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 chosen as the 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 remnant left behind whom Micah speaks of will be set apart. They have hope for strength and confidence. I also like what Romans 11:5 says about the remnant. “It is the same today, for a few of the people of Israel have remained faithful because of God’s grace—his undeserved kindness in choosing them.” God’s grace is surely a gift we can be thankful for. It is by grace that we have been saved!
For us, we can hold onto the truth that God’s wrath is swallowed up by Jesus. As Christ followers, we know Jesus paid the price for us, and we can enjoy his gift of grace. I don’t know about you, but I feel especially honored by this and long to do what I can to help others know and experience the same peace and joy.
Our reading concludes with what’s going to happen to everyone else during this purge. Woe to those unfaithful ones who failed to trust God’s word and ignore the impending wrath! We see that in God’s reality, we don’t need to rely upon the military might of men but solely trust God’s power. God will destroy the weapons of the people, for there is no need for them when God rules in the hearts of all men.
Can you imagine the kind of reality where we don’t have to rely on security systems, locked doors, or even weapons to keep us safe? That’s a huge ask for our imaginations to see. Take a moment to just linger with that thought and let the peace of it wash over you.
Look around you. What idols do you see that might be blocking your view of Jesus? Our idols won’t necessarily look like Asherah poles; and our pagan shrines are constructed with different distractions. If we have any doubts to what our own idols might be, remember God doesn’t want us to worship the work of our own hands. What sorts of things does this mean for you?
Let’s pray. Lord, I know what it feels like to clear away the clutter of my life and focus only on you. Thank you for that sense of completeness. Forgive me for when I let distractions keep me from moving in the direction you intend for me. Help me to use my gifts to glorify you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.