Michah Six: Gratification

Amongst the things that Micah says in this chapter is one verse that I found particularly piquing. “You shall sow, but you shall not reap; you shall tread the olives,but you shall not anoint yourself with oil; and the must; but you shall not drink wine (Micah 6:15).” On the one hand, I see this verse as representing the extreme frustration of being unfulfilled, of putting effort into a task that is never seen through to fruition. I’ve experienced that myself – putting in all of the grunt work and then having someone else receive the rewards of an initiative. But at the same time, aren’t we told throughout Jewish history and wisdom that there are often times when our efforts don’t deliver instant gratification, but instead are investments in a future generation or time? So is this really a punishment, or just the way of the world?

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