Friday, May 17, 2013

God’s Special People (Micah)

May 18 Sabbath School Lesson Helps

Beauty from Ashes
Have you had a time in your life when you hit rock bottom emotionally, physically or spiritually? While in the midst of these times, we do not treasure them, but they often result in deep meaningful maturing of our wisdom, lifestyle or faith. Has this been your experience? Share a story of beauty coming from the ashes in your life. 

Wisdom from Suffering

Micah was a prophet in one of the darkest periods of Israel’s history. From the depths of his struggle and despair, Micah shared some of the most beautifully simple pictures of faith, God’s Kingdom and God’s heart to be found anywhere in the Bible. What wisdom have you discovered in the depths of despair that you carry with you today?

Kingdom of Peace

In a world raging with war, famine and sinfulness (much like today) Micah painted a peaceful picture of God’s Kingdom: “He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more” Micah 4:3. If you were going to write a statement about the New Earth which contrasted with the suffering world around you today, what would you write?

People of Compassion

Micah articulated one of the best ‘nutshell statements’ of God’s desired lifestyle for and worship from his people. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). If you had to put into a few words a mission statement for the people of the church today - what would be included? What would you leave out? How would you word it?

A God Worth Sharing

At the end of his book, Micah finishes with a statement about God’s nature which places Him above all other concepts of God. From the darkness of the Godless world around Him, Micah seeks after and praises God for His ‘otherness’ to the world of sinfulness.

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago.    Micah 7:18-20

Micah is deeply impressed by God’s forgiveness, mercy, compassion and faithfulness. What attributes of God impress you today as those which the world needs to learn about? Which characteristics of His nature would cause people in the world to draw near and worship our God? How might we, as a Sabbath School class, best communicate these realities of God’s nature to our local community so they will see God, desire Him, and be changed by Him?

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