When we think of the Old Testament prophet, Micah, we commonly think of one of two passages.
Either his prophecy of the exact birthplace of Christ (which wouldn’t take place for another 750 years):
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (5:2)
“…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (6:8)
But I would like to draw your attention to a nuance of the book that haunts me.
In chapter 6, vs 12, Micah lets Israel know just how far off course they’ve strayed:
“Your citizens are so used to lying that their tongues can no longer tell the truth.”
I’m fairly certain the people of Israel didn’t wake up one morning and decide, “Hey – I think I’ll become a pathological liar today.”
This didn’t happen over night.
Satan is smarter than that. Much smarter.
His strategy is – and always has been – to slither around unnoticed, systematic and methodical in his efforts to inflict pain. I heard a preacher once say, “Satan will take years, if necessary, to set you up for a fall.”
That said, Israel’s apathy and complacency regarding their devotion to God was a slow and calculated process.
The old saying has been proven true over and over again:
“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; so a character, reap a destiny.”
Whether we choose to ruin our lives in the coming weeks or the coming years matters not to our enemy.
Time is irrelevant to him as long as his objective is accomplished.
As I thought about the insidious manner in which ingrained habits of sin can take us over, I recalled an arresting quote by one of my professors during my graduate studies in Christian Apologetics (defending the Christian faith.)
Dr. Michael Ward is a professor at the University of Oxford in England. He made an enormous impact on my life. Once, in an online class thread about this very topic of sin’s systematic infection, he wrote the following:
Compromise – even the tiniest amount – seems innocuous at first. And that’s exactly the way Satan prefers it.
Be on your guard. Find friends who love you enough to lovingly confront you if/when they see a slow, steady “straying off course.”
And, be careful to abide in the Lord, so that you don’t let the serpent into the garden.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick