In the book of Micah, the eponymous prophet charges Israel and Judah for these nations’ injustice toward the vulnerable—unjust business dealings, robbery, mistreatment of women and children, and a government that lived in luxury off the hard work of its nation’s people.
“Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights? Your rich people are violent; your inhabitants are liars and their tongues speak deceitfully. Therefore, I have begun to destroy you, to ruin you because of your sins.” Micah 6:11-13
While the book of Micah was written many centuries ago, the groaning of societal injustice still resounds today. The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor accentuated the racial injustices institutionalized within our systems. The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects vulnerable communities both from a health and socioeconomic perspective all over the world. The intensifying wildfires in Australia and the U.S. west coast are among the worrying symptoms of our failure to steward creation well. In our exhaustion and yearning for peace, like Micah, we turn toward God’s good promise of reconciliation and shalom.
“He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be our peace” Micah 5:4-5a
Amidst the rich lamentation of injustice and corrupt leaders of his time, Micah points us toward Christ as the fulfillment of God’s promise of reconciliation. While false prophets define peace as personal comfort and materialistic prosperity, the prophet Micah anticipates a peace that ends all conflict. Christ’s shalom restores those marginalized and makes them God’s remnant, it brings healing to broken relationships and communities.
“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations… Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:14-19
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