Christopher B. Harbin
We are accustomed to thinking of the Christian faith in terms of believing the right things about Jesus. We talk about receiving Jesus as Savior, being baptized or confirmed, becoming a church member, reading the Bible, going to church, and things of that nature. All too often, we forget that the Bible actually calls us to so much more than issues of escaping hell and making it to heaven. It calls us to much more than issues of having the right thoughts and understanding. It calls us far beyond checking off the correct boxes on a list of theological positions. What does God really want of us, and what is the mission set before us as believers?
Micah was one of what we call minor prophets of Ancient Israel. They were not minor prophets due to the character of their messages, but in relation to the length of the books written by or about them and their ministries. These smaller texts were gathered together into one scroll, sometimes referred to as the minor prophets, and often referred to by the Jews as ''The Book of the Twelve.''
Micah's words come to us most likely from the period of Babylonian exile. They may predate that or come from after the fact, but they are set with the exile as the main event in the life of the nation, to which they people were struggling for understanding.
While we are comfortable with the idea that Israel and Judah were unfaithful to Yahweh in the period leading up to exile in Babylon, we often miss the nuance of how the prophets like Micah defined that unfaithfulness. Micah's words ring in concert with Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, calling Israel out for its practice of economic injustice toward their poor and the disenfranchised of their population.
There was plenty of idolatry in Israel and Judah. That is especially visible in accounts of the kings of both nations. At the same time, the worship of Yahweh continued alongside much of the idolatrous worship in the land. ...
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