Attention! Let all the people of the world listen! Let the earth and everything in it hear. The Sovereign Lord is making accusations against you; the Lord speaks from his holy Temple. Micah 1:2
Have you ever noticed how young children have a tendency to rebel against their parents? For example, the moment children are told to do something such as eat their vegetables, take a nap, or clean their toys, they immediately want to do the exact opposite. This rebellion can be maddening for parents who are simply trying to care for their children. In the same way that parents care for their children, God cares for us as our loving Heavenly Father. He provides for us and wants what is best for us, like any good parent. Despite His care and provision, many of us behave like small children, constantly rebelling against God.
The prophet Micah had much experience seeing God's people rebel against Him. Micah had been watching the Israelites continually, willfully, rebel against God, and it must have been maddening to observe. Time after time, God had taken care of the Israelites and provided for them (see Micah 6:4-5), yet they were choosing to live disobediently. Some of the things they participated in were wickedness, theft, fraud, greed, and violence.
If you have been following along with us in this Campfire Stories series, you might find yourself frustrated with the Israelites at this point. They had quite a track record of living unfaithfully to God. Despite God's faithful provision, they continued in rebellion and unfaithfulness. Even if you may be frustrated with the Israelites, can you relate to them? Have you found yourself willfully disobeying God despite His great faithfulness to you? Maybe you have been withholding your tithe (10 percent of your income offered as a gift to the Lord), or maybe you have been neglecting your daily time with Him, or perhaps you are behaving in reckless behavior that you know displeases the Lord. Let this message from Micah be a warning for you. Return to God. Leave anything behind that is keeping you from fully committing to Him. After all, He loves you and has been and always will be faithful to you. Like a loving parent, He is ready for you to come back to Him. He is waiting for you with open arms.
In what ways have you been rebelling against God? Have you found yourself bending the truth, giving in to an unhealthy addiction, or doing something else you know would displease God? Wherever you may find yourself today, turn back to Him, the One who has been faithful to you, time and time again. Take some time today to write out a letter of confession to God. Be brutally honest before Him and pour out your heart to Him. Acknowledge what you have done and how it has affected your relationship. Say the words, "I am sorry." Then, ask for His help to stop rebelling against Him. This will lead to a restored relationship with Him.
Read Micah 1:1-16 (NLT)
The Lord gave this message to Micah of Moresheth during the years when Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. The visions he saw concerned both Samaria and Jerusalem.
Attention! Let all the people of the world listen!
Let the earth and everything in it hear.
The Sovereign Lord is making accusations against you;
the Lord speaks from his holy Temple.
Look! The Lord is coming!
He leaves his throne in heaven
and tramples the heights of the earth.
The mountains melt beneath his feet
and flow into the valleys
like wax in a fire,
like water pouring down a hill.
And why is this happening?
Because of the rebellion of Israel—
yes, the sins of the whole nation.
Who is to blame for Israel’s rebellion?
Samaria, its capital city!
Where is the center of idolatry in Judah?
In Jerusalem, its capital!
“So I, the Lord, will make the city of Samaria
a heap of ruins.
Her streets will be plowed up
for planting vineyards.
I will roll the stones of her walls into the valley below,
exposing her foundations.
All her carved images will be smashed.
All her sacred treasures will be burned.
These things were bought with the money
earned by her prostitution,
and they will now be carried away
to pay prostitutes elsewhere.”
Therefore, I will mourn and lament.
I will walk around barefoot and naked.
I will howl like a jackal
and moan like an owl.
For my people’s wound
is too deep to heal.
It has reached into Judah,
even to the gates of Jerusalem.
Don’t tell our enemies in Gath;
don’t weep at all.
You people in Beth-leaphrah,
roll in the dust to show your despair.
You people in Shaphir,
go as captives into exile—naked and ashamed.
The people of Zaanan
dare not come outside their walls.
The people of Beth-ezel mourn,
for their house has no support.
The people of Maroth anxiously wait for relief,
but only bitterness awaits them
as the Lord’s judgment reaches
even to the gates of Jerusalem.
Harness your chariot horses and flee,
you people of Lachish.
You were the first city in Judah
to follow Israel in her rebellion,
and you led Jerusalem into sin.
Send farewell gifts to Moresheth-gath;
there is no hope of saving it.
The town of Aczib
has deceived the kings of Israel.
O people of Mareshah,
I will bring a conqueror to capture your town.
And the leaders of Israel
will go to Adullam.
Oh, people of Judah, shave your heads in sorrow,
for the children you love will be snatched away.
Make yourselves as bald as a vulture,
for your little ones will be exiled to distant lands.