Micah’s resolve—taking God seriously
Do you know Micah of Moresheth? He authored the little book in the Old Testament tucked between Jonah and Nahum. Micah seems to have it all together, as minor prophets go. Eugene Peterson’s Message translation shows him to be a straight shooter who gets right to the point. Beginning boldly in chapter 1: “Listen, people—all of you; Listen, earth, and everyone in it…,” he goes on to impress his listeners with descriptions of God’s mighty power. He then blasts them for their repeatedly miserable behaviors. God has had it and he’s not going to take it anymore. “It’s doomsday for you,” (Micah 2:3) unless you (we) turn back to God.
But it’s not all fire and brimstone; Micah provides practical direction for the children of Israel and for us today. He declares God’s good news by revealing his instructions—yet again.
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do; what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously. Micah 6:8
Quite simple? Is it a simple thing to be fair and just, to be compassionate and loyal? It sometimes feels like the wisdom of Solomon would be helpful to follow through with these “simple” instructions. I’m better though, at the next part—not taking myself too seriously—that I can handle. But more importantly, do I take God seriously?
That is a question that may haunt, because the ramifications of doing so are many. To take God seriously is to discover as much about him as possible; to spend time in his word—learning his ways, his demands, his promises; to communicate with him in prayer by speaking and listening. To take God seriously is, as Jesus put it so plainly, to obey his commandments, to love him with all one’s heart, mind and soul and to love one’s neighbor as oneself—to learn what it means to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and then to resolve to do it.
“He’s already made it plain how to live, what to do.” Let us resolve, then, not to take ourselves too seriously, while at the same time, to take God more seriously—to take him at his word in the coming year.