Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Sam. 8:10-18, Amos 5:10-15, Micah 6:8, Gen. 19:1-13, Ezek. 16:49, Isa. 1:15-23.
Memory Text: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, NKJV).
The Old Testament prophets are among the most interesting characters in the Bible. Their strident voices, their bold messages, their sense of grief, anger, and outrage, and the occasional performances of their messages made them people who couldn’t be ignored, even if they might not have always been comfortable to be around.
Sent primarily to Israel and Judah, they were beckoning the chosen people back to their calling in God. The people and their leaders were too easily swept up by the idols and lifestyles of the surrounding nations. It was the prophets’ thankless task to urge them to repent, sometimes by reminding them of God’s love for them and His past action on their behalf and sometimes by warning of the consequences if they continued to walk away from God.
As we will see, too, that among the sins and evils that they warned the leaders and people against, one of the biggest was the oppression of the poor, the needy, the helpless among them. Yes, worshiping idols was bad; yes, following false religious practices was bad; but, yes, taking advantage of the weak and poor was worthy of condemnation, as well.