READ: Micah 1-3
THINK: Have you ever been playing a game when someone tried to change the rules on you? That can be especially frustrating when you aren't that familiar with the rules to begin with, making it easy for you to be confused and misled. That's why it's vital for Jesus' followers today to know God and His Word, because the culture has essentially tried to change the rules. Many people-including some in the church-have switched the roles of evil and good to fit their ungodly beliefs, to serve their misguided purposes or simply to justify their worldly behavior. But those who abandon God and His Word so they can be more like others who don't follow God will find themselves opposed to Christ and vulnerable to disaster. God calls us to stick to His rules, to love what's right and hate what's wrong.
RESPOND: What nations did Samaria and Jerusalem represent? (See 1:1 second note.) What is "Jacob" (1:5), and what were its sins? (See 1:5 note.) What does it mean that Samaria "gathered her gifts from the wages of prostitutes" (1:6), and what would happen to the nation as a result? (See 1:6 note.) How did Judah's behavior compare to Israel's (1:9)? (See 1:9 note.) Who does Micah address in 2:1-5, and how were they defrauding others? (See 2:1-5 note.) How can greed cause people to mistreat others? How were the false prophets mistaken in their view of God (2:6-7), and did their message affect people? (See 2:6 note, subpoints 1 & 2.) What hope does Micah give in 2:12-13? (See 2:12- 13 note.) What social class does he address as chapter 3 begins, and how did they offend God? (See 3:1-12 note.) What would God refuse to do because of the leaders' cruel and unjust behavior (3:4)? How had false prophets failed God and the people (3:5-7), and what were their motives? (See 3:5-7 note.) How did Micah's ministry and message stand in contrast to false prophets (3:8), and where did Micah's power come from? (See 3:8 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to help you resist the destructive tendency to want to be like people who don't follow God. Pray that you are never motivated by greed and that you always keep money and possessions in proper perspective.
ACT: Have you allowed yourself in any way to be motivated by greed for money or things? Are you taking advantage of others to get ahead? If either of these is the case, ask God-and anyone else you've offended-to forgive you. Then change your priorities and your behavior to honor God.
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