Lent - Week one - Micah
As we begin Lent and the need to appreciate the very meaning of Jesus’ final chapter leading to our redemption, take a look at these prophets that God called forth to write the first chapters of salvation history and how much our own journey parallels theirs.
How often O Israel, will I have to search your remnants of disobedience; how many times shall I look and see nothing but the rejection of your children’s cries for hope and they receive nothing. “Oh that today you would hear his voice; Do not harden your hearts as at Meriba, as on the day of Massah in the desert. There your ancestors tested me; they tried me though they had seen my works, forty years I loathed that generation; I said: “This people’s heart goes astray; they do not know my ways. Therefore I swore in my anger; They shall never enter my rest.” (Ps. 95: 8 - 11).
“The word of the Lord which came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah: “Hear, O peoples, all of you, give heed, O earth, and all that fills you, let the Lord God be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple!” (Mi. 1: 1-2).
The impending judgement of the Lord, followed by an exposition of its causes, Israel’s sins, are listed in chapter 1, and following are a perfect description of the punishment from God is a reminder that if it wasn’t for the Passion of Christ we all would be facing similar results. However, we look forward and experience God’s unending forgiveness we all receive because of these 40 days culminating through the Cross at Calvary. Our salvation will be as noted beginning with Micah in chapter 4.
“In days to come, the mount of the Lord’s house shall be established higher than the mountains, it shall rise high above the hills, and peoples shall stream to it. Many nations shall come, and say, Come, let us climb the mount of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob.” (Mi. 4: 1-2).
“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” (Mi. 4: 3).
“But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne, and the rest of his brethren shall return to the children of Israel. He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord, his God; and they shall remain, for his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; he shall be peace.” (Mi. 5: 1-4).
Lent, as we become familiar with our own failings, the disobedience that occurs so quickly when sin makes its way into our hearts through selfishness, closed minds to the needs of those so very close to us, and ignoring the very promises our baptism denotes. Rejoice; When we turn to God with our sins he remembers them no more.
Ralph B. Hathaway, Lent Week One; Micah