THE PROPHET MICAH
Bible Background: Micah is counted as one of the ‘minor’ prophets, because his writings are brief, and we know little about him. He prophesied in Judah around 740 BC, prior to the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Micah is concerned about the poor and oppressed. He is angry towards the leaders who are guilty of corrupting religion and government. He foretells of God’s Messiah who is to come from Bethlehem. And he lists concisely what God desires and expects of us: justice, kindness, humility.
Digging Deeper: 1. As a prophet, Micah speaks words of warning and condemnation. Fortunately, he doesn’t stop there! He believes God is doing the work of causing God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” He tells of the promise of a new kind of ruler to come from Bethlehem. Christians see this as a prophecy of the birth of Jesus 740 years in the future. A big challenge for people of faith is to wait on God’s promises. A second big challenge is to address the question What do we do while we wait?
When have you had a hard time waiting on God’s promises? What did you do? What helped? What didn’t?
2. A familiar passage from Micah is 6:8 “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Micah is very clear it is not belonging to the right church, or the right political party, or going through the right rituals that pleases God. It is when people do the basic things that our faith and our humanity require of us: justice, kindness, and humility.
What is a way for you to “do justice” with your time and energy and money? What is your definition of ‘justice’? Is that the same as what Micah means by ‘justice’?
What’s a simple way you can show “kindness”? What’s a more challenging way that you haven’t explored or mastered yet?
What does it mean to “walk humbly with your God?” When are we tempted to walk humbly with God, and yet our pride keeps us from walking humbly with our fellow human beings?
3. Micah 6:8 would be one of those ‘keeper’ verses. Would you/your family commit to memorizing this verse this week? It can serve as a constant reminder of what really matters as we live and serve in this world that God loves and that God is working to redeem!