Theme: Teachings from Micah’s historical context relevant to my life.
The prophet Micah (737–696 BC) illustrates great desperation. It is the emphasis and tonality that he conveys in his God-given message: “Hear, O peoples, all of you, listen, O earth and all who are in it…” (1:2, italics mine) It bespeaks a great need, and a desire to be heard. This is often the case in my life when I pray to God about my issues, thus I sympathize with Micah’s yearning to be heard by the Earth “and all who are in it.” However, Micah’s words strongly condemn Israel’s priests, prophets and rulers for exploiting and misleading their people. This is why God intends to judge them, thus Jerusalem will be destroyed.
However, a few verses later we find a manifestation of hope: “Bethlehem Ephrathah… out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel” (5:2). This is argued to be a prophecy foretelling the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Christ is of ultimate importance to me, and Christians in totality. He is the heartbeat of our faith, as it shall crumble without him and his resurrection as an act of God in history. Furthermore, this verse shows us more about God. He chooses to use the unrecognized, and turn them into something significant. Bethlehem, from where Jesus, a mere carpenter and peasant, would come was a small backwater town. It was insignificant, however, God chose this place to manifest one of the most important acts in history: the coming of the Messiah (other than Jesus’ resurrection). Thus, it is quite evident to me that the book of Micah is a fusion of judgment and hope.
Furthermore, a relationship with God requires direction, and instruction. This is “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God,” (6:8, italics mine) and such is a reflection of the nature of God. I do not worship, and pray to an indifferent, egotistical Creator, but one that desires to give and receive humility, love, and mercy. This is too something that is established in the final chapter (7:18-19), and in it I find great comfort: “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin, and forgives…” We also see his mercy coming through: “You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy,” and that he has “compassion on us.” For me the harshness of God’s judgments in the Old Testament is challenging to understand, however, God delights in his gifts of mercy, forgiveness and compassion. Sinning is impossible to avoid, I always do it in various ways every day. However, it is my contemplation of the depravity and severity of sin that I can truly make sense of Christ’s atoning death on the cross. It is in this light that I admit to being glad that our God is one of mercy, and forgiveness. It with this in mind that I am open, and willing to be honest with God about my anger, and sinfulness.