Cuttin' up and sewin' up
By Teresa A. LeNeave
The Old Testament prophets were somewhat like a surgeon. They cut people open and then they sewed them back up. The "cutting up and sewing up" was done for one purpose: to make them well. Surgeons do it to make you physically well. God does it to make you spiritually well.
kindIf you randomly open the Bible and read some parts of the Old Testament you may get a distorted view of God. Some passages taken out of context can portray a harsh image of a wrathful God, but when you understand the whole story you learn his wrath never came until he had no other recourse. He gave the people every possible chance to repent and walk in righteousness. He was patient. He was merciful and he was.
He was, and still is, full of compassion and his mercy toward us is new every single morning. That does not sound like a harsh and hard God. How did people ever get such a self-defeating vision of a loving God? I believe it is because Satan is an expert at making us feel like we've hit a dead end. He tells us we've made this mistake and that mistake so we must be evil. Then, he seals the deal by asking us, "How can a loving God love an evil person?" We know we aren't perfect so he must be right ... we must be evil. When we believe that lie it's easy to go into a tailspin and see God as an angry God rather than a loving God. With a distorted image of God's love it's easy to live a self-defeating life.
God made loving him so simple. He said, "What I really want from you is obedience. Not sacrifice". In Micah 6:6-8 the people were questioning what it meant to be obedient. They wanted to know: did they need to sacrifice a thousand rams or rivers of oil to please God? Does he want burnt offerings? Will he be happy if they give him 1000 rams? Or maybe 10,000 of rivers of oil? Should they sacrifice their first born child for their transgression: the fruit of their body for the sin of their soul?
God said, "No that's not what I want."
When you read the rest of the passage you'll find he required just three things: to do justly; to love mercy; and to walk humbly with your God
Micah was reminding the people that the main thing was to love God with all their heart and treat others with love and respect as well. Be just. Be fair.
Even when humanity fails miserably, God always steps in and gives us hope for a brighter future. He said we have a choice. We can choose life. Jesus is life. He is the light of the world; the one who died and rose again so we could live. Now, he simply asks us to trust God and not man. He is a fair and just God. He wants to give life and hope. He wants to bless and restore. But, we humans have a choice. Will we love him with all our heart and soul? Or, will we turn away? He has chosen you. Will you chose him?
From time to time, we may feel like we are being "cut up", but I assure you, God knows how to sew you back up and make you well again.