Fourth Sunday After Epiphany: The Old Testament Passage – Micah explains the relationship to God in basic terms

Hear what the LORD says: Rise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the LORD, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel.” (Micah 6:1 – 2)

The prophet Micah has some reluctance and hesitancy about telling the people of Israel the complaints and judgments the Lord has against them. But it is not a thundering vengeful Lord that speaks, but a Lord and God who wonders what has gone wrong between the Divine and the chosen people. The Lord reminds them, through Micah, what the Divine has tried to do for them, and the Lord has supported them and under girded them.

“O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of slavery; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. O my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised, what Balaam son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the saving acts of the LORD.” (Verses 3 – 5)

The question comes to Micah, how should the Lord God be approached in order that the relationship might be salvaged and saved? Or perhaps it is Micah asking on behalf of the people of God.

“With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” (Verses 6 – 7)

The question is asked often, when needing to confess and do penance – throwback, if you will, to the them of last year. Or perhaps, in keeping with the theme of this year coming to new faith, one might ask how to show new devotion and faith to the Lord. The answer is often seen on posters and t-shirts.

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Verse 8)

The simple nature of the requirement does not make it any less profound. The Lord does not require large and showy sacrifice, but simply to have God and God’s tenets in one’s heart and spirit, and walk daily with Lord. Selah!

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About Carole Boshart

I have two blogs on WordPress. "A Simple Desire" which is based on the daily "Sips of Scripture" published and sent out by Third Way Cafe. "Pondering From the Pacific" is based on my reflections on the world - sometimes religious/spiritual, and sometimes not so much.

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