When you love and respect someone, the best way to show it is by trying to be more like him or her. For example, while you may get annoyed when your younger brother copies everything you do, it isn’t because he’s trying to annoy you (okay, maybe sometimes he is), it’s just that he thinks you’re so cool that he wants to be more like you.
God desires us to be like Him. He loves it when we copy Him. In fact, He purposely gives us examples of how He wants us to copy Him. In Micah 6:8, God gives us three ways that we can copy His example: act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. God is just when He opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). God shows mercy when He does not abandon His people (Nehemiah 9:31). God showed humility when He sent His perfect Son, Jesus, to earth as a man to die in our place (Philippians 2:6–8).
Charles Caleb Colton, a 19th century cleric, penned the phrase, “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.” It is a way of showing adoration toward the one you are imitating; a desire for him or her to be your role model. Who are you trying to imitate; who do you want to be like? Phillipians 2:5 tells us that our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
Review: Last week we learned details about the promised Messiah. Isaiah described the pain and suffering the Messiah would suffer, but he also prophesied that the Messiah would be killed and then raised from the dead. Isaiah’s message was one of hope to an exiled people. God wanted them to know He had not forgotten about them and that He always keeps His promises.
As believers who have accepted Jesus as our Savior, what should we do with the message of the Messiah? We should be passing along the Good News to others who do not know Jesus.
Micah was a prophet during the same time as the prophet Isaiah. In the first verse of the first chapter of Micah, we learn that Micah prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah in Judah.
- In Micah 6:1–5, God reminds Israel what He has done for them in the past. What are some of the ways God had saved them?
- Delivered from slavery in Egypt; delivered from King Balak and the evil prophet, Balaam; showed His righteous acts in Gilgal.
- Who does Micah say is responsible for the judgment being brought on Judah? (3:9–12) The leaders were leading the people astray. What does he say will happen to them?
- They will be completely destroyed.
- Micah is one of the few prophets who comes right out and explains why he has come. What two things does Micah explain about his message in Micah 3:8?
- Micah is empowered by God’s Spirit and his message is to declare the sin of God’s people.
- Verse 11 says that the leaders are under the false impression that God is still among them and that no harm will come to them. Read 2 Peter 1:5–10. How does it describe people who have forsaken righteousness and have instead chosen to do things their own way?
- They have become nearsighted and blind. In this passage nearsighted means “to shut the eyes.” It is a willful choice. The leaders of Judah chose to shut their eyes to the truth of their sin and forget the God of their salvation. We are often like the leaders of Judah: we tell a “little white lie” and don’t confess it as sin; we call somebody a name; we don’t spend daily time with God. Each time we don’t acknowledge the truth of our sin, we become a little more nearsighted and forgetful of the God who cleansed us from our sin.
- Micah 6:8 makes it clear how God expects His people to live. What are the three ways Micah mentions? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Can this description be used for the way we live? Do we act fairly? Do we show compassion and kindness to everyone around us? Do we walk carefully or wisely with our God, making Him and His commands more important than our own desires?
- As with Isaiah, Micah gave a message of hope. What does he say in Micah 7:18–20?
- God delights in showing mercy; He will have compassion again; He will hurl their iniquities into the sea; He will remain faithful to His covenant.
Use 2 Peter 1:5–6 and Micah 6:8.
Ask God to increase righteous qualities in your life. Put your name in the verse, and mention the qualities by name. (For this very reason, I, (your name), will make every effort to . . . ) Commit to God that you will be imitators of Him; “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly” with Him.
Supplies: Bible Memory Verse for this unit
Use the following motions to teach this unit’s memory verse, or make up your own motions:
The Lord your God (point both hands to heaven)
Is with you (draw arms in to a hug)
He is mighty to save (raise both arms in strength)
He will take great delight in you (use fingers to draw a smile on your face) He will quiet you (use finger over mouth)
With His love (cross arms over heart)
He will rejoice over you with singing (jump up and down in celebration)