Looking Back Towards a New Year

reflecting-on-2015

“Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me.” – Micah 7:7 (NKJV)

If there was ever a roller coaster of a year in worldly events, it was this one. From watching the cradle of Christianity fall into complete chaos to America electing what may be the most controversial President in American history, we’ve seen much of the world’s behavior fall into disarray at a rapid pace. Even in my own personal life some things took an unusual turn. I’m really not at liberty to even openly discuss them as those people involved would prefer that I just leave things as they are and maybe “accept” what has been decided. However, there is still a part of me that screams very loudly that what is going on is very, very wrong. I guess discretion is the better part of valor. C’est la vie…

Now when it came to the “decided behavior” of the nation of Israel there was a prophet, though he is considered one of the “minor” ones, who spent forty to fifty years reminding God’s people that they had seriously drifted away from the presence of YHVH and fell for the things of a materialistic and paganistic world.

Micah was called “the conscience of Israel” by Biblical scholar Peter Craigie and was a contemporary of the prophet of Isaiah. He slammed the people of Judah (more like Jerusalem) for their dishonesty and idolatry. But he does give a glimpse into the birth of Jesus, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” (Micah 5:2) Little is known of the Micah the man. He was raised out in the farmlands of Israel but YHVH called him to go into the big cities and pronounce very loudly the judgements that were coming if there was no repentance.

Basically, Samaria and Jerusalem had fallen into a time period where the affluent got more affluent, material prosperity was the everyday for them and they lead a whole nation of people down a road of godlessness, pretty much on the backs of the poor. YHVH had to deal with that and used Micah to break it down into three cycles of judgement, each ending with a promise of YHVH’s goodness. All they had to do was LISTEN and change their ways. The question that remains is did they receive what Micah had to say?

Well, while Micah was still alive he was received, so much so that King Hezekiah took Micah seriously. Even a century later when the prophet Jeremiah was under threat of death as he proclaimed YHVH’s now coming judgement on Israel, he would have the a few of the elders and priests remind people to “Remember when Micah of Moresheth prophesied during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah. He told the people of Judah, ‘This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field; Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins! A thicket will grow on the heights where the Temple now stands.’ But did King Hezekiah and the people kill him for saying this? No, they turned from their sins and worshiped the LORD. They begged him for mercy. Then the LORD changed His mind about the terrible disaster He had pronounced against them. So we are about to do ourselves great harm.” (Jeremiah 26:18-19)

For those of us who will be looking back at this year and see those cycles that seemed so heavy to bear, we will need to see where YHVH showed up and still carried the situation to provide His goodness. There are some of us out there that will inevitability say, “I am so done with this year and I need the new one to start off better.” But YHVH doesn’t have to provide that for you if you can’t grasp the lessons of the last one. Those folks that spoke up for Jeremiah realized that a better future was coming only if you recognize where God’s goodness was in the past. When we can acknowledge those things in the present we show everyone around just how precious it is to bring glory to YHVH and how important it is to maintain those precepts that His Son gave us…Love the LORD your God with everything you’ve got (100%, people)…and to love those around you as you love yourself. Amen?

 

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 57; Proverbs 27

Daily Quote: “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.” —G. K. Chesterton

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, For You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities. Psalm 31:7

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