more than 64,000 soldiers, they did not succeed in driving the Amorites from their God-given territory. The spiritual condition of the Danites had deteriorated to immorality and idolatry. In fact, they had lost part of their inheritance to the Philistines and part to the Amorites (1:34) who forced the Danites into the mountains.
The faith in and devotion to the Lord, by which Joshua, Caleb, and others achieved their victories, was missing. One of the reasons the Danites failed in battle was that they were dissatisfied with the territory God had allotted to them. Some of them decided to move north of the other tribes to Laish (18:1,7).
On their way, the five spies went into Micah's house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod . . . teraphim, and the molten image (18:18). The Danites forced Micah's apostate Levite to be their priest and stole his pagan idols to worship. They proceded on to Laish and murdered all the people and renamed the place Dan (18:29).
The deplorable depravity of these Danites resulted from failure to listen to and obey the Word of God. If they had remained in the territory God had given them, they would not have entered the house of Micah and become involved in idol worship.
Paul warned: Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (Gal. 1:8).
Thought for Today:
Following our own fleshly desires always leads us away from God, but obedience to His Word will always lead us into His perfect will for our lives.
In those days there was no King in Israel (Judg. 18:1). Christ was the rejected King of Israel. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar (John 19:15).
18:2 coasts =territory; 18:9 still =when are you still here; 18:15 saluted =greeted; 18:19 lay thine hand upon thy mouth =stop complaining or suffer the consequences; 18:21 carriage =goods; 19:4 retained him =pressed him to stay; 19:6 let your heart be merry =enjoy yourself; 19:10 Je'bus =Jerusalem; 19:17 wayfaring =traveling; 19:21 provender =fodder; 19:22 know him =have sex with him; 19:25 spring =at daybreak; 19:29 coasts =territory.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka Shortwave Broadcasts for the week sponsored by Mrs. Elsie Racer • Country: France (59.1 million) in western Europe • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 80% Roman Catholic; 7% Islam; 1.22% Protestant; 1.18% Jewish; 1% Buddhist; .2% Orthodox; .2% Eastern Catholic; .2% Jehovah's Witness; 9% Other/None • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that you would be sanctified through the truth of the Word of God (John 17:17).
Optional Reading: John 20
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6