hello from max-blog.php

Micah 5 – A Meditation

Bethlehem - House of Bread

Study group is working through Micah. Whilst preparing I found myself drawn to write another meditation. This time the passage is Micah 5:1-5 but really its centred on vs 1 and 2. You can read the background here. There is lots of blood and political intrigue… along with some very famous passages.


Posted in: Devotional meditation old testament

Micah 5 Background

Some Background.

One of the key themes of Micah is that of land. When Micah (~ 740-690 BCE) was delivering his prophetic messages to the ruling elite of Jerusalem one of the things he railed against was the fact that the inherited land of the common people was being taken from them with impunity. He says that these things were done in the morning light, so degraded was the leadership of the time. Each family considered that God had personally give their land to them. Without the family land, life for these people was very difficult, since the land signified not only their economic provision but also their membership into the covenant with Yahweh.

In addition to the this prophets were delivering ‘God’s words’ to the those who would pay for them, and the priests were going through the motions. The leaders have fallen far from what they were called to be. There is clearly much more going on here as well, but the upshot is that God would bring the Assyrians against Israel.

Chapter 1 describes God coming down from his Holy Place and how the earth reacts to the presence of the Other One. Micah describes himself as wailing and lamenting like the Ostrich and the Jackal as Israel has become incurable and the Assyrian army is at the gates of Jerusalem. There is disinheritance, injustice and false religion. By Chapter 5 Micah is looking forward again to the Assyrian army laying siege to Jerusalem, with all the horrors that entailed. Suddenly, Micah seems to jump and we read:

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. (5:2)

In the midst of the bluster and evil and despotic failure of the King, prophets, priests – in other words the ruling classes – Micah fast forwards, and turns his attention to a tiny, insignificant village from which an eternal one would spring. The human government, where justice and divine revelation was for sale, and where the elites performed land-grabs from the middle classes of the day, was likely loud and brash and full of pride. Into this Micah thrusts front and centre the insignificant, the quiet and the humble.

Posted in: Devotional meditation old testament

Colossians 1:15-20 – A Meditation

sun in the sky

Here is the meditation we did in Life Group last week on the passage in Colossians 1. As is usual for our group, we only touched on many of the themes within the verses. In preparing I felt that the tendency is to bring our rational and intellectual minds to a passage -which of course is a good thing. Yet some passages will not give up their treasures like this, hence a meditation.

We read the passage over several times to get us started. You might like to do the same.


Posted in: Colossians Devotional meditation

Bringing Down the Fence

motorway covered in smog

In the last post we considered the division that existed between the Jewish people and the Gentiles, ie everyone else, in the time of Jesus. A ‘fence’ between them had been erected that protected the Jews from ethical decay, forbidding intermarriage, cultural appropriation or even eating with Gentiles. According to Williamson Jews saw Gentiles as ‘less than human’ and in response gentiles regarded Jews with suspicion. (1)

This division might not be considered important today. However, it is unquestionable that the recent political events have created significant divides between people in the UK. The reasons might be different, but the divides are just are real and painful as ever. (2)


Posted in: Ephesians identity new testament Paul

That Dividing Wall

Hardians Wall

As a child I soon learnt that I had a rare, somewhat deliberating condition. This aliment, because that’s how this condition seemed to me, often left me feeling like a ‘side dish’ as the kids say today. There seemed to be a code, that the other males fell seamlessly inline with. Despite my best efforts to learn and use this code, I was always several steps behind. It seemed all the other boys effortlessly received regular updates regarding this code, and that these updates were easily understood and incorporated into that most cruel of environments, the primary school playground. I was constantly out of date, never really deciphering what the others were on about. It is only in later life that I have self-diagnosed my condition, and as is often the case with knowledge, came a certain level of understanding.


Posted in: Ephesians new testament