Today’s Chocolate: Green & Black’s 85% Cacao Dark Chocolate
Today’s Passage: Micah 2
It shouldn’t come as a surprise if Micah reminds us of Amos in parts. After all, the messages in these books aren’t Micah’s or Amos’s or any other prophet’s. They’re God’s messages, and the prophet is simply a person who heard the message from God and bought into it enough to tell it to the people it was for. People are people, and at some points in history, we see people spreading a social epidemic of oppression, corruption, and exploitation of the poor. Amos lived in such times. So did Micah.
Thus, chapter two opens with an indictment of those who plan and practice social injustice. Micah declares: “Woe to those who scheme iniquity, who work out evil on their beds!” (1). The wicked men of his day go to bed thinking only of how to profit themselves, dreaming of how to leverage their power for personal gain, and in the morning they get up and go to work on their plans.
And what exactly do these bad dudes do? They’re no respecter of persons, and they’re no respecter of the eighth commandment either: “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15). They take what they want with no thought for whom it properly belongs to or how much that person needs it. Micah tells us: “They covet fields and then seize them, and houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, a man and his inheritance” (2). They raid their countrymen, grabbing hold of whatever property they desire.
War veteran? Mom with kids? These guys don’t care. They’ll meet you on the road and take the coat off your back; they’ll barge into your own house and kick you out by force. God says,
Recently My people have arisen as an enemy—
You strip the robe off the garment
From unsuspecting passers-by,
From those returned from war.
The women of My people you evict,
Each one from her pleasant house.
From her children you take My splendor forever. (8-9)
Security and safety are gone. The planners of iniquity have stolen them from the people.
Micah shows us a picture of a socially fractured Israel. People have no respect for each other, putting their individual desires over the needs of those around them as they resort to theft, threats, and violence. If you want safety and security, you can’t achieve them on your own without regard for the safety and security of others. God has ordered the world such that if you steal another’s well-being, you can expect to find well-being taken away from you.