Today’s Bible Passage: Micah 2

Scripture: Micah 2:3: “But this is what the Lord says: “I will reward your evil with evil; you won’t be able to escape! After I am through with you, none of you will ever again walk proudly in the streets.”

Observation
I don’t like the New Living Translation here. It sounds like God does evil in return for their evil. The Biblical principle, however, is once again that you reap what you sow. They will face the consequences of their actions. The tables will be turned.

This is a very interesting verse. God has said, “I condemn you because you lie on your beds and plot evil.” Now He says, “I am going to plot evil against you.” What does He mean by that? Was God actually going to do that which was evil? No, God intended to punish the evildoers, which was right, but from their viewpoint it was wrong because they wouldn’t like that. They would call it evil. —J. Vernon McGee’s Thru The Bible

God does not do evil, though some people still claim he does. When a disaster strikes, many people say, “Why did God let (or make) that happen?” attributing evil to God. By allowing us to face the natural consequences of our own actions, he brings consequences of punishment and judgment to us, which often looks like evil from our limited human viewpoint. But they are really discipline, meant to bring us into God’s will.

The verse could say it this way: “I will reward you with what you will perceive as evil for the evil you are doing. The tables will be turned!”

God is gracious and kind, full of compassion and love, but he does not sugar-coat our sin. He loves us too much to allow us to wallow in our sinful behaviors. He so wants us to experience life to the full! So he has created this world in such a way that we face consequences when we are living outside his will. He disciplines us so that we will live life the way he intends us to.

But why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? (This is another question that attributes evil to God.) But the whole question is faulty. No one is good. We’ve all gone astray from God. He disciplines us for our bad behavior, not our good deeds. The whole point is to align us with his perfect, abundant, purposeful will for our lives.

Application
I am a child of God, and I’m glad my Father loves me enough to discipline me. He allows me to face the consequences of my wrong actions in order to help move me onto the right path–his path. He loves me way too much to allow me to continue living my own way. He desires for me to live life to the full, and I can only do that his way!

When things are not going my way in life, I will not question God’s intentions. He is not evil and is not doing evil to me. I will try to see these hard times as ways God may be trying to get my attention, return me to the right path, and discipline me so that I may experience life to the full. I will try to view God during these times as a loving Father. I will ask him to reveal to me what he is trying to teach me and ask him for his power and patience to go through it and learn from it.

Prayer
My loving Father, thank you for your compassionate discipline in my life. Father, help me to learn from the difficulties I am presently enduring. Help me to grow to the place you want me to be. Help me to get onto the right path and live life your way, not my own or the way of the world. As a leader after your own heart, help me to be wise in the way I model this for others. Help me to help them discern what you are doing in their lives when you are applying your loving discipline.

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Michael Mack has led Small Group Leadership full-time since 2012, but has been involved in small group ministry for more than 25 years. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. Their family small group, which includes their four young adult children, has much potential (and much anticipation) for future growth and multiplication. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of great friends who participate together in various charity rides. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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