Promises of Hope- Tuesday, December 3rd

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MICAH

Although Micah came from a small country town (Moresheth), he bravely criticized leaders in the larger capital cities of Samaria and Jerusalem. Micah was critical of the way the people were not only disobeying God’s law, but also terribly mistreating- cheating and robbing- the poor and lowly, including women and children. He warned the people that their disobedience to God would lead to their doom, but again- as prophets will do- he also spoke of the hope to come. Micah’s prophecy of Jesus is found in his descriptions of a shepherd from Bethlehem who will take care of his sheep (Micah 5:2-5), and a day when all people will live in peace (Micah 4:1-5). Today as we reflect on the Promises of Hope found in the words of prophets, may we have the courage of Micah, bravely speaking important words of hope to those who need to hear them.

Light the Prophecy Candle.

Micah 6:6-8 (NRSV)

“With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

I had to include this passage for our devotional time with Micah. Verse 8 is Jim’s favorite Bible verse, and it is a perfect guide for our faithful living. Our hope is found in the simplicity of what the Lord requires as our offering- “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with (our) God.” This difference is remarkable. We are no longer trying to appease a God on high with our sacrifices, we are walking humbly with God, who journeys with us. Oh, at times we may feel intimidated to work for justice or to always love kindness, but God will be the One to direct and guide us to do so, if we but walk together.

Prayer: Loving God, guide us to do your will- to humbly do justice and to love kindness. Thank you that we now have you to journey with us every step of the way, through Jesus, in whom we find our courage and our hope. Amen.