May 18, 2019
The prophet Micah was a prophet to the southern Kingdom of Judah, during the reign of the 3 kings, Jotham, Ahaz & Hezekiah.[735-710BC]. Notable about this period is that roughly in the middle, in 722BC, the Assyrians carried the northern kingdom of Israel, known as Samaria, into exile, from which they never returned. Micah forewarned of this exile in 1:6
God’s judgement on Samaria was to remind Judah that she would not be spared for her sin/disobedience. The society of Judah at the time of Micah was riddled with injustice, exploitation & abuses.
2. God’s Values.
Read Micah 6:1-8. List the things God reminded the Israelites He had done for them as a nation.
Why did He do this? Micah 6:3.
What were Micah’s suggested possibilities as to how Israel could respond to all God had done for them? Micah 6: 6-7. It wasn’t these. What 3 things did God demand/require from them?
These will be the topics of the next three studies.
3. The Inward and the Outward.
Discuss the meaning of the following quote from George’s message…
“They are outward actions (which in order for them to be genuine need to come from) a heart where justice, mercy & humility have an inner rule. God requires heart religion every time. See 1 Samuel 15:22.
There are religious forms that have a place in Christian living – going to church, breaking bread, Bible reading, prayer, devotions abstaining from certain things. But religious form must reflect & represent a religion of the heart, but not replace it. Outward form can never substitute for inner faithfulness. Sacrificial rams & rivers of oil speak of external religion, but justice, mercy & humility speak of a religion of the heart.”
With the above quote in mind compare Micah 6:6-7 with Micah 6:8.
Discuss Jesus’ words about ‘The inward and the outward’ in Matt. 12:7, Luke 6:43-45, James 3:13-18.
How do we get our hearts right so that the good God demands and requires flows from our lives? Consider Paul’s words in Galatians 5:16-26.
4. Do Justly.
There are 4 questions that we can consider in connection with each demand-element, namely:
a. What is the meaning of what God demands?
What does living ‘justly’ mean? Is there more than one aspect to justice? Discuss George’s comments….
To do justly is to do justice in the legal sense, justice in the ethical sense & justice in the personal sense.
Would determining what justice is and the outworking of justice in our lives as Christians be the same as those living under the law? Compare John 8:1-11. Can you think of any other examples?
We are called to follow Jesus’ example. Consider John 13:15, 1 Peter 2:21, 1 John 2:6.
b. Why does God make this demand?
Discuss in your group the following:
Justice reflects the character of God & doing justly reflects the actions of God. See Deut. 32:4, Ps 33:5, Ps 89:14, Ps 9:8.
God demands justice from His people because doing justly reflects God’s character and because doing justly is how God acts towards each of us.
c. How did Jesus exemplify the demand to do justly?
How did Jesus respond when He was not treated justly? 1Peter 2:22-23.
What did the writer to the Hebrews encourage us to do? Heb. 12:1-4. See also 1 Peter 3:9, 12.
d. How can you satisfy God’s demands?
Discuss George’s suggestions:
What does “doing justly” look like for you & me?
• Honesty in all your financial dealings & personal arrangements –honest in your digital reality
• Truthful in what you claim about yourself & what you say about others
• Acting with integrity & morality that are Christlike
• Speech that is measured, not exaggerated & that doesn’t make self look good & others look bad
For the Christian, the ultimate test of “doing justly” is fairness that is acceptable in the sight of God. Doing justly that’s acceptable to God involves:
• Looking out for the disadvantaged & marginalized Deut 10:18 says , “God defends the cause of the fatherless the widow & loves the foreigner residing amongst us”
• Acting impartially towards all – See James 2:1-7.
• Act lawfully – Rom 13:1-7
Doing justly is essentially other-centred. Doing justly is measured by the effect that our actions & attitudes have on others. See Phil 2:3-4. The focus on “others” is a key to “doing justly”. [It is said, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”; in the case of Justice, “Justice is in the eye of the recipient”
For this reason, if you want a test to assess how well you are going at “doing justly”, consider how your actions, attitudes are effecting others. Remember, “Doing justly” is not just a nice thing to do, it is demanded by God.
What do you take away from this study that was helpful and you will apply to your everyday living?