Public Concern

Scripture: Micah 1:8-9a, ‘Because of this I will weep and wail; I will go about barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl. For her wound is incurable.’

 

Observations: God has told his people that he will come to judge them, that he will destroy Samaria (v6) and send the people of Jerusalem into exile (v16). Because of God’s judgement Micah ‘weeps and wails.’ Even though this is Micah’s message, he is grief stricken by it. He goes into a time of official morning where he walks about ‘barefoot and naked.’ We don’t know if Micah actually walked around completely naked, this word can also refer to someone who has torn their clothes as a sign of their grief, and so is partially clothed rather than completely naked (1 Sam 19:24; Isa 20:2). Thirdly, Micah says he ‘will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl.’ The point of Micah’s grief is that it is very public, it is loud, both visually and audibly. Everyone can see and hear that he is grieving. And when asked why he is grieving he says, ‘because the wound of God’s people is incurable.’ There is no fixing Israel’s problems. There is no turning back God’s judgment. And so God needs to amputate the infected limb, and send his people into exile.

 

Application: When we see the pain and the destruction caused by sin, it shouldn’t cause us to gloat with spiritual superiority, rather it should cause us to grieve. God himself says, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. (Ezek 33:11)’ Maybe like Micah we should make our concern for people’s spiritual condition obvious enough that they ask us about it, so we can tell them that in Christ their wounds are curable, that in Jesus they can be forgiven and set free.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You don’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked, or the destruction of Your wayward people, rather You want them to repent and turn to You in faith. Lord, forgive me when I feel superior to others, when in fact I am just as deserving of Your judgment as them. Lord, help me express Your concern for the salvation of sinners, that I might have an opportunity to tell them about Your mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. In His name I pray. Amen.

 

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