She was a misguided mama who, in turn, misled others. The ripple effects were far reaching, as her confusion began a domino effect. Her times, like ours, were times of ungodliness, when "people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes" (Judges 17:6). But the cost of her confusion and child-centered parenting was great.
Who is she? Nameless, other than being known as "Micah's mother." They lived in northern Israel when Israel had no king, and God raised up judges to reign the people back in. We only meet "Micah's mom" because of a family event: someone took some silver from Mama, and she wasn't happy. Maybe it was the wrong time of the month, or maybe she'd had enough of everyone doing what was right in their own eyes, but she snapped and announced a curse ... sounds sort of 21st century, doesn't it?
This was Mama drama of Biblical proportions, and so she put a curse on the person who took it.
In a shining moment, her grown son Micah confessed: he took it. Mama was eager to reinforce his good behavior, so she said, "The Lord bless you for admitting it" (v. 2). He gave the money back, and Mama dedicated the money to the Lord. Just about now, we're feeling like this Mama was just a gal having a bad day, and she's redeeming herself, but then her confused lack of commitment to God kicks in, and she did what seemed "right in her own eyes."
Putting the happiness of her son before his holiness, she took some of the returned silver and honored her stealing son. Micah must've been more mixed up than ever. When a mom waffles between "that's wrong/it's ok/that's wrong/it's ok," she passes on her confusion to her child. In this case, Mama took the cash and had an idol and a silver image to put in HER SON's house, so they could all worship it. Micah followed his mom's lead, having all the "extras" made to add to his own, private place of worship. Having Mama's stamp of approval on his misguided method, he appointed his son (Mama's grandson) to be a priest to lead the worship mess. The whole family got involved in Mama's misguided worship.
The very first commandment given to the nation Micah and Mama were part of: "You shall have no other gods before Me." (Exodus 20:3)
Instead of commitment to her God, Mama chose to reward the sin of her son by helping him sin and reject their God. By being more child-centered than God-centered, she led Micah down a path of apostasy.
Tomorrow I want you to show you the domino effect of this misguided Mama's methods. Seeing the mess this "Rotten Mama" made makes me more committed to being a mom committed to God. You can peak and read the whole story in Judges 17 & 18, but I'll tell you the "rest of the story" tomorrow. It's amazing the scope of influence a mother can have.
So, until tomorrow, hold off on casting a curse on the children in your life, and don't take that cash you've been saving to make a household idol. ;) And in 21st language, let's make sure the kids around us can see we live to honor the one true God, and we live in obedience to Him. Let's get out there in our world where everyone's doing "what seems right in their own eyes" and lead our children to know God, instead. It's amazing the scope of influence a mother (and any godly woman) can have.
Were you parented with more of a child-centered or God-centered approach?