I think one of the challenges to reading through The Whole Story of the Bible is to keep reminding ourselves that the people involved were very real people dealing with really crucial and often difficult circumstances. For example, we have now arrived at a sobering word from Yahweh through the prophet Micah.
Stop for a moment and remind yourself — Micah was a man much like you. He had the daily challenges of life, arguably more acute to a person living in an agrarian, subsistence culture in the ancient Near East. Picture him making his way through the tasks of his day, engaging with those in his city, working, conversing, going to bed, waking up and starting all over again. In the midst of that, as we read in this little book, he was dealing with some pretty severe issues of injustice and unrighteousness in his culture and from his governmental and religious leaders.
And he’s a person, just like you, trying to make his way in that reality. Except, unlike you, he then hears a word direct from Yahweh. It is a word vivid in poetic imagery; for example, a courtroom scene that would rival any Law and Order episode, and God himself walking the earth. It is a word rich in description for what a culture should look like in terms of justice and righteousness. It is a word that has connections to the Old Testament story that has unfolded before it, as well as the New Testament story that follows.
And, it is a word from Yahweh that is over 2,500 years old, and yet is just as timely and applicable as if Micah had stepped onto the scene today. For we still have the same issues of injustice and unrighteousness. We still have a culture, and the people in that culture, crying out for and pursuing justice, but in many cases unhinged from any kind of standard that can rightly guide them.
So this past Sunday, in my sermon on Micah, I try to make those connections between his day and ours, and to give some very concrete and practical ways we are already responding as a church family. Finally, I reveal how we can keep progressing as Micah shows us the path forward to pursue justice and display righteousness, and thus extend the life-giving and Eden-like kingdom of God in our day and our place. For I believe all that is what God means when he says,
He has told you, O man, 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?
(Micah 6:8, English Standard Version)
I encourage you to watch or listen to my sermon on this incredibly helpful word from God, through Micah, for our lives, and for those we are trying to reach with the good news of Jesus and the Kingdom of God.
And for further study on Micah, head over to our friends at The Bible Project. There you will find videos, milestones, study resources, and recommendations for further reading and study on this book, as well as all the books found in The Whole Story of God (which we call the Bible).
In addition, be sure to check out their theme video on Justice, which provides a vivid and helpful look at how foundational justice is to the rescuing work of God in the world, throughout the story he is writing and bringing about.
Finally, just a reminder that this coming Sunday we will turn our attention to Nahum. Be sure to read it a few times this week so that you may come with a ready and expectant heart as we gather together Sunday morning at 10:30am at Calvary.
Following Jesus with you,
“Do you really believe in the ‘God of the Old Testament’? I mean, he seems so ticked off all the time! All that vengeance, and wrath, and anger. All those times where he orders the extermination of whole cities, and sometimes wipes them out himself (see Sodom and Gomorrah).
Watch as the young Beck men proclaim their love for Jesus as they obey his command to be baptized.
All My Hope
One of the things I LOVE about being a pastor at Calvary is some of the amazing people I get to serve with every day. A couple of those are our worship pastor, Matt Faulkner, and one of his worship leaders, Christy Freeman.
On Easter Sunday, the Calvary family got to witness God working in the lives of two men who publicly affirmed their faith through baptism. It was a joy to see!
We’ve made our way through The Whole Story to one of the most famous stories in all of the Bible, and maybe all of literature. The story of the prophet Jonah.
As I sit down to write this little article, I’ve just come from a hospital room visiting one of our long time members at Calvary. In addition to the circumstances that caused him to be admitted, he has been battling a serious health condition for many years.