Desolate — 28 November 2020 Devotional

Micah 2:1–13; Matthew 24:15–31

Many people attribute motives to leaders, especially political ones, that fit a narrative, rather than the facts. Sometimes they fit both the facts and the narrative. The last few presidents have had a lot of that. Even our current governor has had a lot of that. We may not like their decisions, that doesn’t mean, however, that they are being malicious. Sometimes they are just doing their best to muddle through…just like the rest of us.

Micah’s words are for any person who seeks the ill of others. Whether it is political, financial, power, or something else, those who plan to take from others may well fall under condemnation. There is the motivation that is part of Micah’s words. “Limiting” our ability to worship as we are accustomed can often fall under the trying to do the best for all, rather than just some.

Micah’s focus is more along the lines of those whose inheritances were taken, and whose people (particularly the women) were “taken” as profit, rather than looking at the best for the whole. This was about the elites who truly controlled everything, and took even more, effectively robbing the Promised Land of the promises of God.

The strong implication in Micah’s words is that the people cannot break themselves out of the mess they are in. It really is out of their control. Thus, they need God to break their chains and lead them beyond the walls into freedom. They need God to both direct them and protect them, just as a shepherd is supposed to do for the sheep.

It is times of disarray and chaos, just like these, that Jesus warns us about (in Matthew). We know we need the shepherd, even when “we” don’t believe that Jesus is the shepherd we need/want.  This is the time when false messiahs and, thus, false hope arises.

People in their need will begin to follow others who appear to “know” the way. Those being followed may be religious leaders. They can be political leaders. They can be military leaders. They can even be business leaders.

Jesus’ words imply that those that truly know Jesus will know when he comes back. There won’t be any questions as far as the believers are concerned (the world is different).

※Reflection※

Why is it important to understand that Christians will know when Jesus returns? How do you see people following “leaders” (especially those who think as you do)? Why might it be important that all of Jesus’ followers will be gathered from the “four winds” (or four corners) of the world?

※Prayer※

Jesus, we wait. Lord, we wait for you. Grant us patience to wait for your coming. Grant us endurance as we wait. Amen.v