Micah lived during the time when Tiglath-pileser forced all small kingdoms, including Israel under Menahem to pay tribute (2 Kings 15:19) and Judah under “Azariah” (Uzziah). His contemporaries were Isaiah, Amos and Hosea. Micah, like Amos, travelled to Jerusalem as a ‘country’ prophet to warn the descendants of Abraham, Issac and Jacob of impending judgment because of their disloyalty to their covenant with God.
This was not a popular message, and he was not always well received by the people. Micah 7vs6 finds an echo in Matthew 10:35-36: “For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's foes will be members of one's own household.” Micah models one who is willing to stand firm for the truth – even when it is unpopular truth.
This is the tradition of faithful Christ-following preachers. Some years ago Arch Bishop emeritus Desmond Tutu was publically vilified by those politicians who had formerly hailed him as their pastor. His crime was that he had dared to speak an unpopular truth. This is the tradition we hold to. In my Methodist tradition I find the exhortation to speak the truth “both in season and out of season”.
May God bless us with a faithful commitment to the truth.
Ordinary 16 / Pentecost +938 Patience
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 237.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.