Have you ever gone outside in the early morning, when the sun is just coming up and the grass glistens with the overnight dew? In the deep south, we appreciate those early morning moments because they are less-than-suffocatingly hot.
In today’s passage, Micah is looking into the future to the time when God’s people are exiled. He uses two metaphors to describe the effect God’s people will have on the people among whom they will live. In verse 7 God says His people will be like the dew described above—refreshing and nourishing. They will be a source of blessing and encouragement to all those around them, and they will bring life to the land in which they’ve been exiled.
Verses 8 and 9 use a different metaphor to describe God’s people in exile. “Like a lion among beasts of the forest...Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies, and all your foes will be destroyed” (vv. 8–9). Thus, along with blessing many around them, God’s people will be a curse to many others, in particular their enemies. The difference—whether God’s people are a blessing or a curse—seems to be how they are received.
It may seem strange that God’s people would be both a blessing and a curse to those around them, but Paul made a similar statement about Christians some centuries later. Speaking to the church at Corinth, Paul said, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life” (2 Cor. 2:15–16). God’s message, delivered through us, remains consistent, but the way people receive it means the difference between life and death.
>> God’s Word is refreshing to us, and it can help us be refreshing to others. Sharing Bible verses (or even this devotional) with others is a good way to be the “aroma that brings life”!
“The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever” (Psalm 19:8–9).