The later part of the book of Judges includes a series of stories that illustrate the pagan influences on the people of Israel. Chapter 17 tells the story of Micah and his mother. They lived in the mountains of Ephraim.
Micah’s mother had a large stash of money that was stolen, so she put a curse on it. Then his son came to her and admitted that he was the one who’d taken her eleven hundred shekels of silver.
When Micah gave his mother back her silver, she rejoiced and blessed him. She said, “I dedicate the silver to the LORD from my hand for my son, to make a carved image and a metal image. Now therefore I will restore it to you.”
She took a portion of the money, though she’d said she was dedicating the whole amount, gave it to the silversmith, and had him make a carved image and a molded image which she gave to Micah.
Micah went on to build a shrine and consecrated one of his sons to be his priest. When a traveling Levite stopped in Ephraim, Micah hired him to be a priest in his household. The chapter closes with Micah saying he knew God would be good to him since he had his own Levite priest.
Micah’s mother mixed in superstition with her worship. She thought she could manipulate God to do what she wanted by placing curses and creating idols to worship. Her son followed in her footsteps, and we learn in Judges 18 that the tribe of Dan was influenced by Micah and adopted his style of idolatry.
Judges 17:6 says it best, “…everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Read about Micah’s Mother in Scripture: Judges 17