My current set of Bible readings is taking me into the book of Micah. I am not sure whether there was an introductory page that gave a few details about the author and when he wrote his prophecies. I have gleaned that his name means “one who is like God”. I remember thinking at the time about the white stone that is mentioned in the book of Revelation and the new name that’s written on it – I think I would like to have the name Micah written on mine. I would like to be “one who is like God”. As a Christian I am called to be “one who is like Jesus”.
Amos prophesied during some very troubled times. The leaders of the nation, whether they were political leaders or religious leaders, were doing a very bad job. They refused to even entertain the notion that God was not on their side. They believed that as long as God was getting the burnt offerings he asked for they were fulfilling their duty towards him.
They were not a nation of Micahs. They were not “ones who were like God.” Micah condemnation of them is harsh. “Listen, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel; Should you not embrace justice, you who hate good and love evil, who tear the skin from my people and the flesh from their bones…” Micah 3:1.
God had in mind a better shepherd for His people:- “He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely; for then His greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And He will be our peace when the Assyrians invade our land and march through our fortresses.” Micah 5:4-5
It’s not the Assyrians that are invading our land and marching through our fortresses. The latest rounds of austerity cuts are definitely marching through and causing destruction. Is that not a case of a government tearing their skin from the people? But it’s more than that. I read in the paper this morning of a young man just seventeen years old shooting another young man because he gate crashed a party. The government mind-set of valuing some people above others has its consequences. Life doesn’t seem to be held sacred anymore.
It makes a person quake at their powerlessness. Too much of life is outside of their control. They wait for the next army to invade and march through their fortresses.
I had a quaking moment. Too much of my life seemed to be out of my control. My land and my fortresses felt like they have been ruined. The God reminded me that things are never out of His control. The things that I have entrusted to Him can never be ruined. There are places the enemy cannot go.
The One Who Reigns Supreme
How powerless I often feel
So much I can’t control
When men of power write their rules
My good is not their goal
The gap between the rich and poor
Gets wider every year
Into the deep and hidden cracks
Men slip and disappear
The threat of bombs and stink of fear
When terror has its way
Nibbles at the corners of
My courage every day
As wages fall and prices rise
Oft times my ends don’t meet
To keep a roof above my head
Becomes a toilsome feat
I've come to realise that those
Who should come to my aid
Have skinned and eaten, not just fleeced
The sheep they have betrayed
I’m subject to a different King
A Shepherd strong and just
Who leads His flock to pasture green
In Him I put my trust
As princes rise and kingdoms fall
My God – He reigns supreme
He seeks the lame, the lost, the hurt
To rescue and redeem