Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse–I have that silver with me; I took it.” Then his mother said, “The LORD bless you, my son!” When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, “I solemnly consecrate my silver to the LORD for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you.” So after he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who used them to make the idol. And it was put in Micah’s house. Judges 17:1-4
These four verses reveal so much about the state of the tribe of Ephraim and Israel in general. It also provides us insight into why knowing God’s Word is so important. A son takes 1,100 shekels of silver from his mother (10 shekels of silver is a reasonable spending money for one year, so this is a lot of money Her response when her son returns the silver is to devote the silver to the Lord for her son to make an idol from it. God’s word says do not worship any other gods, and do not make any idols. That there were silversmiths in Ephraim that would make an idol speaks of the depths Israel had fallen. It is no wonder you see the phrase, the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord.