Micah 6:9-16 – Guilt & Punishment

Read Micah 6:9-16

girl sitting in front of a window with her head down as if ashamed

What do you say about this divine announcement of guilt and punishment? Their indictment charged them with many crimes and offenses. We are still familiar with shady business practices, dishonesty, extortion, and violence, are we not? That’s why when we’re followers of Christ we want to be better than that. We don’t want to fall prey to the very same behaviors that angered God to wish such disaster on his children.

I’m guilty. I cheated on a test once. I’m sure I did. Looking at the addition sheet on my neighbor’s desk was just too easy. I wanted to make sure my answer matched theirs. I confess. But that’s just a simple example of how we all stumble, especially when we may not “know any better.”

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Micah 6:1-8 – What the Lord Requires of Us

Read Micah 6:1-8

do what is RIGHT not what is easy

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.

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Micah 5:1-6 – O Bethlehem!

Read Micah 5:1-6

the town of Bethlehem

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.

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Micah 4:6-13 – God’s in Charge

Read Micah 4:6-13

a pocket watch with the word FOREVER written on it

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?

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Micah 4:1-5 – The Last Days

Read Micah 4:1-5

peace sign made out of flowers with psychedelic design

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?  

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