He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? – Micah 6:8 KJV
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The devotional today is the second part of the devotional with the same title where the Almighty God expressed his dissatisfaction with the leaders, priests and prophets of his people who had chosen to oppress his people rather than bring succor to them. In that devotional, the intention of the Almighty God to bring relief to his people was also revealed but not before He made them realise that they are equally culpable for the challenge they were facing due because of their not meeting with the demands that were listed in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s devotional. The people simply had to act justly, love mercy and act humbly when relating with their god else, it may be difficult for them to experience His promised relief. He went further to make them realise that their punishment for not walking in those three requirements will not be limited to the oppressive acts of their leaders only if they refuse to change.
The Prophet Micah informed them of their other acts that has contributed to bringing them into the situation that they have found themselves in, advising them to fear the name of the Lord and His rebuke as that indicates that they are wise – Micah 6:9. The Almighty God through the Prophet Micah went further to accuse them of the following;
1. They had acquired Ill-gotten treasures through the use of short and accursed ephah – Micah 6:10-11. By this the Lord meant that they had become prosperous in several ways by cheating, an act which was described with the use of the term “short ephah”, the ephah being a measure used during business transactions. The Almighty God wondered how He is expected to acquit one who is involved in the use of dishonest scales and false weights – Prov. 11:1; 20:23. This in itself is an extension of the demand of the Lord for just actions from all those who wish to change their situation by being delivered from oppression.
2. They had a lying and deceitful nature and this was an act, not just amongst the common people but even amongst the rich and successful ones – Micah 6:12. By this, the Almighty God made it clear to them that they had lost integrity and credibility and so should not expect to be delivered from the kind of situation that their leaders, priests and prophets have put them into.
So it was not just about the activities of these group of oppressors but also, and even more about the unacceptable behaviour of those who are complaining of being oppressed. How would one who has perfected the act of being unjust, lacked mercy for others and refused to relate with the Lord in humility expect the Almighty God to deliver him/her from oppression? According to the Almighty God, such should not expect deliverance and if anything is expected, it should be the manifestation of the decision of the Almighty God to destroy and ruin them (Micah 6:13) in the following manner;
1. Ensure that they are never satisfied with whatever they may possess – Micah 6:14a. This will manifest as greed to onlookers as they begin to wonder what the one under such curse desires despite all that he/she has already acquired. The one under this curse of the Almighty God will also lack rest as there is always the thought that he/she does not have enough and the effect will negatively manifest on the health and other social factors around such.
2. Ensure that they are unsuccessful in their attempts to store up treasures – Micah 6:14b. Attempts to store up what has been harvested will be opposed by the Lord because as He Himself put it, all that is stored will be successfully attacked and destroyed by seen and unseen enemies. What a waste of effort such an individual will be experiencing for simply disregarding these three points of interest to the Almighty God.
3. Ensure that they do not reap the reward of all their good works – Micah 6:15. In what will look like cheating and oppression, such will be successfully deprived of the reward of efforts as the Lord it is that will encourage such deprivations to take place and so will not intervene on behalf of such a victim no matter how much pleas such makes to the Him.
All the above will be in addition to the effect of the uncaring, deceitful and lying actions of their leaders, priests and prophets. What a huge punishment on a people for being unjust, lacking mercy and arrogantly relating with the Lord.
Many Christians today are experiencing all the above listed effects with the leaders compounding their situation rather than alleviating it. Their priests too have no spiritual solution to their tribulations but continue to deceive them by making demands for sacrifices that the Lord never asked for and that will never be acceptable to the Him, just as the prophets compound their situation by prophesying lies and declaring peace when the Lord had not declared peace. Such Christians end up langusihing in their situation with no evidence of relief showing up.
Such Christians must realise that, as much as their oppressors will get punished for the abuse of their position, the true picture of the situation is actually they, getting their leaders into trouble with God rather than them blaming such leaders for not responding positively to their challenges. It indeed becomes the case of the people being destroyed for lack of knowledge as they will continue in their distress until they are wise enough to change their ways – Hos. 4:6. Save your self from more stress and positively change your situation by adjusting your ways. Act with justice in your relationship with God and all men, love mercy and act humbly when relating with your God. That remains your only option to help you change your uncomfortable situation. May the Almighty God help you to act wisely in Jesus name. Amen.