In those days there was no king in Israel. This phrase comes up a few times in the book of judges. Israel, many times, by their actions rejected Yahweh as their King, and there was not yet an earthly king on the throne of Israel. So everything did as they felt that they should. In this case, the tribe of the Danites sought for an inheritance, which had not been designated for them. They sent out 5 spies to survey the land, and they ended up lodging at the house of Micah. They knew the Levite who served Micah as priest, and asked him to inquire of the Lord whether they would have success. He sent them in peace, with a promise of success. They went on to Laish, and found it easy to take. They went back to their brethren and they mustered an army and went back to Micah’s house. They took the household idols, the ephod, and the carved image along with the priest.
Micah pursued them, with some of his friends and confronted Dan for their theft. When he saw he was too small to defeat them, he sent back to his house defeated. Dan went on to Laish and defeated them by the sword, and dwelt their, worshiping Micah’s gods, appointing their own priests, even though the house of God was in Shiloh.
When Christians cease to follow God, nor head the leadership of godly men and women, they move into apostacy and idolatry, both of which can doom a soul. Seek God first, His leaders second, and always submit to those over you in the Lord. Follow godly leadership and you will live a godly life!