God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14 - Micah: God Indicts His Chosen People for Their Salvation

Today’s Reading: Micah

The Message

English Standard Version

Congratulations, you have read 20 books of the Bible! That means 46 to go.

Thought to Guide Your Reading

The proper response to God's indictments is not more sacrifice.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God's message through Micah during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah:
"God takes the stand to witness against Samaria and their shrines to other gods.
"'I will destroy Samaria with her gods, you people who dream of evil. You have polluted the land with your wrongs, yet you think you are righteous.'
"The truly righteous will be with God soon."
Later, Micah adds, "What happened to justice? Where is God's message? Someday, people will flock here for God's message. You couldn't hear it if it was piped into your homes.
"God will remove our sins and reinstate the Promise."

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Israel is in denial about their wrongdoings.

Israel seems surprised that God would fight them. Their first instinct is to question God's reaction rather than their actions. They actually believe God is overreacting! What arrogance and outright lunacy! They have polluted their land with their sins, similar to the Canaanites. Their wrongdoings caused the separation from God.
Yet, I cannot read this without thinking of what I hear in churches today. One reason we do not like reading the Old Testament is because we do not like the portrayal of God as an angry, vengeful god. If someone came and warned us of God's impending punishment, we would suggest their view of God is too "harsh." We must come to grips with our hearts and actions. God is always just and when we fight Him we are always on the wrong side. It is hard to read this section without thinking of examples of each bad thing Israel was doing. Oh, that we would repent and come to see God's Way!

Israel misses the irony that the entire world will flock to Jerusalem to learn of God's Way.

The irony in this situation is that God cannot pay Israel enough to obey His Commands when there are people from around the globe who would journey far over dangerous roads just to sit and learn how God sets things right. These sojourners will become peaceful and sit in luxury while Israel, the Chosen Nation, slaves away in captivity. God's Chosen People must listen and obey to continue in God's great blessings.

God wants Israel to repent—not by sacrificing their goods but by sacrificing their wills.

God does not enjoy "religious" acts as Israel thought. King Saul had this misunderstanding. David wrote on this theme. Solomon, too. God does not want violent sacrifices to rectify wrongs. He wants hearts who want to set things right!

Micah's final message to Israel—stick around, God will make it right.

In a book full of anger, wrath, and correction, we would expect the book to end with a warning. Instead, it ends with praise. There will be punishment; however, that punishment is to remove all wrongdoing and wrongdoers from God's Chosen People. Once that is over, God is once again with His People. Their sins are now at the bottom of the ocean! The Promise of Abraham still stands! Hallelujah! Praise God because He removes our wrongs and takes wrongdoers away from our presence!

Stick around, God will make things right.

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