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What Does the Lord Require of You?
As Micah’s prophecy comes to a close, a superstructure becomes more evident based around the imperative “to hear/listen.” This literary marker is used at the beginning of the book to address all the nations (1:2), in the middle of the book to single out the leadership of God’s people (3:1), and at the end of the book to clarify for God’s people how they should live (6:1).
What is amazing about this third and final section is how it acknowledges the upcoming judgment from the Lord (6:2, 13-16). God begins by invoking the mountains and the hills to bear witness to Israel’s covenant (6:1-2, see also Deut 4:23-31). From there, he reminds his people how he delivered them from slavery and remained faithful to them in their journey to the land he had promised on oath to Abraham and his descendants (6:4-5). Then, on a personal note, Micah interjects his own misery at living in a corrupt land (7:1-6). But, despite its brokenness, Micah says that he is able to watch and wait for God, trusting that God hears him (7:7).
How can Micah have that kind of hope? Is it because he has offered so many sacrifices for his sins (6:6-7)? No. Micah explains, quite clearly, that God has already shown his people what is necessary for them, even in days full of darkness and fear and death. He says they are to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God (6:8).
For as trite as that might sound, it seems to still be relevant to our society today. As God’s people, even though we lament about corruption, deceit, and wickedness all around us, we know the only solution comes from God through Christ. Therefore, the more humbly we walk with him, the more mercy we show and justice we pursue, the more we are able to say, as Micah did, “I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior” (7:7).
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