One of the most difficult
theological struggles people have (whether they consciously admit or not) is
that of suffering of God’s people. We
tend to think if we’re in God’s family, we are immune to any kind of
suffering. Well, if you’ve been a
Christian for longer than a few hours you know we will have trouble. There’s simply no way to avoid it. The question becomes why do we suffer. Sometimes, it’s as simple as the results of
the fall working itself to its own horrible end. At other times, we are simply being grown in
our faith. But there are times when God
is punishing us for our sins.
The horrible calamity soon
to befall the Lord’s people in the book of Micah will be a result of their
sin. It was not an issue of God’s
fickleness or His bloodlust. Instead, it
was the punishment for their sustained and egregious disobedience of the Lord’s
covenant people. In Micah 2:1-5, we
1 Woe to those who plan
iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry
it out because it is in their power to do it. 2 They covet
fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud people of their
homes, they rob them of their inheritance.
the Lord says: “I am planning disaster against this people, from which you
cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly, for it will be a time
of calamity. 4 In that day people will ridicule you; they will
taunt you with this mournful song: ‘We are utterly ruined; my people’s
possession is divided up. He takes it from me! He assigns our fields to
you will have no one in the assembly of the Lord to divide the land by lot.
The Promised Land was God’s. He “leased” it to His people and gave them
specific commands to keep the lands in their respective families and
clans. If the land was sold to another
family or clan, it was to be given back at the next Year of Jubilee (cf. Lev.
25:13-17). The people of Israel and
Judah did not obey. Those who were
wealthy and bought this land from others were thieves in the Lord’s eyes and in
their greed hoarded as much land as possible for themselves.
Heaven’s perspective of
history is very different from secular’s view of history. Secular history demonstrates the Assyrian
army’s superior weapons, training, and numbers.
The Bible informs us Israel fell to the Assyrians because God allowed
them to in order to punish them for their disobedience.
It is a fitting punishment
to the Lord’s people: He will take away what they have shown to value
What about you? What do you value most? Do you work, strive, and “kill yourself” in
order to obtain more “stuff”? What is
that “thing” you are seeking more than the Lord’s glory? Be careful.
The Lord will punish us in order to make us holy and keep our witness
pure. We are His witnesses to the world
(just like the Old Testament people were) and when we put other things before
God’s glory, we are sinning against Him.
Read Micah 2:1-5 again and remember the “woe” resulting from our sin of