READ: Pause and request that God give you an open heart for what you are about to read. Give him permission to speak to you specifically about what he wants you to hear. Acknowledge that you desire to hear him speak to you and that you will listen attentively. Then read Micah 1-2.
BACKGROUND: Micah is a really cool book of prophecy that is quoted often throughout the rest of the Bible including in Jeremiah and Matthew and is even quoted by Jesus. It paints a compelling picture of God’s future Kingdom. And Micah, like Amos, cries out loudly for social justice. The first 2 chapters reveal God’s coming judgment and the reasons for it.
1:2-9 – Samaria was captured by Assyria in 722 BC. Jerusalem was besieged by Sennacherib in 701 and by Nebuchadnezzar in 605.
16 – Cutting off all your hair so you were bald was a sign of great mourning (back then, at least. Now, if you’re like me, it’s a sign of bad genetics).
2:1-2 – There was a deep separation between the upper and lower classes. The wealthy assumed that might makes right and took advantage of the poor unjustly.
11 – False prophets gain a foothold by preaching prosperity and luxury instead of truth.
THINK: Sometimes we let ourselves believe that idols are mere physical objects that people made hundreds, even thousands of years ago. But theologically speaking, an idol is anything that eclipses our worship of God. And with this definition, everybody makes idols today, whether material or immaterial.
What gets between you and a heartfelt, humble, and thankful response to God? To what shrines and idols, gods and goddesses are you tempted to give your allegiance? Make a mental list (or write it on paper, if it helps.)
Why do you think you are drawn to believe that certain things will give you more significance purpose, and meaning than God himself? Why does God hate those things that take your worship, attention, and devotion? Is God’s jealousy selfish? Why or why not?
PRAY: Bring your list of idols before God. Be utterly transparent with him, acknowledging and confessing the people, places, thoughts, ideas, emotions, and so on that come between you and God. Invite him to fight alongside you against these temptations that divert your soul from the truth.
LIVE: When an idol lures you, simply whisper, “God, help me worship you and you alone.”