Day 10 Micah 6 ... Rumors of Destruction

Not every king of Judah had Jehoshaphat's faith and courage. As the years ground on, the same decadence that had characterized the Northern Kingdom of Israel spread like an epidemic through Judah. Other parts of the Bible detail Judah's faults: one notorious king, Ahaz, set up foreign altars, offered his own children in human sacrifice, and shuttered the Lord's temple. Along with the religious corruption came every other kind of sin: dishonesty, greed, bribery, injustice.

Around the same time Amos was blasting Israel in the North, another country preacher, Micah, was called by God to deliver similar words of warning to Judah. Micah got emotionally caught up in his message:

Because of this I will weep and wail; I will go about barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl. For her wound is incurable; it has come to Judah. It has reached the very gate of my people, even to Jerusalem itself (1:8-9).

Micah lived in tumultuous times. Once, Judah lost 120,000 soldiers in a single day (2 Chronicles 28:6). The nation watched in fear as Assyria, the chief power of the day, brutally smashed the Northern Kingdom. What would keep Judah from a similar fate? That very prospect of judgement was what made Micah howl like a jackal and moan like an owl.

This very chapter opens with an impassioned plea from God. "My people, what have I done to you?" God asks. He reviews the history of his chosen people, reminding them of his great works on their behalf. In his rhetorical response, Micah makes clear that God desires true, heartfelt changes, not just a veneer of religion: "And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

Micah concludes darkly that his people, afflicted with the same sickness as their relatives to the North, would meet the same end. Even so, Micah saw light ahead. Amid graphic predictions of destruction, Micah gives clear predictions of the Messiah, the future leader from the tiny town of Bethlehem who would offer new hope to the earth (5:2)

Point to Ponder: Imagine God personally addressing your church, spelling out exactly what changes he wants. What would he say?