I love biblical commentaries. I don't mean only that I like, value, use, buy, read, browse, collect commentaries. I mean all of these and added into it a glad amazement at the inexhaustibility of the biblical texts. A definition of a good commentary is hard to formulate - so much depends on the kind of reader and the kind of commentary. So, is Gary Smith's commentary a good one?
Well according to one Amazon reviewer called Shandy, mostly yes but with a serious caveat. I leave you to read the whole review and tell me what you think of the caveat.
Another excellent commentary from the NIV application series. Good exposition of what the prophecies meant to those who first heard them in Bible times. Original ideas for how the messages of the ancient prophets help us in our lives today.
Gary Smith presents some challenges to the Bible believer, such as his powerful argument of the importance of the "Lament" in the life of the Christian.
My only criticism of the book would be that Smith urges Christians to become political activists on behalf of the poor and oppressed. This seems to go against Christ's example of refusing to become involved politically (e.g. refusing to be made king, or become involved in protests against heavy taxes) as his mission was first and foremost to preach the good news about God's coming kingdom on earth, where oppression will be destroyed once and for all.
With our world being ravaged by earhquakes, tsunamis, wars, famines and terrorism, Micah's prediction of a righteous king from Bethlehem - Jesus Christ - ruling over a worldwide kingdom of peace is as relevant now as it ever was.
This was accessed here
Dear Readers, on the strength of Shandy's caveat, I will buy Smith's commentary and soak up every instance of being urged to become politcally activist in the pursuit of justice and righteousness and mercy.
Incidentally what on earth did Micah mean by "He has told you O people what is good; and what does the Lord require of you? But to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." How do you act justly in an unjust society? How do you love mercy in a politcally ruthless society?By amongst other things, being politcially activist, that is, acting in ways that arte for the common good, and out of a commitment to Jesus, who was crucified for reasons of political expediency and religious convenience.