From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
The Bible reading for today is the Book of Micah, chapters 1-7. The prophet Micah describes in the book the condition of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms (Israel and Judah) during their worst of times. Although Micah’s prophecies were to both kingdoms; it appears from the content that Judah was the primary recipient. Supporting this assumption is the fact that the prophet mentions specifically the kings of Judah – Jotham (good king), Ahaz (bad king), and Hezekiah (good king).
There are at least two key messages in the Book of Micah. The first message is one of judgment. In light of their rejection of God, He was raising up a nation (Assyria) that would bring judgment upon them. Judgment was forthcoming and it did around 722-721 B.C. as a result of corrupt leadership, idolatry, and various social injustices. The second message of the book is one of hope. Micah makes two prominent prophecies related to the Messiah and His Kingdom. In Micah 4:1, the prophet quotes a prophecy that is very similar to that of the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 2:2-3. These two Messianic prophets predicted the establishment of the Lord’s Kingdom, in the city of Jerusalem. In addition to starting in Jerusalem, it was going to be inclusive of all people (Jews and Gentiles). Another prominent quote of the book is Micah 5:2. The prophet, not only predicted the coming of the Lord’s Kingdom, but foretold that He (Christ) was going to be born in the city of Bethlehem. Later Matthew quotes Micah 5:2 in Matthew 2:5-6.
From the reading of the chapters several thoughts emerged but I will only mention two of them. The first thought is – God is a fair God. He has always given warnings to people of pending destruction. The book conveys both sides of parenting. Parents are to be loving, supportive, nurturing, and instructive, but there must also be accountability or discipline. God commissioned the various prophets to plead with His people to cease their sinful behavior and return to righteous living and serving only Him. But after repeatedly rejecting His pleas, judgment was His only option. Today, the Father loves us, but if we continue to abide in sin and refuse to obey His Will, then judgment is certain. The second thought is – God has always explained what He requires. Perhaps the most quoted and known verse in the Book of Micah is Micah 6:8. In this verse, the prophet responses to Israel’s question of Micah 6:6 “With what shall I come before the Lord…” Micah 6:8 is God’s answer. He states God requirements: (1) to treat all people fairly and just, (2) to be kind and loving toward others, and (3) to completely surrender your will to Him. Israel and Judah refused to listen; they gave God only one option.
Today, anyone who refuses to obey or comply with God’s requirements gives Him only one option on the pending Judgment Day. Those who obey His commands will be saved and those who don’t will be lost (cf. Matt. 7:21-24). May a desire develop and remain in us to want to comply with God’s requirements!