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Social conscience

They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud people of their homes, they rob them of their inheritance.... If a liar and deceiver comes and says, ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’ that would be just the prophet for this people! Micah 2.2 & 11

When reflecting on the prophecy of Micah, it is important to remember that he speaks out of an environment of apparent prosperity. Israel and Judah were flourishing - at least on the surface. But Micah noticed that, for ordinary people, life was not so good. In fact the gap between rich and poor was conspicuous and growing. Furthermore, their rulers were losing their moral bearing and apostasy was infecting the nation's religious life. Although those in authority could not - or did not want to - see it, the rot was setting in.

According to Micah's diagnosis, the eventual consequence of the nation's moral decadence and structural injustice would be invasion, destruction and deportation - which is exactly what happened. At the same time, the prophet is faithful in bearing witness to God's contrasting faithfulness, evidence of which he scatters, like seeds of hope throughout his otherwise withering message. For example, what/ who does this bring to mind?

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5.2



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