We thank You, Lord, that Micah was a fearless preacher of Your Word. His message was not popular: ‘Let the Lord God be a witness against you.’ He was a forthright preacher of Your Word. He knew that the people wouldn’t want to hear what he had to say to them. He demanded that they listen to him. This wasn’t only Micah’s word. It was Your Word, Lord. That’s why Micah said, ‘Hear, O peoples, all of you. Listen, O earth and all who are in it’ (Micah 2:2). Teach us, Lord, that we cannot afford to ignore Your Word. Help us to listen to Your Word. You speak Your Word against us. You say to us, ‘You cannot save yourselves’ (Micah 2:3). You speak Your Word against us so that we might learn to rejoice in Your Word of salvation: ‘I will bring you together like sheep returning to the fold’ (Micah 2:12).
We thank You, Lord, for the words that Micah speaks to those ‘who hate good and love evil’ (Micah 3:2). He calls upon them to change their way of living. He calls upon them to worship You – ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord’ – and walk with You – ‘We will walk in the Name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.’ How do we learn to ‘walk in Your paths’? We come to Your ‘House’. We listen to Your ‘Word’. We pray that Your Word will come to us ‘with power.’ We ask You to ‘teach us Your ways.’ We pray that we will be ‘filled with the Spirit of the Lord’ (Micah 4:2,5; 3:8). We worship You, Lord. Gathered in Your House for worship, we ‘receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us.’ Through Your power, we are equipped for witness: ‘you will be My witnesses…’ (Acts 1:8).
We thank You, Lord, for Micah’s words of prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus at ‘Bethlehem’ (Micah 5:2). This prophecy invites us to ‘go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ At ‘Bethlehem’, we see ‘shepherds, glorifying and praising God’ (Luke 2:15,20). We thank that Jesus, Your Son is also Jesus our Shepherd. He is the One whom the shepherds worshipped. He is the One who ‘will stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord…’. He is ‘the Good Shepherd’. He ‘laid down His life’ for us. He is ‘the Great Shepherd’. He ‘was raised from the dead’ for us. He is ‘the Chief Shepherd’. He will ‘come’ again for us (5:4; John 10:14; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus our ‘Shepherd’ gives us ‘strength’ to ‘do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God’ (Micah 6:8).
‘Who is a God like You? You forgive sin… You love to be merciful.You will again have compassion on us… You will throw all our sins into the depths of the ocean!… You will bless us… You will set Your love upon us…’ (Micah 7:18-20). When, Lord, we read these great words, we think of Jesus, our great Saviour – ‘I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene and wonder how He could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean. He took my sins and my sorrows. He made them His very own. He bore the burden to Calvary, and suffered and died alone. When with the ransomed in glory His face I at last shall see, ‘twill be my joy through the ages to sing of His love for me. How marvellous, how wonderful, and my song shall ever be: How marvellous, how wonderful is my Saviour’s love for me!’ (Mission Praise, 296).