Old Time Religion
Does anyone know what the longest running TV show is? Probably you do – it’s Law & Order. The show has run 22 seasons and has over 400 episodes. It has multiple spin-offs, including SVU, which has over 500 episodes. Altogether, the Law & Order franchise boasts well over 1,000 episodes of TV. In fact, because it’s in syndication, there is literally an episode on every hour of every day on some channel somewhere.
We love courtroom drama. From Perry Mason to Matlock to Law & Order, we love watching justice served.
I bring up courtroom dramas because the text we’re going to be in is an ancient courtroom drama. The prophet Micah presents his criticism of God’s people as a court case, where God is the plaintiff, bringing a case against God’s people (so maybe it’s more like Judge Judy than SVU).
Listen to how Micah sets up our scene today:
Listen to what the Lord is saying: “Stand up and state your case against me. Let the mountains and hills be called to witness your complaints. And now, O mountains, listen to the Lord’s complaint! He has a case against his people. He will bring charges against Israel.” — Micah 6:1–2 (NLT)
God opens with a pretty baller move: he dares the people to counter-sue. Go ahead… state a case against me. We’ll let the very created world judge between us.
But then God goes on to finish God’s opening remarks. And I just want you, here at the top of our worship, to imagine what comes next.
If you heard God was taking you to court, what’s the vibe you imagine? Is God angry with you? Isn’t this the exact scenario we’re afraid of – God judging us? Judging – like a judge. In a courtroom. Like… this is the literal embodiment of what everyone’s afraid of.
So let me spoil it for you: What we find when God takes us to court is not a judgmental, wrathful deity who’s about to toss us in prison and throw away the key.
What we find is a God who is grieving, who knows we’ve deeply missed who God really is, and is inviting us back to faith.