Micah Unchained: The Impossible Dream?
Coinciding with our common small-group curriculum we
will focus on Micah for six weeks this fall.
The overall theme is that God is bringing His rule to bear on society and culture and has called His people to be the first to be governed by His principles, values and concerns. He will do whatever He needs to do to get our attention.
Micah 3:5-12 (cf: 2:6, 11)
“God Has Something to Say”
About 2800 years ago God had something to say to his people and the people didn’t want to hear it. God was angry about the injustice and cruelty he found in Samaria (the Northern tribes of Israel) and Judah (the southern tribes). The people did not want to hear it. They were paying the prophets to tell them everything was ok. Micah was filed with the Spirit’s power to speak for God. God’s people had to then choose to whom they would listen.
“He Has Shown Us what is Good”
People were bringing their religion to God and He wasn’t all that impressed. In history and in the law (especially Deuteronomy) He had shown them what He really cares about. Religion and belief should lead to a Godly community in which the powerless, the marginalized and the poor are protected. God has particularly shown us what is good in the incarnation of Jesus who came among an oppressed people, met the practical needs of people while addressing the spiritual needs, welcomed women as disciples, blessed children, and had a deep connection to common people.
… “To Do Justice”
God saw that those in power were using it for their own advantage and benefit. Power, such as we have it, should be leveraged for the benefit of those who have even less power than we do. We do have power: power in our relationships; power in our religious community; power in what we purchase and where. Small changes make big differences (God’s rule is like a small mustard seed that grows into a large plant.)
… “To love mercy”
Justice is about what we deserve. Mercy is better than we deserve. Mercy forgives. Mercy does not offer help by priority of merit but by priority of need. We can engage in mercy reluctantly and judgmentally – but what pleases God is when we love mercy – when we love seeing other people get better than they deserve.
Micah 3:9-12 (cf. 2:3)
… “To Walk Humbly with God”
God warns that He is going to make it impossible for His people to “walk haughtily”. They were persuaded that judgment, hardship or evil could not befall them because God had chosen them and was with them. Not only had they all got it wrong, they believed God would not allow them to get it wrong so they assumed they had it right. This is why prophets have such a tough time!
Micah 7:7-8; 18-20
“Forgiveness, Repentance and Hope”
While most of the book of Micah is a strong call to repent Micah ends with powerful reminder that God is uniquely willing to forgive and forget our sin. He prefers love over anger. It is this assurance of forgiveness and restoration that frees us to repent. Repentance is about being willing to change. Thus, repentance is an act of hope: hope that we can change, and that as we yield to God’s rule our society and culture can be changed.
Nov. 3 – Ross Clifford – Baptist World Alliance VP