Each of our lives is framed by a particular time in history, an expanse of years marked by memorable local, national, world, and personal events. People who are my age may remember the summer of 1964, when Freedom Riders risked their lives so that African Americans would be recognized as humans created in God’s image. Others remember the day the Berlin Wall fell or the shocking destruction of 9/11. And all of us will remember the global COVID pandemic. Simply put, we humans exist in the context of history.
In his introductory verses, the biblical prophet Micah gives readers a sense of his own place in the time and space of the entire world. In the first verse of his book, he calls for people to hear the words—or sermons, if you will—that “came to” him from God “in the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah” (kings of that time period) and that these sermons pertained to what “he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem” (v. 1).
These were dark days for Samaria and Jerusalem, the capital cities of the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. As we will discover in this study, the political and religious leadership of these nations had failed to love God and to love their neighbor, leading the Lord to sharply rebuke them through Micah. Though the prophet faced severe opposition from the people he sought to save, he never wavered in his commitment to speak hard, seasoned- with-grace truths to God’s people.
God’s truth would descend on that place and those people from “his holy temple” (v. 2). What we do, in our own place and time, is not going unnoticed by the King of kings. Judgment is coming and certain.
>> Make a short list of the significant events (personal or cultural) that have marked your life. When you look back on those before-and-after moments, consider how God was at work and any lessons learned.
Sovereign God, history is a record of Your faithfulness and power. Though we don’t yet understand everything, we rejoice in the preservation of the past, since it reveals the intricacies of Your purposes.