Hoping in the Justice of God
I. Three cycles of JUDGMENT and HOPE. (Micah 1-7)
A. First DESTRUCTION, then the SHEPHERD. (Micah 1-2)
B. The sin of the LEADERS and PROPHETS. (Micah 3-5)
1. RESTORATION will COME. (Micah 4)
2. The ultimate LEADER/PROPHET (Micah 5)
C. A broken COVENANT and a FUTURE hope. (Micah 6-7)
Micah appears to be three messages that he gave to the people during the over 50 years that he served as a prophet. They are hard messages of coming judgment, but they always end in hope. God is doing something through the hard times to prepare the people for His intended future for them.
1. Kid’s question: If someone told you that had bad news AND good news which would you want to hear first? Why?
2. What stands out to you about the cycles of judgment and hope in the message of Micah? Why does it resonate with you?
II. REPEATED themes of JUDGMENT. (Micah 1-7)
A. Leaders: POWER and economic OPPRESSION. (2:1-2; 3:1-3, 9-12; 6:10-12)
B. PROPHETS: Self-focused RELIGION. (2:6-11; 3:5-7,11)
Micah speaks pointedly to two main groups who he says are bringing the coming judgment: leaders, and prophets. Political and religious leaders always play a part in the Biblical story, often that of holding on to power and status at the expense of those who are less fortunate. This is exactly what Micah was seeing in his day.
3. Micah’s issues of power and economic oppression seem to never fully go away? What is our calling to live as Christians in a world that still acts the same way? What specifics can we do?
4. How can we know if our “religion” has become more about us than about God and others? What are some of the warning signs?
III. A continual HOPE for JUSTICE. (Micah 7:7)
A. A different KIND of JUSTICE. (6:6-8; Zech. 7:8-10)
B. The CHARACTER and PROMISE of God. (2:12-13; 7:18-20)
C. A process of ORDER, disorder, REORDER. (7:8-10; Jer. 31:27-28)
Micah picks up our current Lenten theme of justice throughout the book. There is a hope in the coming justice of God. We touched on this last week, but it’s important to understand what the Hebrew word “mishpat” fully means.
5. If you had to explain the Hebrew idea of “mishpat” in your own words what would you say? What examples of true justice would you use to describe it?
6. Jeff says that the process of order, disorder, and reorder is fundamental to the spiritual life? Have you found that to be true? If so, when and how?
IV. What God ASKS of US. (Micah 6:8)
A. Do JUSTICE. (3:8; Is. 58:6-10)
B. Love MERCY. (Eph 2:4-5; I Jn 4:19)
C. Walk HUMBLY with GOD. (Gal. 5:25; Ps. 131)
Micah 6:8 is probably the most well known phrase out of the entire book. What is less well known is the context. The question arises, “What does God want? Sacrifices?” Micah’s famous phrase gives the answer.
7. How does the call to love mercy and to walk humbly shape the way we seek and understand justice?
8. What are specific ways you can live out Micah 6:8 in the coming week?