The passage opens with a beautiful example of a covenant lawsuit in which the prophet summons the people to hear the charge Yahweh has against them. The mountains and hills are the jury because they have been around a long time and have witnessed God’s dealing with Israel. Rather than directly charging Israel with breaking the covenant, God asks Israel if they have any charges against him. ‘What have I done? How have I wearied you?’ In the face of injustice some of the poor people may have become ‘weary in well doing.’ In the face of opportunities to get rich quick some of the land-owners might have grown weary of keeping the covenant laws.” — Ralph L. Smith, Word Biblical Commentary, Micah-Malachi, (Grand Rapids, MI: Word Books, 1984), vol. 32, p. 50.
“In the reformation that followed, the king [Josiah] turned his attention to the destruction of every vestige of idolatry that remained. So long had the inhabitants of the land followed the customs of the surrounding nations in bowing down to images of wood and stone, that it seemed almost beyond the power of man to remove every trace of these evils. But Josiah persevered in his effort to cleanse the land.” — Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 401.
- Sure, we’re Seventh-day Adventists, and with our present truth message, we see ourselves and (rightly so) in the same place that ancient Israel had been in: having truths that the world around them needed to hear. It’s a great privilege for us. How well, though, do you think we are living up to the responsibilities that come with such privilege?
- In class go over the 70-week prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27. What role does the covenant have in that prophecy, and why is the idea of covenant so important to it — and to us?
- Imagine being Daniel, having seen your nation invaded and defeated, and knowing that the temple, the center of your whole religious faith, was destroyed by idolatrous pagans. How, though, could knowledge of the book of Deuteronomy been very faith-sustaining for him (or any other Jew) at this time? That is, how did the book help him understand all that was happening and why it happened? In a similar way, how does our understanding of Scripture as a whole help us deal with trying times and events that otherwise, without our knowledge of Scripture, could be very discouraging to us? What should the answer teach us about how central the Bible must be to our faith?
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