Monday, June 10, 2013
Scratching the Surface of Micah
Scratching the Surface of Micah
"We must adjust," he said, "to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles."
The 39th President of the United States said that during his inaugural address on January 20, 1977 at 12:05 p.m. from a platform erected at the East Front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
That was a very important election in American history; as President Carter defeated never elected to VP or P Gerald Ford in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal.
I remember how excited everybody was about him.
There were even posters back then that seemed to beg, "We need J.C.!"
Looking back, it was kinda obnoxious.
Almost, uh, idolatrous.
Almost like an edition of Newsweek that sported a picture of President Obama just after his re-election with the heading "The Second Coming."
Anyway, going back to similar idolatries in the late 70s swirling around President Carter, I was captivated by the opening sentences of his inaugural address: "As my high school teacher...used to say, 'We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles'...Here before me is the Bible used in the inauguration of our first President, in 1789, and I have just taken the oath of office on the Bible my mother gave me just a few years ago, opened to a timeless admonition from the ancient prophet Micah: 'He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.'...I have no new dream to set forth today, but rather urge a fresh faith in the old dream."
At least for that one shining moment of American history reflecting so many shining moments of American history when American Presidents, leadership, citizenry, and churches got it/Him, the answers to all of our dreams was God as esteemed by the overwhelming majority.
God knows I don't know what's happened in America in the last half century; but God knows I even know we're distancing ourselves from Him and will continue our decline if we don't bridge that distance.
That's the prophetic message of Micah that is absolutely consistent with the entire Bible's message from Genesis to Revelation.
Get with God or suffer the consequences of not getting with God.
Again, Micah's message is the same as the message of the entire Biblical revelation of God's will.
He said bad things happen when we don't get with God: "All of this is happening because of the crimes of Jacob, the wrongdoings of the people of Israel."
He said the government, citizenry, and America's churches are irretrievably apostate if they/we don't get back to God: "Her wounds cannot be cured..."
He said we can recapture national health by returning to God: "But as for me, I will look to God...My hope is in God...God will save me...God will hear me..."
He guarantees graces for those who return to God: "Is there any other God like You, who forgives...passes over...does not hold onto His anger forever...delights in showing love and kindness..."
Getting back to President Carter's faithful inaugural address back in 1977 that needs reincarnation before it's too late, there is no mystery about how we get back to Him: "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."
Simply, love Him by loving like Him as best exemplified in Jesus.
And here's where Micah's optimism peaks: "But you, Bethlehem...From your people will come a Ruler who will be the shepherd of My people, Israel...He will feed His flock...They will live in safety...He will be our peace."
In other words, those who get back with God and prove it by justice, mercy, and humility - loving Him by loving like Him - will experience the best of His messianic graces in Jesus.
Again, I go back to those late 70s when expectations were so high during Jimmy Carter's run to the White House.
Truly, if you recall and if you read the right history books that haven't been revised to exclude God, Jimmy Carter ran on Jesus!
He ran as a man who wanted his country to honor Him.
He knew the answer.
It/He has not changed.
That was Micah's prophecy.
That's what the Bible is all about.
That's the answer.
He's the answer.
No, not him or him!
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!