Scripture Focus: Micah 6.2-4
2 “Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation;
listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
For the Lord has a case against his people;
he is lodging a charge against Israel.
3 “My people, what have I done to you?
How have I burdened you? Answer me.
4 I brought you up out of Egypt
and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you,
also Aaron and Miriam.
7 “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Reflection: Leaders Sent by God
By John Tillman
God points out Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, the human leaders he sent to guide Israel out of slavery to freedom.
The people God uses are never perfect. Moses had a violent temper, both as a young man and near the end of his life. Aaron built the golden calf and then lied about it. Miriam criticized Moses’ interracial marriage and was cursed for it.
It’s good to recognize God uses imperfect people. If we sin and repent, God can still forgive and bless others through us. But how far does that go? Do we give a pass to pastors with frequent outbursts of temper and violent speech? Do we excuse leaders who accept cultural idols of the moment? Do we defend racist comments? “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!” (Romans 6.1-2)
Moses, Aaron, and Miriam were confronted about those sins and repented. No one made excuses. For those leaders who continue in sins, Micah has another example—Balaam.
Not only will God use well-intentioned but imperfect leaders in our lives, he will use outright enemies. God can turn enemies’ evil intentions into good outcomes. For leaders inside or outside our churches who are unrepentant, the best we can hope is that like Balaam, God will somehow turn their evil into good.
God continues to use imperfect men and women to lead his people but he has gone even further than that, sending to us his own son, Jesus.
John the Baptizer was one of those imperfect leaders God sent. He said of Jesus, “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.” We are not worthy either. With what can we come before the Lord?
Micah asks, “will the Lord be pleased…” with any extravagant offering? No. Even Micah’s simplest definition of God’s requirements is beyond us. (Micah 6.8) Our justice is tainted. Our mercy is rarely given. Our humility gives way to pride.
Therefore, God has offered his own firstborn for the sin of our souls. (Micah 6.7) Jesus has acted justly on our behalf, has loved mercy enough to die for us, and walks humbly before God appealing to us. He not only saves us but leads us.
What more could God do for us than this? Will we remember or will we turn away?
Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
For God, who commanded the light to shine our of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. — 2 Corinthians 4.6
Micah 6 (Listen – 2:28)
Mark 1 (Listen – 5:05)
This Weekend’s Readings
Micah 7 (Listen – 3:36), Mark 2 (Listen – 3:55)
Nahum 1 (Listen – 2:24), Mark 3 (Listen – 3:41)
Read more about Complaints and Responses
Moses took these personal attacks to heart, growing angry rather than compassionate toward the people’s legitimate needs.
Read more about A Bad Day Fishing
Peter’s first recorded words to Jesus in response to the miracle are “go away.”
Peter seems to believe that his sins disqualify him.