"The revelation of Your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple." Psalms 119:130
God's word is intended for all people. For thousands of years God has communicated to millions of simple people through His word. In fact, many things are hidden from the learned and clever but revealed to the merest children (Lk 10:21). Of course, God's word is sometimes so difficult to interpret that we need the Church to teach us. Therefore, highly academic Bible study has its place, but it is not the principal approach to God's word. The word is not primarily for an educated elite but for everyday people praying and reading by the power of the Spirit.
Nevertheless, not many books about the Bible are written to help the average person. What most people need is something short, simple, and practical that encourages, motivates and guides. We need something that will help us read the Biblical texts and not just about the text. This is the purpose of this simple Bible reading guide. "We have aimed to please those who prefer simple reading, as well as to make it easy for the studious who wish to commit things to memory, and to be helpful to all (2 Mc 2:25).
Note: The breakdown of the Bible into chapters (although not always adequate) has served God's people for centuries. So in general we will use a chapter-by-chapter structure for our comments.
Be sure to read each chapter of the Bible along with the introductory comments.
P.S. We have prayed before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament about our choice
of the verses in this reading guide. We hope the Scriptures will have a
prophetic, life-changing power for you.
"What is the crime of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what is the sin of the house of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?" Micah 1:5
Micah, a country boy, prophesied that both the Northern and Southern kingdoms would be destroyed because of the evils centered in their capitol cities.
Prayer: Father, as we repent, turn our cities into the new Jerusalem.
Promise: "For see, the Lord comes forth from His place, He descends and treads upon the heights of the earth. The mountains melt under Him and the valleys split open." 1:3-4
"They covet fields, and seize them; houses, and they take them; they cheat an owner of his house, a man of his inheritance." Micah 2:2
The Lord will destroy a nation because of its injustices concerning fields, homes, and lands. These injustices promoted other injustices, such as usury and drunkenness.
Prayer: Father, may real estate agents, bankers, and bartenders turn their lives over to You.
Promise: "With a leader to break the path they shall burst open the gate and go out through it; their king shall go through before them, and the Lord at their head." 2:13
"Her leaders render judgment for a bribe, her priests give decisions for a salary, her prophets divine for money." Micah 3:11
Both political and religious leaders sold out to the system and used the people for their own gain.
Prayer: Father, I pray for those in authority to repent (see 1 Tm 2:1-2).
Promise: "But as for me, I am filled with power, with the spirit of the Lord, with authority and with might; to declare to Jacob his crimes and to Israel his sins." 3:8
"In days to come the mount of the Lord's house shall be established higher than the mountains; it shall rise high above the hills." Micah 4:1
After the nation has been destroyed because of its sins, the Lord will raise up a remnant and restore His people. The Lord promised: "On that day, says the Lord, I will gather the lame, and I will assemble the outcasts, and those whom I have afflicted. I will make of the lame a remnant, and of those driven far off a strong nation; and the Lord shall be King over them on Mount Zion, from now on forever" (4:6-7).
Prayer: Father, depose the mighty from their thrones and raise the lowly to high places (Lk 1:52).
Promise: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again." 4:3
"But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me One Who is to be Ruler in Israel; Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times." Micah 5:1
This is Micah's greatest prophecy. He prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. "He shall stand firm and shepherd His flock by the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord, His God; and they shall remain, for now His greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; He shall be Peace" (5:3-4).
Prayer: Jesus, Messiah and God, I accept You as Lord and Savior of my life.
Promise: "Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne, and the rest of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel." 5:2
"Hear, then, what the Lord says: Arise, present your plea before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice! Hear, O mountains, the plea of the Lord, pay attention, O foundations of the earth! For the Lord has a plea against His people, and He enters into trial with Israel." Micah 6:1-2
The Lord takes His people to court and questions them: "O My people, what have I done to you, or how have I wearied you? Answer Me!" (6:3) The people are rendered speechless, convicted of idolatry and injustice, and sentenced to destruction.
Prayer: Jesus, I plead guilty, repent and throw myself on the mercy of Your court.
Promise: "You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: only to do right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God." 6:8
"Rejoice not over me, O my enemy! though I have fallen, I will arise; though I sit in darkness, the Lord is my Light." Micah 7:8
Micah ended his prophecies by fixing his eyes on the Lord despite the breakdown of faithfulness, truth, and love in society, and even in family. He proclaimed: "But as for me, I will look to the Lord, I will put my trust in God my Savior; my God will hear me!" (7:7)
Prayer: "As in the days when You came from the land of Egypt, show us wonderful signs" (7:15).
Promise: "Who is there like You, the God Who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of His inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, and will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt? You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins." 7:18-19
When you finish reading this booklet, give it to someone else. Pray for that person to be motivated to read God's word and make a total commitment to the Lord. Use this book as a tool for evangelization. Right now pray to know the person with whom you are to share this book.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, April 3, 1997
Imprimatur: Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 8, 1997
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com