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Lenten Devotion 17 3.16.2020

Micah 6: 1-8
 
6Hear what the LORD says:
Rise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
2 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.
3 ‘O my people, what have I done to you?
In what have I wearied you? Answer me!
4 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.
5 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.’
6 ‘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?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with tens of thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’
8 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?
 
One of our favorite threats in the U.S today is this: “I’ll sue!” Then we go out and find someone who we need pay nothing unless they get money for us. People who have our backs and not our wallets. While many smirk at the thought of “ambulance chasing” lawyers, we stop immediately when we need one. Because many lawsuits have merit. Someone has been wronged or injured and seeks some form of compensation. As a lawyer who represented people who defended against such lawsuits, I can tell you that most of them are settled with some form of payment from the defending party. That is what Micah is talking about in today’s text.
 
Judah has wronged God. Judah has turned its back on God. Judah has betrayed God. And God has sued. The complaint describes all God has done to do what God has promised. What has Judah done? Nothing. Judah has breached the contract. Now Judah wants to settle. Judah askes God (or Micah, God’s lawyer) what God wants in order to let Judah off the hook. Judah offers:
 
6 ‘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?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with tens of thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’
 
Judah is offering a lot. But God want’s none of those things. God wants Judah to do what Judah promised to do.
 
8 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?
 
Be fair. Be kind. Be humble. Love God. Love each other. Are we willing to make this offer?



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