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Micah: Oppression and Liberation

If you have ever been taken advantage of in any way, shape or form then you know the frustration,  anger and pain of oppression. That feeling wasn’t lost on the people of Israel, who were subjected to exploitation and oppression by their own people. It must be noted, that this isn’t lost on God. In Micah 2, what we see is: God promises judgment for oppressors and liberation for true followers.

1. God’s Indictment on Oppression and Oppressors: v.1-5

God has an indictment against Israel and His indictment is that they are oppressing their own people. Specifically, they are finding ways to take land from one another. But what may be the most shocking element of this oppression is that it unfolds in broad daylight. It may shock you to think about the people of God oppressing others, yet that was true in Israel’s day, and we would do well to assure that we are not exploiting or oppressing others in our day. Here are some questions that are worth asking ourselves with respect to this.

1. Is there any aspect of greed or covetousness in me that would place greater value on money, property or possessions over people?

2. Is there any way that I have failed in any dealing to be fair, honest or trustworthy and have done so to my advantage and to the other’s disadvantage.

3. Are there ways that I have taken advantage of my employer with my time or resources that benefit me at the detriment of the company?

4. Do I have more than I need, but withhold from others around me who don’t have what they need?

5. Have I ever thought or said disparaging, critical, or diminutive things about a person of another ethnicity.

6. Do I consume questionable or pornographic material that objectifies a fellow Image Bearer?

The other side of this is for those who are being oppressed. If you believe that you are being taken advantage of, the word that God has for you is found in verse 3-5 and the word is this: God will bring judgment on the wicked! This is the hope that remains for those under oppression. God will vindicate and judge oppressors.

2. God’s Word in Response to a False Word: v.6-11

You would like to think that the people would hear this indictment and immediately respond with repentance. But not only do they not do that, but they go and find preachers to preach a false message to them in order to assuage their guilt! What we see in this is the danger of seeking a comfortable word over a convicting word. There is a delusion that comes with seeking a comfortable word. I get it, we all want good news and would prefer to avoid bad or hard news. But an emphasis on avoiding negativity is the starting point of departing from reality. What we need is the reality of the convicting word of God! This is what Micah desires to bring! It’s what we need to hear. Are you allowing God’s Word to bring conviction? Are you giving God’s Word priority? Authority?

We don’t need a comfortable word. We need the convicting word to bring its truth and in the process bring clarity, understanding, repentance and gospel hope!

3. God’s Promise of Liberation: v.12-13

What may seem out of place, is the ray of sunshine that is in verses 12-13. So much of the book of Micah up to this point has been dark, gloomy and difficult. These verses are the glories of a bright, sunny day! But it’s here, that we’re reminded of the hope that comes in and through Christ. God will gather His remnant or His people. Not only will He gather, but He will lead His people. Specifically, God is going to lead His people out of the bondage and slavery of sin into hope and life in Jesus. This is the liberation that we all long for and so desperately need!

God help us that we would wait for God’s vindication in His perfect timing, be reminded of the liberation that comes to us through Jesus and live in the hope of what is found in the finished work of Jesus.