So some guy named Micah, who lived in the Ephraim hill country, went to his mother and was all, look Ma, that twenty-seven odd pounds of silver you found missing yesterday? You know, that you cursed the thieving bastard what took it to untold tortures? Well, see, Ma, I took it. I’m sorry. Could you please take back the curse?
After Micah gave back the silver, his mother forgave him. She took five pounds of the silver and made an idol and gave it to her son. He was so pleased with it, that he decided it should be the household god from then on. He set up a shrine and made an ephod and put his son in charge of tending it.
Then one day this Levite from Judah, (Jonathan a purported descendant of Moses), set out to make his fortune and find a place to settle. On his journey, he sought shelter at Micah’s house. Over dinner, the Levite told Micah his quest, and Micah was all, hey, since you’re a Levite, wanna stay and be the priest to my household god? It’s super awesome! If you agree to stay and tend it, I’ll pay you room, board, an outfit a year and a little pocket change besides. Whaddya say? The Levite was all, sounds good to me! Sign me up!
And since God didn’t punish them, Micah and the Levite decided It must approve of the idol.