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The Scriptorium

Judgment against Samaria

God cares about holiness. Do we? Micah 1.6, 7

Judgment and Glory: Micah 1 (3)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 115.1-3
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.
Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”
But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.

Sing Psalm 115.1-3

(Plainfield: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus)
Not to us, O God, not us, but unto Your Name give glory!
For Your love and faithfulness, ever to Your Name be glory!
Why should the nations cry, "Where is their God on high?"
You rule us, Lord, on high: Ever to Your Name be glory!

Read Micah 1.6, 7

1. What did God promise to do to Samaria?

2. Why would He do this?

Compromises of religion began immediately after ten tribes seceded to form the northern kingdom of Israel (cf. 1 Kgs. 12.25-33). It was downhill from there.

Though at first the people may have welcomed Jeroboam’s changes – for their flair, convenience, and egalitarianism – they were opening the floodgate for idolatry, and nothing would be able to shut it. King after king, generation after generation, Israel’s involvement in pagan religion and idolatry increased, choking out the true religion God had called His people to pursue.

God bore with His people, sending them prophet after prophet to call them to repent and return to Him. But the people of Israel refused. As idolatry increased, morality declined, and the nation no longer bore any resemblance to what God had called into being as His people. He would come to judge them, destroying their capital city (v. 6) and grinding their idols to dust (v. 7). He would do this through the Assyrians, mobilizing a distant empire as His instrument of judgment. Israel would receive the wages of her spiritual harlotry (cf. Rom. 6.23).

Our God is still a consuming fire (Heb. 12.29), bringing His discipline to bear against His people when they stray from His ways (Heb. 12.3-11).

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the field…” (Mic.1.6). Torn down, worn out, ugly, ruined. A complete heap of uselessness. This is not what comes to mind when we hear the words of Jesus, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jn. 10.10).

The people of God then and the people of God now are called to the same thing: holiness. “…but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (I Pet. 1.15,16). And “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…” (Eph. 1.4).

But tragically the people then and a good many of the people now “no longer bore any resemblance to what God had called into being as His people.” Why is that? Why do we let that happen? Is it because “There is no fear of God before [our] eyes”? (Ps. 36.1; Rom.3.1)

We don’t have to live our lives as a “heap of ruins”. We can be victorious as we follow God’s Law and plan for our lives. He says, “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries. The haters of the LORD would pretend submission to Him, but their fate would endure forever” (Ps. 81.13-15).

“For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness” (I Thess. 4.7). And in holiness we will “comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3.18). Jesus lifts us out of the ruins and judgment and into His abundant life: “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21.5). But we must choose to fear, obey, and follow Him out of the ruins into His glorious light!

1. What is holiness? Why is holiness so important to Christian life (2 Cor. 7.1)?

2. The people of Samaria “drifted” away from God over time (cf. Heb. 2.1). How does such “drift” occur?

3. What should we do if we recognize that we are drifting from our great salvation?

If sin be found in God’s people he will not spare them; and their sins are most provoking to him, for they are most reproaching. When we feel the smart of sin, it behooves us to seek what is the sin we smart for. Persons and places most exalted, are most exposed to spiritual diseases. The vices of leaders and rulers shall be surely and sorely punished. The punishment answers the sin. What they gave to idols, never shall prosper, nor do them any good. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Micah 1.1-7

Let there be no sin in me, O Lord! Keep me from all idols as I…

Closing Prayer: Psalm 115.4-18

Cast all your burdens and cares on the Lord. Trust in Him. Call on Him to lead you in the path of blessing this day and always.

Sing Psalm 115.4-18

(Plainfield: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus)
Idols made by men's own hand – ever to Your Name be glory –
see nor hear nor understand – ever to Your Name be glory!
They neither feel nor walk, nor can they speak or talk;
all those who serve them fall, but unto Your Name be glory!

All who trust in Jesus yield – ever to His Name be glory! –
find in Him their help and shield – ever to Your Name be glory!
O Israel, trust the Lord!  He helps us evermore!
Fear Him obey His Word: Ever to Your Name be glory!

Blessings from our gracious Lord – ever to Your Name be glory –
will attend us evermore – ever to Your Name be glory!
Bless all who fear You, Lord, all who obey Your Word,
all who Your Name adore: Ever to Your Name be glory!

Grant us, Savior, great increase – ever to Your Name be glory!
Bless us with eternal peace – ever to Your Name be glory!
Heaven and earth are Yours; let every soul adore
and bless You evermore: Ever to Your Name be glory!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to last week’s summary of Colossians 4 by clicking here.

If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel: Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV, John R. Franke, ed, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2005). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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