Bible Experiment Micah
I have to say, I’m getting tired of this exercise. I’m tired of the repetition. I’m tired of the warnings, of the proclamations, of the lack of change by the hearers. I’m tired of the fact that the warnings continue to be needed. I’m tired of the fact that humans are going to constantly go their own way, and that they don’t need anyone else. I’m tired of the fact that I too don’t listen, and I too continue to go my own way.
Over the last year and a half or so, I’ve been going book by book through the Bible, and reading it, and then writing at least 1,000 words about it. Some are way more, some are less. But all are over 1,000. Basically I have been trying to understand what it is that the Bible is all about. What it is that it is there for. And so far, I have a running hypothesis that the Bible is a book about a God who is so thoroughly in love with each of us, that he would do anything to reconcile us to himself again. We started off well, walking with him in the cool of the morning. And then we went AWOL, and he’s been pursuing us ever since.
Micah is considered a minor prophet, but a hefty prophet regardless of the classification. Many other books of the Bible quote Micah and his writings, and so he is definitely considered a heavy weight. But the overall tone and tenor of the book is very very reminiscent of Isaiah, or really any other prophetic book of the Bible. Which basically go like this, God said, go tell my people to draw close to me. Prophet says, pick someone else. God says, no, you are it. Prophet says, dang it. Alright. Prophet goes and tells the people, “stop doing that stupid stuff, draw close to God.” People say, “Go take a flying leap!” Someone says, hey… what’s that cloud of smoke coming our way? Are those riders from Babylon?
Right? Ok, so I took a bit of a liberty with how that went down. But not much. Pretty much the only time that we see a people listen to the warnings of God is when Jonah begrudgingly went to the evil people of Ninevah and they all immediately repented. But the Jews? Nope. Something bad always has to happen to the Israelites before they start listening. And captivity was sort of the standard price that they paid historically.
But officially, I’m done with the message of the Old Testament. I’m done with the knock on the door followed with, “Repent” and then “Goodbye”. Mainly I am just tired of the fact that it’s needed… and that it isn’t heeded. I’m tired of the fact that I need it, and that I don’t listen to it either. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not tired of God, or the message that He is bringing… because if anyone is REALLY TIRED OF It, it’s God. And that is the larger point I’m trying to make, I’m done with the fact that the entirety of the Old Testament is 100% about me stopping what I’m doing and that I have the hardest time in all the world of stopping what it is that I am doing.
The larger point of Micah is that Israel would stop from doing evil, from crushing the poor, and stealing from the widow just because the rich have the power to do so. That the Lord God is powerful, mountains melt before him. But if we continue to disobey, and continue to oppress the widow, the orphan, and the impoverished, that he will ultimately intervene, and that’ll be a bad day.
Chapter three is one of my favorite chapters of Micah. It is in three that God points out to the ‘prophets’ that he knows they are prophesying for food, and for money. The Priests are teaching for money. The Judges are ruling for bribes. And so God calls out these leaders and so called prophets, and tells them that darkness will fall on them all, that God will stop talking to anyone in Israel because they take advantage of the people. But it is in chapter four that God declares his nation will consist of the remnant, the lost, the lame. That God will draw together this scattered group to himself.
And that is when my tiredness of the Old Testament turns from exasperation to exaltation. That God has a larger plan in store for the world is amazing to me. To realize that God is the one holding both ends of the agreement. That he is the one that is going to restore his people to himself in his own time and in his own way. It is then that I am amazed at God’s grace and his infinite patience with me. That I am amazed that he would forgive a sinner such as myself. But here, in chapter six, here is the heart of the entirety of the Old Testament:
“And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
Act justly. Love mercy. And to walk humbly with your God. I said it earlier in this post that I had a working theory about the point of the Bible, that it was 100% a love letter from the creator to his lost people that had gone astray. That the Bible was completely about His restoring us back to himself. That it was all about our needing a savior and about how God became that savior on our behalf. Which is a pretty amazing revelation in my mind. That God would take the sin we created, and sent it far from us, through the death and resurrection of his son.
For those that really want to understand, Micah actually points out that Israel will be disbanded, that it’ll reunite and then be surrounded by secular nations. And that those nations will conspire against it… and then, thinking they will overwhelm her, those nations will actually be drawn to the slaughter. The nations will have refused to listen, and heed God’s call. Which is a specific reference to the end of the world… but it’s also a picture of the offer on the table for you today.