Judgment and Glory: Micah 1 (7)
Opening Prayer: Psalm 52.8, 9
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
I will praise You forever,
Because You have done it;
And in the presence of Your saints
I will wait on Your name, for it is good.
Sing Psalm 52.8, 9
(Warrington: Give to Our God Immortal Praise)
“But as for me may I be seen in God an olive ever green!
Ever in God, most kind and just, shall I with joy and gladness trust!”
Thanks evermore to our Savior be raised! His faithfulness be ever praised!
Here with Your people, loving God, I wait upon Your Name, so good!
Read Micah 1, meditate on verses 2, 3.
1. What was God coming to do through the ministry of Micah?
2. Who should pay attention to this?
A certain sameness pervades the writings of the prophets. I suspect that some people find the prophets tedious reading because they so often sound alike.
The prophets communicate the great constants of faith and life. Micah is no exception: God is. He has shown Himself to His people in mercy, holiness, and love. He calls the world to faith, obedience, and holiness. He strews our path with good things. Yet we are sinful, hard-hearted, stiff-necked, and rebellious; and we prefer our own ways to those the Lord of glory prescribes. To correct this muddled and deadly thinking, God comes to discipline His people. When He does, He calls the world to bear witness, that they might learn from the chastening of His people how they, too, should live before Him. Finally, God promises to keep His promises to His people, and to restore them to a condition of righteousness, peace, and joy.
This is the message of all the prophets of the Old Testament, and it is the message of Micah, summarized and outlined succinctly in chapter 1 of his book. God is coming to bring judgment against the people of Israel and Judah because of their transgressions against Him (vv. 2-13). They will know sorrow, but He will not leave them there. The Heir of the Kingdom will come with glory to redeem and restore the people of God (vv. 14, 15). Let them thus repent and prepare for His coming (v. 16).
The key word in all the prophets is “witness.” See God. See what He has done. Hear His promises and threats. Walk in His paths. See His chastening and turn from your sins. Trust Him to bring you to Himself for glory and peace. This is the message to the people of God, those to whom He has bound Himself by covenant; and it is the message to the world, whom God calls to seek, know, and serve Him.
Their witness to the people of God of old remains the witness of God to us today. They who have ears, let them hear.
Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Here are some constants to consider:
God is God, and we are not.
We are sinful and need to be reminded of that.
Prophets are good reminders.
Micah was particularly clear.
“Attention! Let all the peoples of the world listen. For the LORD in His holy Temple has made accusations against you! Look! He is coming! He leaves His throne in heaven and comes to earth, walking on the mountaintops. They melt beneath His feet and flow into the valleys like wax in fire, like water pouring down a hill. And why is this happening? Because of the sins of Israel and Judah. What sins? The idolatry and oppression centering in the capital cities, Samaria and Jerusalem!” (Mic. 1.2,3 TLB)
When Peter prophesied to the people of Israel and gave them these chastening constants to consider, their response was repentant: “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call’” (Acts 2. 37-39).
We, those who are afar off, must consider the warnings and words of Micah and Peter, repent, and embrace with joy and thanksgiving the gifts of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit that come through the constant love of Jesus Christ!
1. Why is it important that we understand the “constants” of our faith?
2. How can holding to these “constants” prepare and embolden us to live as witnesses, like Micah?
3. What happens when we let go of these “constants” and allow our faith to be defined by changeable winds of doctrine?
All the earth was to know that God was witnessing against His people. This announcement of judgment is based on the people’s breach of covenant. The faithlessness of the people provoked the Lord God to enter into a judicial dispute with them. Earl Radmacher (1931, 2014), NKJV Study Bible Notes on Micah 1.2, 3
Closing Prayer: Psalm 52.1-7
Pray for the lost people in our world, that the Heir of the Kingdom might make Himself known to them. Pray for all believers, that we might receive the chastening of the Lord and repent of our sins. And pray that the glory of God will be revealed in a great worldwide movement of His Spirit.
Sing Psalm 52.1-7
(Warrington: Give to Our God Immortal Praise)
Why do the mighty boast in sin? God’s love endures, it knows no end!
They with their tongues vain boasts repeat, and like a razor, work deceit.
Men more than good in evil delight, and lies prefer to what is right.
They utter words, both harsh and strong, with their devouring, deceitful tongue.
God will forever break them down, uproot, and cast them to the ground!
He from their safety tears them away, no more to know the light of day.
The righteous see and laugh and fear, and say, “Behold, what have we here?
Such are all who at God conspire, and wealth and evil ways desire.
T. M. and Susie Moore
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Micah in God’s Covenant
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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.