Day 182: The Inescapable God

The Book of Micah

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(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Micah 1-7 As with most prophetic literature, this book follows a pattern of condemnations and threats followed by promises and messages of hope. Micah’s target was Samaria, both before and after its fall to the Assyrians in about 722 BC. More generally, his message applied to all of Israel (NORTHERN KINGDOM) and Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM), whose peoples needed to repent of their moral failings and turn back to God.

Ch 1:1-16 At the time of Micah’s writing, Assyria was the rising empire of the region. The Northern Kingdom of Israel, while prosperous, had opened trade routes with other nations. However, this connection had unwittingly allowed the influence of pagan worship to be imported and to take hold in Israel. Through Micah, the Lord pronounced judgment on Israel because of the idolatry in Samaria. Judah, meanwhile, struggled with its own problems with pagan worship and infidelities and would suffer a similar fate. Both Samaria and Jerusalem would be destroyed by their conquerors: Samaria was razed by the Assyrians within a few years of Micah’s prophecy, and Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians a century later.

Ch 2:1-13 The people were guilty of many injustices, which drew more attention than the idolatrous practices mentioned in the previous chapter. They knew they were doing wrong and tried to shun the prophet for pointing out their sins. While Israel (NORTHERN KINGDOM) and Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM) would face the consequences of their sins, God would “gather the remnant of Israel” and restore his people to his sheepfold. (CCC 701-711, 1081)

Ch 2:2 The oppression of the poor, the weak, and the powerless is a frequent target of prophetic correction in the Old Testament. Covetousness can easily lead to unjust actions against the legitimate rights and possessions of others. (CCC 1867, 2534)

Ch 3:1-12 The corrupt leaders of that time cared little for the poor, and the false prophets led people astray; consequently, they both received strong rebukes from Micah. On account of their sins, both Samaria (CAPITAL OF NORTHERN KINGDOM) and Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM) were conquered. 

Ch 4:1-5 God’s plan of salvation involves the regathering of his people into one body, signified by Israel in the Old Testament and the Church in the New Testament. As the Chosen People, Israel is a type (TYPOLOGY!!) of the one true Church founded by Christ, which draws people of every race and nation, both Gentiles and Jews. True peace is found in this Church established by Christ. (CCC 762)

Ch 4:6-13 The Lord’s hand extends itself to the outcast and the downtrodden and shows them special predilection. It is God who made his covenant with Israel and it is the same God who punished his people on account of their infidelity to the covenant. In his faithful and unconditional love, God used the conquest and destruction caused by Gentile nations to purify his people. (CCC 306, 1937)

Psalm 139 Neither can we hide from God nor can we deceive him since he is both omnipresent and omniscient. This presence and knowledge should not be taken as a motive of fear; rather, it should inspire confidence in his loving providence. Even though he may chastise and purify our lives through suffering, it is intended to serve as a way of finding true happiness. Furthermore, he always gives us the grace and strength to overcome all adversities. (Cf. Pope Benedict XVI, General Audiences, December 14 and 28, 2005)

This psalm reminds us of our utter dependence upon God. We need to call upon him often, and therefore, we must always seek the presence of God and his light in every important decision to avail ourselves of his solicitous protection.

My frame was not hidden...the earth: God knew us and created us at the moment of our conception, tending to every detail of our body and soul. Human life, from conception to natural death, must be respected and protected. The human person is formed in the image and likeness of God and, therefore, enjoys innate rights, beginning with the right to life. (CCC 2270)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise. God, thank you so much. Thank you. You are-I love the title of this Psalm-The Inescapable God. You are the Inescapable God because you formed us in the depths of our being. You formed us when we were hidden in our mothers’ wombs. You, Lord God, have known us. And you have known us through and through, known us thoroughly. And we can never escape you. And why would we, Lord God? Help us to let you find us. Help us to seek after you and not run from you and not race to the ends of the sea or to fly to earths. And we ask you to please help us to stop, to turn back to you, and to be found by you because you are the God who loves us. And help us to let ourselves be loved by you, in this unstoppable and inescapable way. We make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.”