Judges holds under the nose the rankness of ungodly behavior so that the reader may take in the fullness of its stench. Overshadowed by many ungodly activities recorded in Judges 17-18, an emotional tragedy plays out in the background.
Judges 17:11 reveals Micah’s care for the Levite, saying, “…the young man became to him like one of his sons.” Micah loved him like a son, but the priest was using Micah. Consider the priest’s response to the Danites when they offered him a place with them in Judges 18:19: “The priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod and household idols and the graven image and went among the people.” The closeness between Micah and the Levite was one-sided. The Levite used Micah and contentedly went with the Danites to find greater riches and reputation. Micah was brokenhearted at losing all that he held dear but had no hope of defeating the much stronger warriors from Dan (Judges 18:23-26).
Those who have experienced similar betrayal understand how the heart tries to protect itself from further harm. It puts up walls to keep people away; it pushes against those who try to care. There is real damage done through an emotional betrayal of this sort. If you struggle with the lasting effects of betrayal, please open your heart to your faithful Christian brethren.
The church is the family of God. Every member is tied to the other by the spiritual bonds of fellowship in Christ. Let your brethren be more than mere acquaintances with whom you worship God. Brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers surround you in the church (1 Tim. 3:15; 5:1-2). Let the church be your family and enjoy the compassionate, supportive relationships God has built through the sacrifice of Christ.