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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, against this family I am devising disaster, from which you cannot remove your necks; nor shall you walk haughtily, for this is an evil time. In that day one shall take up a proverb against you, and lament with a bitter lamentation, saying: “We are utterly destroyed! He has changed the heritage of my people; how He has removed it from me! To a turncoat He has divided our fields.“ Therefore you will have no one to determine boundaries by lot in the assembly of the Lord.’”—Micah 2:3–5 (NKJV)
God’s people had a big problem! In their pursuit of prosperity, they committed a sin the Lord wasn’t going to allow to go unpunished: the tragic act of caring more about possessions than people. This shift in priorities created a culture of exploitation and injustice, prompting God to raise up a man named Micah, who would deliver a message of dire warning, but also of prevailing hope.
At this point in Micah’s message, we’re faced with the warning that God has for His people because this was truly “an evil time.” There’s a subtle yet important detail given in today’s Scripture as God begins to describe His punishment for their sin.
Notice how the Lord says He’s “devising” a disaster to befall His people. In Micah 2:1, He accused them as those “who devise iniquity.” The Hebrew word used here for “devise” carries a connotation of creativity and calculation; it’s an imaginative premeditation on how to carry out a plan. Imagine a book or movie whose storyline revolves around some sort of elaborate heist. We enjoy those plot points because we’re inherently drawn to the devising of a plan and its execution. We want to see how the impossible task is accomplished through the creativity and calculations of the characters.
But in this context, the devising is directed in an evil direction. God’s people had been devising ways of oppressing other people for selfish gain. So, in response, God says He will devise a disaster to punish them. Just hover over that for a moment: The Creator of all things and the knower of all knowable things is now devising a way of punishing them for their sin. Despite the subtlety of their scheming, they were no match for the judgment that was being divinely devised against them.
The oppression of others for the sake of selfishly acquiring more would come to an abrupt end. The wealth and resources that were unjustly gained would be taken away and passed onto others. Fields would be divided and the boundaries of their properties would all but vanish. What seemed so secure would be completely lost in the end. This was the Lord’s devising for the purpose of punishing and teaching His people that possessions should never become more important than people.
Though the circumstances have changed, the essential principle remains the same: God wants us to value people above possessions. He wants us to stop short of where Micah’s audience made their fatal mistake. We can and we will as we ask and allow God’s Spirit to continually fill us with His love (Romans 5:5), so we may exercise that love towards others. And in doing so, we’re led to devise ways of blessing others, which is what blesses God.
Pause: What was the essential problem Micah was sent to warn against?
Practice: Consider how can we avoid that problem and live in an altogether different way.
Pray: Lord, please fill me with Your Spirit so I can have the heart that You have towards others. Enable me to live and relate to people according to Your love. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.