We normally start Sunday School by singing a hymn. Lisa was kind enough to share this one.
The book of Micah is another of the 12 Minor Prophets. Micah's ministry took place in the second half of the eighth century BC. His times were full of turmoil and uncertainty for both Israel (the northern kingdom) and Judah (the southern kingdom). The Assyrians were a formidable threat to both kingdoms. They were the instrument in God's hands to carry out his judgment against Israel when the capital city of Samaria fell in 722 BC.
Micah's ministry may have overlapped with that of Amos. Micah and Isaiah were contemporaries. Both ministered in Jerusalem. Micah's message included words of judgment against both Israel and Judah. His book begins with a reference to Samaria and Jerusalem, representing both Israel and Judah respectively. Both are indicted for rebellion against the Lord.
Normally, we would discuss this lesson in Sunday School. We are unable to do this in person. However, we can still have a discussion. The book poses several questions to reflect on. If you would like to, you may post some of your thoughts and answers below.
Micah courageously confronted the tragic lack of godly leadership for the people of God. While Micah's words in the concluding portion of our printed text apply to all God's people, they most certainly need to be exemplified in the lives of their leaders. One thinks of how Jesus looked at the masses in his day and saw them as "sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36). The same terminology could have been used to describe the people in Micah's day, given how corrupt the leadership had become. What a difference it would have made if those leaders had taken the words in Micah 6:8 to heart!
Church leaders today would do well to make those words their standard of conduct. But whether Christian leaders are aligned with God's will or not, the priesthood of all believers must still bring their lives to God as sacrifices (Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 2:5). Jesus has paid the price (Hebrews 7:27-28). We do not worry about offering rivers of oil or thousands of animal sacrifices. Let us therefore search our hearts for strongholds that resist practicing justice and mercy. In humility, may we seek to please the Lord with our whole lives.
Father, thank you for godly leaders! May the power of your Holy Spirit help us all to seek and do your will, even when -- and especially when -- our leaders stray from your paths. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.