Justice, kindness and humility are qualities we all want – not only to see happening in the world, but also to have within us. As God’s people, we are called to make a conscious effort to stand in the gap of injustice, to let kindness become our strength, and to have radical obedience as the result of our humility in walking with God. The world that we live in may steer us away from justice, kindness and humility (and it is important to repent when we do get side-tracked). From the book of Micah, we can understand and learn to develop these acts and qualities in us, becoming Jesus-with-skin-on in our community.
Read Micah 6:8
- What does it look like for you to “do justice”? “Love kindness”? “Walk humbly with God”? (ESV)
- Justice is not something that just happens. We need to go out of our way to do justice. Why do we want justice but we don’t always do justice? When have you seen/experienced/practised justice?
- Doing kindness does not mean loving kindness. Have you experienced the difference between the two? Why do you think that kindness can sometimes be perceived as weakness in our world today?
- Loving kindness enables us to do kindness to those who live differently than us. How do you think the world is doing in this matter? How can we be counter-cultural in loving and doing kindness?
- Walking humbly with God enables us to be obedient to Him. Why do we need to be in a posture of humility to be obedient to God? Can we be obedient without it?
- What are some things that usually hinder us from being obedient to God? How do we overcome those hindrances?
To work on these three, “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God”, we need gracious authenticity. We have to acknowledge that we do not have it all together yet, and that we need to cling to Him and allow Him to work in us. When we let God fill us, justice, kindness and humility will come out of the overflow. How are you going to let God fill you? Where can you put into practice justice, kindness and humility that is from Him?
Micah was a prophet sent by God to call the people of Israel back to Him, and to warn them that the pathway they were on would lead them into some very tough times if they continued in their way. Similarly, God gives us fair warning when we start down a path away from Him, with opportunity for us to turn around and come back to Him. We must be willing to turn around, or we too will face the consequences of our own choices.
Read Micah 7:1-6; 18-19.
- Micah warns the people that they need to change their ways. How has God warned you of the need for change in your life? Were you willing to listen?
- To be convicted of our sinful behaviour we need to be willing to listen to God. What can prevent us from this? What helps us to be more attentive to the voice of God?
- God will often use the Holy Spirit to convict us when we are in the wrong. Is this your experience? Share.
- It is one thing to be convicted, but another thing to act upon this and have genuine remorse (contrition) for our behaviour. Sometimes we need to face the consequences of our actions to fully feel the weight of this. Discuss.
- Read 1 John 1:9. What does this verse say to you? Why can this be so difficult for us to do? What is the consequence when we genuinely repent?
- The final step in repentance is a change in our behaviour away from what we were doing that was not of God. What can help with making changes to long term negative patterns in our lives? What can prevent us from making necessary changes?
We all have areas in our lives that God would like to partner with us to change. To grow as disciples, we need to be willing to listen to the Holy Spirit regarding areas of our lives that are out of line with God. We also need to be willing to confess these issues to God and to make the necessary long-term changes, so we do not fall back into the same trap again. What is one area of your life that God is wanting you to change today? Take a moment to genuinely confess this sin to God, and commit to God that you will make the necessary changes.
In the Book of Micah, the Israelites drive themselves further and further away from God. The prophet Micah proclaims hope that the Israelites will have a Good Shepherd who will gather them back together, guide them, and guard them from their great enemy. Micah’s advice for the Israelites is exactly the same as for disciples today: to choose trust, practise courage, and bring hope.
Read Micah 5:1-15
- Read Micah 5.4-6. List everything that the promised ruler of Israel will do according to Micah’s prophecy.
- In Micah 5:2, Micah tells the Israelites that Light will come. No matter how bad things are, they can change. What domain/s in your life right now feels dark and needs light to come through? Why do you think it became dark in the first place?
- Read John 10:14. How does this verse connect to the prophesies in Micah 5?
- God has our future in His hands. We need to choose to trust Him. How have you experienced choosing to trust in Him? Can you identify any factors that can make it easier or harder to trust God?
- As His people, we need to practise courage. What is your understanding of being courageous? How can we practise this?
- It is not enough to just have hope. As God’s people, we are created to bring hope to others. Are there people around you that could use some hope? How can this Life Group help you bring hope to them?
We are designed to have an influence and an impact in the world that cannot be stopped – like morning dew or a hungry lion (Micah 5:7-8). We are not to wait until we understand everything and then make a move. Instead, the Spirit of God gets our attention and gives us opportunities to choose trust and practise courage. And God puts people around us, giving us opportunities to bring the hope that can only be found in Jesus. What is God saying to you now about this? What are you going to do about it?