2 Kings 15:32-38; 2 Chronicles 27:1-9; Micah 1:1-16; 2 Kings 16:1-9; 2 Chronicles 28:1-15; Isaiah 7:1-25
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Today we start the book of the prophet Micah! Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah and prophesied in approximately 730 - 700 B.C., primarily to the southern kingdom of Judah. Micah's name means "Who is like the Lord?" This following quote is from bible.org's Hampton Keathley IV , Th.M. on the book of Micah: "Micah prophesied during a period of upheaval and crisis. The reign of Ahaz brought spiritual lethargy, apostasy and hypocrisy. The people still worshipped Yahweh, but it was ritual without life-changing reality. Their treatment of fellow Israelites violated the basic tenants of the Mosaic covenant as they failed to practice justice, or covenant loyalty-love and their pursuit of idolatry revealed their failure to walk humbly before Yahweh." This quote and much more on the book of Micah is at this link. Below is an engraving of Micah preaching by Gustaf Dore:
In Micah chapter 1, verse 8 stood out to me: "Because of all this, I will mourn and lament." Micah was obviously saddened by the sins of those around him and the harm they were causing to themselves and to others. Do we mourn and lament for the sins of others in our world today? Do we mourn and lament over our own sins? Do we pray for healing and repentance in the lives of others - and ourselves? Is it okay to grieve for others and ourselves because of sin? What should we then do with this grief?
In Isaiah chapter 7 today we read about the sign of Immanuel in verses 14 through 16! "All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel--`God is with us.' By the time this child is old enough to eat curds and honey, he will know enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong. But before he knows right from wrong, the two kings you fear so much--the kings of Israel and Aram--will both be dead." I don't know about you, but when I read this today I immediately thought of the virgin Mary and Jesus. With good reason, as we'll recall from the gospel of Matthew chapter 1 verse 23: "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." Commentaries suggest that yes, indeed, these passages in Isaiah are ultimately wholly fulfilled in Jesus, who truly is "God with us." But, commentaries also suggest that this prophecy in Isaiah had a double fulfillment - first in a young woman from the house of Ahaz who was not married, but would marry and then have a son - and by the time the son was the age 2, the two invading kings would be destroyed. Then, the second fulfillment of this prophecy was indeed in the One we now celebrate as the true Immanuel, Jesus Christ, God with us!
Worship God - Today's readings in Micah remind me of the Matt Maher song "Alive Again." Here's a great live performance from Matt:
Are you truly alive? Click here and be made Alive Again!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!