03 Micah speaks of God's expectation

UNIT #: 
I
Aim: 

What does the Lord Require of you? - God's Expectations

Bible Passage: 

Micah 6:1-8

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

God Challenges Israel

Hear what the Lord says:
    Rise, plead your case before the mountains,
    and let the hills hear your voice.
Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord,
    and you enduring foundations of the earth;
for the Lord has a controversy with his people,
    and he will contend with Israel.

“O my people, what have I done to you?
    In what have I wearied you? Answer me!
For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
    and redeemed you from the house of slavery;
and I sent before you Moses,
    Aaron, and Miriam.
O my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised,
    what Balaam son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,
    that you may know the saving acts of the Lord.”

What God Requires

“With what shall I come before the Lord,
    and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Main Ideas: 

Micah was a native of Moresheth. His full name is Micaiah signifying, Who is like Jehovah? The time of his prophesying is stated in the introduction to be in the reigns of Jotham. Ahaz, and Hezekiah, that is, between 757 and 699 B.C. Micah presents this true picture of God who hates sin and loves the sinner. Micah declared God’s judgement on city after city because of the people’s sins. He makes it very clear that God hates unkindness, idolatry, injustice and empty ritual. But even in the midst of judgement, he gives hope and describes God’s love and His willingness to pardon the sins of any who repent. 

In Micah 6 his message describes the wrongdoings of the people against God and others. God questions what wrong he has done to deserve such treatment. God continued to be kind to his forgetful people who refused to see how blessed they were and took God’s gifts for granted. People have tried many ways to please God, but God has clearly defined his expectations from us: to be just, love kindness and walk humbly with Him

Wherever we go in this world, there are certain expectations that we must live up to. In our homes, schools and church there are expectations that are placed upon us. We are held accountable for living up to the standards that been set for us.
Apart from the expectations of our parents, teachers and community we also have expectations that God has made for us. Many a times we take God’s love and mercy for granted and not live up to the standards that God set for us. But instead we should use the talents and grace God has given us to glorify Him through our lives.
In Micah 6:8, the bold prophet answered a question many people wonder about today: What does the Lord expect of us? Micah’s answer is comprehensive: to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.

  1. Act Justly: Mark 3:1-6 – Jesus Healing on the Sabbath

The Lord does not delight in empty religious rituals and sacrifices. Rather, God first expects us to do what is right, regardless of the consequences.
Jesus is the best example of doing what is right which can be seen in the story where Jesus heals the man with the withered hand. During the time of Jesus, Sabbath was considered the day of rest and practices such as medical assistance could not be given to anyone except in matters of life and death. 
As Jesus entered the synagogue there was a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees were watching Him to see if he would heal the man on the Sabbath so they could accuse him for not obeying the law. Jesus told the man to come forward and spoke directly to the Pharisees and said “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save your life or kill?” But they kept silent. After hearing no response Jesus was angry and grieved at the hardness of their hearts and told the man to stretch out his hand and he was healed. The Pharisees placed the laws above human need, they were so concerned about Jesus breaking one of the rules that they did not care about the man’s withered hand. By healing Jesus made it clear that it was important to do what is right rather than fearing the consequences of his action.

  1. Love  Kindness

In Paul’s list of things that mark a Christian’s life, he wrote, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32)
Dr. Graham and Gladys Staines were Australian Christian Missionaries who lived in Orissa, India with their 3 children. Staines assisted in translating a part of the Bible in one of the languages in India, though his focus was on a ministry for lepers. He spoke Oriya fluently and was popular among the patients he used to help after they were cured. He taught them how to make mats out of rope and baskets out of tree leaves. On the night of 22nd January 1999 along with his two sons Philip and Timothy they were burnt to death by a gang while sleeping in their station wagon.  When Gladys staines heard about what happened to her family she told her daughter, Esther, “We'll forgive those who killed them, won't we?” And she said: “Yes, Mummy, we will.” 
Two weeks later someone approached me at her school and said: "I can't understand how you can forgive." My daughter later told me: "Mummy, I can't understand how they can't understand why we have forgiven." That was when I understood how deeply the teachings of Christ had penetrated within my daughter.

  1. Walk Humbly

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. – Philippians 2:3-4
God’s desire for His people to walk humbly with Him is not complicated or confusing. But it stirs up an age-old battle with our sinful pride and desire for significance and glory. Jesus himself is an example where he could have taken advantage of his equality with God, but he took the very nature of a servant and being made in likeness of man.

 

Lesson Review: 

Essay Question:

Who was Micah? What was his message to the people of Judah? What are God’s expectations from his people? How is it applicable in our lives?

Values for Life: 

In today’s society we live up to the expectations set up by our family, friends and community. Sometimes we take these expectations and hold them up to a higher standard and later they come to define our lives and actions. Often we take God for granted and lose sight of our faith and our role as Christians, which is to act justly, love kindness, and walk humbly. God does not ask a lot from us, but what he does ask, helps us to live lives that glorify him.

Life Response/My Decision: 

What can we do? What can one person, one family do, to bring justice into the local, national and global community? To promote peace, not conflict, between peoples? To share whatever God has provided us to people in need? Are you learning humility?

Wherever you maybe whether it is at school, church, or in public. A random act of kindness can make all the difference, from helping others or helping a friend smile. Through you they can see the love of God and the kindness he has for all of us. We should also be willing to respond to the call of the Church, and glorifying God with the talents that he has given us with humility.

Memory Verse: 

Micah 6:8

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

status: 
scope and sequence

Comments

Main Ideas: Comments

Teacher Preparation: Please add a teacher's preparation section suggesting effective teaching techniques and or other activities to help students understand the material. 

Introduction: Please provide an introduction i.e. story or interesting fact etc to present the lesson. You can consider using the Graham Staines story here as an example if you like.  That story could relate to God's expectation of mercy. 

1st paragraph: Is it possible to give a more detailed explanation of the history of Israel prevalent in Micah's time like what was happening during his time. Were the Israelites still in Israel; were they subject to the exile yet etc.

In the second section of the Main Ideas, when you are explaining God's expectations there are references to Jesus and Paul. However, as the lessons are ultimately to be put in chronological order the students will not have been exposed to the New Testament at this point. Therefore, please revise these sections to use examples from the Old Testament. 

Activities: Please add activities section.  

Lesson Review: Please add more questions to this sections. Fill ins, multiple choice,  short answer. Also, please note there are no essay questions for sixth grade as far as the Diocesan Exam is concerned. 

Also, in the main idea please add separate subheadings for student introduction and Bible exploration.