Have you ever been mad at God? So mad that you turned away from him and started “acting out” like a rebellious child? Maybe you’ve even yelled at him for something he allowed to happen. It just wasn’t fair. I can relate and think of time when I felt disappointed and let down only to look back and realize God was there all along. Life lessons are not always enjoyable.
In God’s message through Micah in this reading, we see God pleading with his people to tell him their innermost secrets. God wants them to verbalize what he has done wrong. He quickly points out several examples of great deliverance and provision. God wants to understand, and he wants to hear it in their own words.
Every week before our housekeeper comes to prepare food for the week, I do a purge. (Yes, I am that spoiled living in Mexico. It all started with supporting the economy here, and now I have a lifetime friend.) I open the refrigerator and make sure all the uneaten food has a new reality (hopefully not the trash). I have a collection of vegetables in the freezer just waiting for soup stock creation. Those vegetables still have a purpose.
Is God doing his own purge of the people being disobedient and following other gods? We read today about the remnant of those remaining in Israel. Their future would be a lot different from those cast into exile and/or killed. Who would be the chosen remnant after the “purge”? I think of another time God did a purge in Noah’s day, all the way back in Genesis 6!
The distress/deliverance conversation continues here, but the distress is over quite quickly in just one verse. We have a direct order imbedded here to “mobilize!” What does that mean exactly for us today? I hear it as a cry to battle against the evil that is trying to overtake this world.
We know that evil cannot win, but there is no reason why evil shouldn’t give it a try. Is it safe to assume evil must be in denial about the strength of God? In direct contrast, we see how Micah immediately shifts the focus of great things involving Jerusalem to the small, unsuspecting town of Bethlehem.
The generous and universal hope given in our last reading is again focused on the people of Judah, particularly in Jerusalem. There is hope for a return from the exile that hasn’t happened yet. This text seems to flip back and forth between judgment and rescue; however, it is regarded as an oracle of salvation.
The people must have thought Micah was crazy when he mentioned Babylon. While we know the Babylonians were the empire to take down Judah, at the time Micah said these words Babylon was not a power to be feared. This promised exile would have sounded a bit foolish to Micah’s audience. What effect do you think that had on Micah’s credibility?
Talk about dramatic impact in this transition! Micah places these verses, which are almost identical to verses in Isaiah 2, right here after speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem. We know that Isaiah and Micah are contemporaries speaking to the same audience. Did God choose to give them both the same message, or do you think Micah is quoting Isaiah? Micah doesn’t say.
We have clearly jumped far into the future when God will reign over all. The people of Judah see indication of a bright future as Micah designates Jerusalem. Do you think the people could fully grasp what this meant having not experienced the exile yet?