Jonah Micah Old Testament—2022 Lesson 48 November 21-27, 2022

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This is a commentary on the books of Jonah and Micah, the text for Lesson 48 in the Come, Follow Me for Individuals and Families manual 2022 on the Old Testament. We have one prophet’s story and another prophet’s teachings from their respective books in this lesson. The book of Jonah is about an individual’s responsibility for a nation, and the book of Micah is about a nation’s collective responsibility for the individuals in their nation. In both instances, a person was called by God to be a messenger or a prophet to warn, to encourage, and to mark out the covenant path to others by precept and by example. A question you might ponder is whether we need a Jonah or a Micah or both today.

Jonah is a well-known story, not so much because of Jonah’s teachings (of which there aren’t many—he had the shortest and most successful missionary discussion experience in history) but because of the fishy way he took on his calling. His story is relevant to us today because it shows what happens when our commitment to God wanes and our spiritual energies and conscience collapses down into the lesser realm of politics. There’s some of that going on in our culture both in and out of the Church.

Micah is less well-known and perhaps not often quoted—that’s undeserved. He had much to say that is still very relevant. The principal concerns the prophet Micah conveyed were social and economic justice more than the political justice concerns of Jonah. Jonah was called on a foreign mission. Micah was called to speak repentance at home, to give a warning to God’s covenant people, his brothers and sisters in Judah and Israel. God was worried about the society of Israel and Judah and how corrupt the people and their social structure had become. Corrupt judges were suborned and bought by the rich. Onerous taxation was placed on the poor to ruin them in order to seize their property. Unmerciful creditors pushed people into functional slavery. All these were prominent and commonplace features of Micah’s society. It was a society ripening in iniquity by grinding down the poor. If you find that we treat the poor well and that we live in an equitable and happy society, then you needn’t spend much time in Micah. Micah gave us part of the way to create a Zion society. He also told us where Jesus would be born. pp.48

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