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Micah Speaks Truth, but the People Won’t Listen

Stop it Micah!

The prophet Micah gives some strong words from God to his chosen people. Although Micah’s proclamation—his prophecy—should convict them, instead they take offense.

At one point the people even tell him to stop talking—they say, “Stop it Micah”—as if his silence would keep God’s plans from happening.

Micah’s sarcastic retort is that if a prophet proclaimed plenty of wine and beer for everyone, the people would flock to him. Apparently, rather than face the truth, the people prefer to anesthetize themselves from it.

We aren’t much different today. We flock to pastors who give us feel-good messages that overflow with positive platitudes and memorable sound bites. However, when a pastor must deliver a God-honoring message that criticizes us or convicts our conscience, we often turn on our teacher.

We may attack the messenger, attempt to remove them, or run off to sit under the teaching of someone who will make us feel good about ourselves.

Our reaction is to respond as consumers, leaving the teacher of an unpalatable message and seeking someone who will tell us what we want to hear.

That’s approaching faith with a consumerism mindset: looking for what is pleasant and nice—even if it’s wrong. It happened to Micah and it’s still happening today.

Telling the people what they want to hear—as opposed to the truth—is making a false prophecy. Regarding these false prophets, Micah further notes that when the prophets are fed, they pronounce that peace will occur, but if they don’t say what the people want, the people turn against them.

How much does money affect what our ministers today say or don’t say?

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Micah 1-4, and today’s post is on Micah 2:6.]

Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s new book, Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Micah: The Anti-Hero

Micah: The Anti-Hero

A curious fellow in the book of Judges is Micah (not to be confused with the prophet Micah who lived many centuries later and has a book of the Bible named after him). This Micah, with two chapters surrounding him, is not listed as a judge and does not lead the people to overthrow their oppressors.

If anything, Micah is an anti-hero or anti-judge. There is nothing positive in his story:

  • He steals silver from his mom.
  • When he later confesses this to her, she blesses him! Then she tells him to keep the silver and make an idol.
  • Micah uses the silver to cast an idol and carve an image; he also makes a shrine and fabricates an ephod.
  • A wayward Levite happens by and Micah hires him to be his priest. (Although all priests are Levites, most Levites are not priests; this was determined by ancestry. This Levite is likely not meant to be a priest, yet he jumps at the chance, even though—according to the Law of Moses—he is in the wrong place and doing the wrong thing.)
  • Since Micah now has a priest, he concludes that God will bless him, (which doesn’t seem to be the case.)

This is all backstory. Men from the tribe of Dan are looking for some land and come upon a “peaceful and unsuspecting people”—not an oppressing people, which the other Judges fought against, but a peaceful people.

The men from Dan, bent on conquering, steal Micah’s idol, image, and ephod, as well as enticing away his “priest.” They go into battle and win. They and their descendants worship Micah’s idol for several centuries.

Seemingly, everything Micah did was wrong.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Judges 16-18, and today’s post is on Judges 18:27-31.]

Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s new book, Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

3 Things God Requires from Us

God’s Expectations May Surprise Us, but They Do Make Sense

As Micah wraps up his prophecy to the people of Israel, he slips in a profound thought. In one short sentence he tells what God requires of his people. It’s succinct and simple. It’s startling but profound. Equally astonishing is what Micah doesn’t include in his list of things God requires.

God doesn’t say go to church, develop the right theology, or obey a bunch of rules. Yet these are some of the many things we put great importance on today. We focus on these elements—and others like them—at the expense of what God requires.

What does God require from us? He wants us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with him (Micah 6:8).

Act Justly

We often hear the word justice, but we don’t often hear of acting justly. What does justly mean?

Here are some ideas. To act justly we should:

  • be honorable and fair in how we deal with others,
  • behave morally (that is, righteous), and
  • do all things properly.

Does this sound a lot like Jesus? It’s what he taught and how he acted. Yet we often forget to behave this way in our own lives. Instead we get caught up chasing secondary pursuits and even focusing on goals that don’t matter in God’s perspective.

Love Mercy

Another thing God requires is that we love mercy. This goes beyond merely showing mercy to others but to fully embrace mercy. Often people show mercy but do so in the begrudging way. Their attitude is wrong. Though they show mercy, they don’t love it. In fact, they may hate it.

God wants us to love showing mercy to others. Isn’t that what he does for us? Shouldn’t we follow his example and do it for others?

Walk Humbly with God

Humility is a word we don’t hear very often anymore. In today’s culture, humility is no longer an esteemed characteristic. In truth most people look down on the humble and dismiss them. Instead society embraces the bold, egotistical, and controversial. However, in God’s kingdom, this is the wrong perspective.

God requires us to walk humbly with him. And when we walk humbly with him, the natural outgrowth is humility toward others.

If God expected his people to do this thousands of years ago, is there any reason he doesn’t expect it from us today? Click To Tweet

A Final Thought about What God Requires of Us

Though Micah directs these expectations of what God requires to the nation of Israel, these points are consistent with his character and more broadly applicable to us. Yet these fall short of a command for us to obey today.

Even so we are well advised to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. If God expected his people to do this thousands of years ago, is there any reason he doesn’t expect it from us today?

[Read through the Bible this year. Today’s reading is Micah 5-7, and today’s post is on Micah 6:8.]

Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s new book, Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Micah’s Personal Prescription

Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly, and Hope in and Wait on God

As the prophet Micah gives a series of stinging rebukes against the nations of Israel and Judah, he takes a pause for some personal reflection.

As if keeping a journal, he wonders how he should approach God. With reverence, with offerings, with sacrifices? No. That is not what God wants.  God requires something much different, for him to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly.

Then Micah returns to his God-promoted discourse of doom. After a bit more invective, he becomes filled with remorse, saying, “What misery is mine?”

Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly, and hope in and wait on God. Click To Tweet

Micah then reflects some more, delving into a depressing bit of introspection, before confidently affirming that his hope is in God; Micah will wait and God will hear him.

So Micah’s personal prescription then becomes to: Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly, and hope in and wait on God.

Works for me.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Micah 5-7, and today’s post is on Micah 6:8.]

Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s new book, Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Book: Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets

Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope

You may know about the prophet Jonah, the guy who spent a three-day time-out in the belly of a large fish, but what about some of the lesser-known prophets?

Do you know of Micah, Obadiah, or Malachi?

What about Nahum, Zephaniah, or Zechariah? Oh, my! The list goes on. It’s enough to make our minds spin.

Rounding out these twelve Minor Prophets are Amos, Hosea, Habakkuk, Haggai, and Joel.

The Bible includes the work of these twelve prophets who carry the unfortunate label of minor. It’s not that their work isn’t significant, it’s that their books are shorter.

If you’re like most people, you scarcely remember their names, let alone having ever read their books in the Bible.

It’s time we change this.

In the book Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets, you’ll discover:

  • The order of each prophet’s ministry (because the Bible doesn’t list them chronologically)
  • The significant messages they address
  • Their place in the biblical timeline
  • The umbrella of hope that outshines criticism of unfaithfulness and prophecies of punishment
  • The powerful way their words apply to us today

In book four of the Dear Theophilus series, you get all this and more:

  • Thought-provoking insights that are part Bible study and part devotional
  • A deeper understanding of these lesser-known prophets
  • A greater appreciation of how the Old Testament informs our lives today

Let’s dive into the intriguing lives and ministries of these amazing messengers from God in the book Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Posts about the Minor Prophets

For the past several months, most of the ABibleADay posts have been about the minor prophets. Recall that they are called minor not because their prophecy is insignificant, but because their books are short!

Though more posts may be added in the future, there are no more planned at this time. See all posts about the twelve Minor Prophets:

  1. Hosea
  2. Joel
  3. Amos
  4. Obadiah
  5. Jonah
  6. Micah
  7. Nahum
  8. Habakkuk
  9. Zephaniah
  10. Haggai
  11. Zechariah
  12. Malachi

Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s new book, Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.