Reflection on the Book of Micah

The Book of Micah is a relatively short book in the Old Testament. One of the better-known parts of Micah is his statement in 5:2 about Bethlehem playing a very special part in God’s plan for our salvation i.e. being the birthplace of Jesus. This book helps us to see there is a real link between the old and new testament. It also demonstrates Micah’s ability to prophesize.

He puts things simply and clearly as he assesses the failure of the corrupt leaders during his time, the outcome of this behaviour and tells about the possibility of hope for the future. But, are his writings relevant to our current situation? My response is yes. It answers this question: Is it a matter of just adhering to ritual e.g. going to church on Sunday without really living out God’s commandments to love Him and to love our neighbours in our everyday life? Let’s look at what Micah says about this.

We are told about God’s displeasure about the way His people are running their lives in 6:9-12. Their ritual offerings are not pleasing to God as their way of life and entrenched social injustices rather shows their offerings as a cover up for their unacceptable daily actions without any hint of repentance. The clue to what God wants them to do is in 6:8 “……. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah tries to encourage this change in behavior with his next prophesy.

In 7:7 Micah points out to them the best action they can take, “but as for me I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my saviour; my God will hear me”. In the remainder of the chapter he goes on to give hope for Israel’s future if there is a change in their ways.

As we reflect on our lives, with all the temptations of today’s world, we would do well to heed Micah’s words in 6:8 “……. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” It is perhaps more easily said than done, however, we know what Jesus did for us on the cross. Through prayer we have the enabling of the Holy Spirit to get us through our difficulties if we come in faith with a contrite heart.

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