The Sins of the People
Take a deep breath—be still—and let the air out, slowly. Rest in God’s presence.
Read Micah 1:1—2:5
The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah—the vision he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
2 Hear, you peoples, all of you,
listen, earth and all who live in it,
that the Sovereign Lord may bear witness against you,
the Lord from his holy temple.
Judgment Against Samaria and Jerusalem
3 Look! The Lord is coming from his dwelling place;
he comes down and treads on the heights of the earth.
4 The mountains melt beneath him
and the valleys split apart,
like wax before the fire,
like water rushing down a slope.
5 All this is because of Jacob’s transgression,
because of the sins of the people of Israel.
What is Jacob’s transgression?
Is it not Samaria?
What is Judah’s high place?
Is it not Jerusalem?
6 “Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of rubble,
a place for planting vineyards.
I will pour her stones into the valley
and lay bare her foundations.
7 All her idols will be broken to pieces;
all her temple gifts will be burned with fire;
I will destroy all her images.
Since she gathered her gifts from the wages of prostitutes,
as the wages of prostitutes they will again be used.”
Weeping and Mourning
8 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.
9 For Samaria’s plague is incurable;
it has spread to Judah.
It has reached the very gate of my people,
even to Jerusalem itself.
10 Tell it not in Gath;
weep not at all.
In Beth Ophrah
roll in the dust.
11 Pass by naked and in shame,
you who live in Shaphir.
Those who live in Zaanan
will not come out.
Beth Ezel is in mourning;
it no longer protects you.
12 Those who live in Maroth writhe in pain,
waiting for relief,
because disaster has come from the Lord,
even to the gate of Jerusalem.
13 You who live in Lachish,
harness fast horses to the chariot.
You are where the sin of Daughter Zion began,
for the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
14 Therefore you will give parting gifts
to Moresheth Gath.
The town of Akzib will prove deceptive
to the kings of Israel.
15 I will bring a conqueror against you
who live in Mareshah.
The nobles of Israel
will flee to Adullam.
16 Shave your head in mourning
for the children in whom you delight;
make yourself as bald as the vulture,
for they will go from you into exile.
Human Plans and God’s Plans
2 Woe to those who plan iniquity,
to those who plot evil on their beds!
At morning’s light they carry it out
because it is in their power to do it.
2 They covet fields and seize them,
and houses, and take them.
They defraud people of their homes,
they rob them of their inheritance.
3 Therefore, the Lord says:
“I am planning disaster against this people,
from which you cannot save yourselves.
You will no longer walk proudly,
for it will be a time of calamity.
4 In that day people will ridicule you;
they will taunt you with this mournful song:
‘We are utterly ruined;
my people’s possession is divided up.
He takes it from me!
He assigns our fields to traitors.’”
5 Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the Lord
to divide the land by lot.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is distracting you today? Reflect on it and deliberately put it on one side. (If it helps, picture doing it.)
“Hear… listen… look” (1:2,3). Pay attention—this is important. Put down your smartphone, turn off your TV, forget about dinner—this is way more important. Pay attention…
The Lord is coming (1:3).
Wouldn’t you love to hear those four words? God’s people longed for that day, when the mountains would melt and the valleys split (1:4). The coming of God will be a wonderful
moment, unless we have something to hide.
They did. They collected the nations’ idols as the wages of their prostitution (1:7); they coveted, stole and cheated (2:2); and that is only the beginning of the charges. And what is worse, they deliberately plotted and planned their sin (2:1). So God’s plan for them is disaster, ruin and ridicule (2:3,4).
I find it easier to confess the things I do by mistake and the things I fail to do; it’s harder to admit the things I do deliberately. In those moments we forget how serious sin is. Micah’s response to Israel’s sin is sobering: he wept, wailed, howled and moaned (1:8).
Is there something you need to confess today, something you do deliberately and need to stop? Stop now and pray.
God, I ask for Your forgiveness and for the strength to do right. Show me a trusted friend who can encourage accountability.
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