Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with the woman who lies in your embrace guard the words of your lips. – Micah 7:5 NIV
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The scripture for today’s Devotional is the final chapter of the biblical book of Micah, who was a prophet that resided in the country side of Judah. He had chosen to inform the Israelites in Judah of the anger and upcoming judgement of the Lord with regards to the wicked acts of their rulers, prophets and Priests – Micah 1:1-2:5 These group of people who ideally were supposed to be the protectors of the people, had chosen to be their oppressors, acting in a manner that attracted the anger of the Lord. There was also the false and fake Prophets took delight in encouraging fellow false prophets in their negative and false prophesies, but chose to discourage true prophets of God, whose prophesy was aimed at highlighting the errors of the people, hoping that they will change from their evil ways. There were also some leaders who encouraged the negative prophets to continue with their negative prophecies, because of the benefits they all got from such wicked acts, thus giving the general impression that Jehovah does not care about the welfare of His people (Micah 2:6-13), whereas, the Almighty God was not ready to tolerate such acts again. According to Prophet Micah, Jehovah had taken the decision to punish all those acts that have brought pain and distress to the people and promised His people through the same messenger, His relief and comfort, as he has it in His plan to send them a ruler whose roots will be traced to Bethlehem – Micah 3:1-5:15.
The Almighty God made it clear that, all he requested of the people generally and their leaders, prophets and Priests in particular, was not sacrifices (Micah 6:1-7), whether animal or human, but simply the following three demands;
- To act justly – Micah 6:8a.
- To love mercy – Micah 6:8b.
- Walk humbly with God – Micah 6:8c.
The three demands have been discussed in the two-part Daily Devotionals titled, “Grant Him His Wish_1 and 2”. (Click on the links below)
The refusal of the leaders, prophets and priests of the people of Judah to grant the wish of Jehovah as listed above was always going to have its consequences, which the prophet Micah listed in the seventh and final chapter of this biblical book named after him.
In what seemed like the prophet admitting that he had arrived late and was not expecting to achieve much positives from his actions, he opened the chapter by comparing himself to one who had arrived to harvest fruits when all the harvest had been completed and all that remained was for him to glean through the field for possible leftovers or what seemed to have escaped the hoes of the harvesters. According to him, all the faithful that he craved for, just as the harvester craves for the cluster of grapes, have been swept from the land and not one upright person remained – Micah 7:1-2. He made the following observations being the action of the people rather than granting Jehovah His wish.
- Everyone had a plan to perpetuate evil as they hunt one another with very skilled hands – Micah 7: 2b-3a.
- Corruption reigned supreme as the powerful conspired together to achieve their selfish desires – Micah 7:3b-4a.
- There was total confusion and lack of trust, such that it will be most advisable not to trust neighbours or put any confidence in any friend, and not even the one that is considered as beloved can be trusted – Micah 7:4b-5.
- There was so much disrespect and dishonour such that even children no longer honour their parents and family values were lost so much that household members became enemies of one another – Micah 7:6.
What a huge price to pay for simply not granting Jehovah his request. To think that refusal to observe those guidelines could be the reason for the decadence that is so prevalent in the society today is even more saddening, as one begins to find it difficult to understand why the human being seemed to be so enmeshed in doing evil and perpetuating wickedness.
Rather than act justly amongst one another and show mercy for one another, man prefers to operate in unrighteousness and is always ready to draw the pound of flesh at every opportunity, whether right or wrong. These are acts that man knows are not right as every individual expects to be shown mercy or that people relate with him/her justly, when at the receiving end of any action. There is no doubt that man knows what the Almighty God requires (Micah 6:8), but have only chosen to continue in evil and still expect the Grace of God to abound, an expectation that will never be met – Rom. 6:1. Man chooses to excuse acts of wickedness when they dispense such acts, but are unwilling to accept any excuse when they are the victims of unjust actions or mercilessness.
All these man does without realizing that such acts is not just one of wickedness or stubbornness but a displaying of arrogance to Jehovah. The same Jehovah that is expected to listen to cries for mercy and salvation from negative acts perpetuated against him/her, by those that will be ultimately described as enemies. Valuable time is spent by men who continuously with their actions, request for divine intervention in their situations but refuse to listen to Jehovah when he makes similar requests of us, on behalf of other people who equally seek His intervention in their situation. Man easily forgets that just as he/she refused to yield to His requests with regards to what he wants us to do for others, the people whom He also expects to use to intercede in our situation, like us, may also chose to disregard him and ignore His request, thus making it difficult for our prayer request to be easily granted.
Men become enemies of one another and make living very unbearable for one another because of their refusal to grant Him His wish. Man is indeed the enemy of him/her self as even members of the same fold, who hear the message on a regular basis, have equally refused to grant Him His wish, in a manner that presents like, He is the one that will lose if such wishes are not granted. It must be made clear that refusing to grant the Lord those requests will not detract anything from His personality. He will remain Jehovah, whether man grants those wishes or not, but the world will become a better place for all to live if only His wish can be granted.
Choose today to grant His three-fold requests and together we will be on the path to making the world a better place to live. May God grant us the wisdom and ability to do the needful in Jesus name. Amen.