Micah 7 & Luke 16

Micah

Chapter 7

    Woe is me! For I have become
        as when the summer fruit has been gathered,
        as when the grapes have been gleaned:
    there is no cluster to eat,
        no first-ripe fig that my soul desires.
    The godly has perished from the earth,
        and there is no one upright among mankind;
    they all lie in wait for blood,
        and each hunts the other with a net.
    Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well;
        the prince and the judge ask for a bribe,
    and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul;
        thus they weave it together.
    The best of them is like a brier,
        the most upright of them a thorn hedge.
    The day of your watchmen, of your punishment, has come;
        now their confusion is at hand.
    Put no trust in a neighbor;
        have no confidence in a friend;
    guard the doors of your mouth
        from her who lies in your arms;
    for the son treats the father with contempt,
        the daughter rises up against her mother,
    the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
        a man's enemies are the men of his own house.
    But as for me, I will look to the LORD;
        I will wait for the God of my salvation;
        my God will hear me.
    
    
    Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
        when I fall, I shall rise;
    when I sit in darkness,
        the LORD will be a light to me.
    I will bear the indignation of the LORD
        because I have sinned against him,
    until he pleads my cause
        and executes judgment for me.
    He will bring me out to the light;
        I shall look upon his vindication.
    Then my enemy will see,
        and shame will cover her who said to me,
        “Where is the LORD your God?”
    My eyes will look upon her;
        now she will be trampled down
        like the mire of the streets.
    
    
    A day for the building of your walls!
        In that day the boundary shall be far extended.
    In that day they will come to you,
        from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
    and from Egypt to the River,
        from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.
    But the earth will be desolate
        because of its inhabitants,
        for the fruit of their deeds.
    
    
    Shepherd your people with your staff,
        the flock of your inheritance,
    who dwell alone in a forest
        in the midst of a garden land;
    let them graze in Bashan and Gilead
        as in the days of old.
    As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt,
        I will show them marvelous things.
    The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;
    they shall lay their hands on their mouths;
        their ears shall be deaf;
    they shall lick the dust like a serpent,
        like the crawling things of the earth;
    they shall come trembling out of their strongholds;
        they shall turn in dread to the LORD our God,
        and they shall be in fear of you.
    
    
        Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
        and passing over transgression
        for the remnant of his inheritance?
    He does not retain his anger forever,
        because he delights in steadfast love.
    He will again have compassion on us;
        he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
    You will cast all our sins
        into the depths of the sea.
    You will show faithfulness to Jacob
        and steadfast love to Abraham,
    as you have sworn to our fathers
        from the days of old.

(Micah 7 ESV)


Luke

Chapter 16

He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house—for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

(Luke 16 ESV)

God and Money

Terry Evans

 

”For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God." We could all benefit from letting this statement sink into the depths of our souls for a minute. We spend our lives striving and struggling to climb the ladder of status and success in this world, but God is not impressed. And most of the time, what man exalts as victory, God declares as vanity.

Christ makes it clear that we cannot serve both God and money, but are we trying to? Do we attempt to justify our split devotion to each by giving enough away to not feel greedy? God knows our hearts, and any split devotion will be found out.

What if we got to a place where money was just money? What if we viewed it as a resource rather than the pathway to richness? Many of us may assume that having plenty is the only way to get to this place. However, our full faith and trust in God is the pathway to true eternal richness and into the mystery of being able to handle plenty or poverty in this world, "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you'" (Hebrews 13).