Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Micah lived in a world of turmoil. War, bandit raids, famine, invasion defined the years. The Jewish family was split between a decandent and idolatrous north an the unpredicatble south that wavered between rejection of God and half-hearted attempts at revival. There were glimmers of faith but an overwhelming sense of gloom. There were long enough gaps between disaster that prosperity was felt by a few. But even this was at a severe cost. The growing distance between wealth and poverty created more divisions and hard feelings. Those with means padded their security by seizing the meager holdings of the poor. The community shattered. Those in a position to oppose the injustice balked at the challenge and even participated in the abuse.

The threat of war loomed from the north. Syria was being pressed by Assyria around the corner of the fertile crescent. Syria and Ephraim sought the alliance of Judah to defend against the coming invasion of Assyria. But Ahab of Judah recognized the might of Assyria and buckeled. Against his brothers he brokered a deal with the Assyrian hoard by surrendering the holy implements of the temple. Shrewd but soaked in sin.

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