1. What can we learn from this chapter concerning: (a) the folly and fruit of sin; (b) the exultation of the ungodly at the downfall of God’s servants; (c) God’s enduring mercy to the penitent?
2. Contrast the sad end to Samson’s life with its bright dawn in the sincere desire of his parents to rear him aright (13:8, 12). Can you suggest reasons why Samson fulfilled so little of his potential? Under what conditions is it possible for the Christian to exhibit similar powerlessness?
Judges 17 &18
The story of this chapter belongs to the later period of the judges, when Philistine pressure caused the complete displacement of the tribe of Dan and forced it to migrate northwards. There is therefore a general connection with the time of Samson. The tribal league was not functioning, and Micah had no court of appeal for the wrong done to him by the Danites. The narrative shows the decline of true religion and the lawless condition of the times.
1. How would you describe the religion of Micah and of the Danites? Wherein did they fall short of true religion?
2. A Levite was supposed to be a man who stood in a special relationship to God. What impression have you formed of this particular Levite? In what respects did he fail to walk worthily of his profession? Cf. Is. 16:8a; Jer 23:1; 1 John 2:4.