Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Repentance

Gotta have it. Micah 1.16

Judgment and Glory: Micah 1 (6)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 110.1-3
The LORD said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.
Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
Your people shall be volunteers
In the day of Your power;
In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning,
You have the dew of Your youth.

Sing Psalm 110.1-3
(Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
“Sit by Me at My right hand,” the Lord says to my Lord,
“until I make Your foot stand on all who hate Your Word.”
From in His Church the Savior rules all His enemies;
while those who know His favor go forth the Lord to please.

Read Micah 1.16

Preparation
1. What did Micah call the people to do?

2. Why were they to do this?

Meditation
The Heir and glory of God were coming to His people, but not before the judgment of the Lord. While Micah held out hope to the people of his day, he also told them the painful truth: Their children would go into captivity – for Israel, in Assyria, and for Judah, in Babylon.

In view of this, repentance and lamentation were in order. This is indicated in the instruction to cut off the hair and make oneself bald. Proverbs 20.29 reminds us that “the splendor of old men is their gray head.” And Paul wrote that a woman’s long hair “is a glory to her” (1 Cor. 11.15).By cutting their hair the people would renounce all splendor and glory that attached to them. They would be saying, in effect, “Icahbod” – “no glory here” – a public demonstration of regret for their sin and of the desire to give glory to God alone.

But this repentance, though necessary, would not prevent the judgment of God on the children of Micah’s generation. Repentance is not always followed by restoration or relief. Sin has consequences, as Micah knew. Thus, he preached and wrote to call the people of his day to sorrow for their sins and for the captivity of their children which their sins will have caused.

Are we setting our children up for captivity to the lies and deceptions of our materialistic and narcissistic age? Perhaps we need to demonstrate some sorrow for our sins – and for their captivity.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Do you suppose repentance is in short supply because God’s people are not really horrified by our sins? Or we don’t think we’re really all that bad? I mean, in comparison to (fill in the blank) we’re doing OK.

But that is not at all how God sees it. He is so repulsed by sin that He sent His own dear Son to take away the guilt for all our sins, and to make a way for us to repent and turn from them. And for all that, we need to “demonstrate some sorrow for our sins” and for the problems they cause for the next generation.

Here are the facts: We can be sure that our sin will catch up with us. (Num. 32.23 TLB)
It is against God that we have sinned. (Ps. 51.4)
The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. (Jn. 16.8)
All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. (Rom. 3.23)
The wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6.23)
To those who know to do good and then don’t do it, it then becomes sin. (Jms. 4.17)
Even if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 Jn. 1.8)

Convinced?

Micah “preached and wrote to call the people of his day to sorrow for their sins”, and to repent. He calls us to the same. We must understand that the consequences for our sins effect not only us, but others now, and those of the following generations. Sin never just happens to us.

The reason Micah wrote was to wail, howl and warn – then and now. And when we respond and repent, the good news is immeasurable: “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5.18-21).

Let us agree that repentance is needed; repent and receive wholeheartedly this Good News!

Reflection
1. Why does God hate sin so much? Why don’t we?

2. What is repentance? Who needs to repent? How often?

3. “Sin never just happens to us.” Explain.

All refuges but Christ, must be refuges of lies to those who trust in them; other heirs will succeed to every inheritance but that of heaven; and all glory will be turned into shame, except that honor which cometh from God only. Sinners may now disregard their neighbors’ sufferings, yet their turn to be punished will come. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Micah 1.16

Closing Prayer: Psalm 110.4-7
Pray that the Lord will overcome the sin that lingers in you, that He will intercede for you as our great High Priest, and that His blessings will abide with you today.

Sing Psalm 110.4-7
(Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
Filled with the Spirit’s power, in holy robes of love,
from early morning’s hour they serve their Lord above.
Christ reigns a priest forever, the King of Righteousness
and King of Peace who ever His chosen ones will bless.

The Lord at Your right hand, Lord, in wrath shall shatter kings,
when judgment by His strong Word He to the nations brings.
Then, all His foes defeated, He takes His hard-won rest,
in glorious triumph seated with us, redeemed and blessed!

T. M. and Susie Moore

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

Micah in God’s Covenant
Where does the book of Micah fit in God’s covenant with His people? Our workbook, God’s Covenant, can help you to answer that question and to gain a better understanding of how the grace of God reaches and transforms us in Jesus Christ. Order your free copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scripture are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), 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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