Just yesterday at the St. Alban’s Youth Group, or, as I like to call them, “Teenage Theologians,” we ran through the whole Bible in just 45 minutes. I talked fast, drew a lot of pictures on the whiteboard, and told some really great Bible stories. Part of my plan, and I think it worked, was to show that some of its stories aren’t exactly what we would call “holy” and that the Bible doesn’t always agree with itself.
Take what we have from Micah 6. Throughout the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, there are lists of laws describing and prescribing the ritual sacrifices that are to be offered to God. There are sacrifices for all manner of conditions, emotions, and events in the life of a person.
But then we encounter the prophet Micah, and we are presented with a totally different outlook. “Will the Lord be pleased with thousands or rams, and with ten thousands of rivers of oil?” The answer is a loud NO. What the Lord is truly pleased with is to do what is good: “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
But that’s the great thing about the Bible. We think we get it, and then we read a little bit more, and all of the sudden, everything we had thought was right is thrown out the window. It’s the defenestration of conviction!