I remember The Hunt for Red October when the sub was trying to defect and the Russians were chasing it in the Atlantic. One of the characters says something to the affect that even though the Russians were dropping tons sonar buoys into the water, they were going so fast they would never hear them. The Russians were using the pings to drive the defectors to an ambush site.We do the same sometimes with our prayers to God. We ask and ask and ask, not really listening for an answers but hoping to drive God to the place where we want God to be. There is indeed a difference between authentically bringing our concerns to the Lord and just lobbing complaints. One way shows a genuine willingness to participate in life with God and the acceptance that God is participating in that life with us. The other shows that we have forgotten that. We have placed our wants and needs over our relationship with God. It may even mean that we don’t really want those questions answered or our needs met. It’s funny how God decides to answer us sometimes. In Micah we see that God’s people were pinging away at God, not really listening for an answer but wanting to drive God to where they wanted to be.
It’s here that God stops them and in God’s most loving/sarcastic/fatherly voice says to them, “You’re so anxious, so nervous, so worried but do you not remember what I have done for you? I guess you don’t.
Do you remember being slaves? Maybe a little. I think I brought you out of that. Not only got you out but had you take all kinds of treasure with you.
Did I let you go by yourselves? No? Oh, yeah, I sent Moses, Mariam and Aaron to lead you.
How about as you traveled through Moab? What about Balak wanting to curse you? That’s right. I made a donkey talk and he didn’t curse you as you traveled with Joshua.”
Something that stands out to me in the questions of God is that they are all reminders of movement. Maybe the people of God had stopped traveling their road. Maybe they had become content to stop where they were. And in doing so, had become content in their struggles and trials.
Winston Churchill once said, “If you are going through hell, keep going”.
The way of the people of God is a journey. God knows that when we are static, we can become comfortable, we begin to want the comfortable even if it is bad for us.
God tells the people that they have forgotten their relationship with him.
And Micah does what most of us would do, he begins contemplating a list of might just be good enough to make it up to God. It starts out small but veers wildly into the ridiculous. Because really, there is nothing we can do to “make it up” to God. It’s not complicated.
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?