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The Scriptorium

The Promise Forfeited

It wasn't God who changed. Micah 2.3-5

On Their Backs, at Their Head: Micah 2 (2)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 68.1-4
Let God arise,
Let His enemies be scattered;
Let those also who hate Him flee before Him.
As smoke is driven away,
So drive them away;
As wax melts before the fire,
So let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
But let the righteous be glad;
Let them rejoice before God;
Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.
Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Extol Him who rides on the clouds,
By His name YAH,
And rejoice before Him.

Sing Psalm 68.1-3, 32, 33
(O Store Gud: How Great Thou Art)
Let God arise, let all Your foes be scattered! Let those who hate You flee before Your face!
As smoke dissolves, as wax in flame is shattered, let all the wicked perish in disgrace!
Refrain vv. 32, 33
Sing to the Lord, O kingdoms of the earth! Ancient of Days – praise Him on high!
Behold He speaks; His Word is going forth; Ancient of Days – praise Him on high!

Lord, let Your righteous ones exult in glory, let us rejoice and praise Your holy Name!
Now let us sing the Savior’s old, old story – Who life to deserts brings, we now proclaim!
Refrain

Read Micah 2.3-5

Preparation
1. What was God preparing against His “family”?

2. How would the people respond?

Meditation
The mention of “boundaries” in verse 5 suggests the time of the original settlement of the land of Canaan in the book of Judges. Then, lots were cast, and boundaries were determined where each tribe would live and work to realize the promises of God.

But now God was preparing a “disaster” against His people (“family”, v. 3). There would be no escaping the yoke of captivity He was about to fix on them (v. 5), bowing their heads in shame. The people would take up a lamentation for their plight (v. 4). They would bemoan the fact that they had been “destroyed”; their “heritage” was changed and “removed” (v. 4). Their fields would be turned over to foreigners (v. 4), and no one would set boundaries for them in the land of promise (v. 5). Had God revoked His promises?

Typically, the people blame God for their troubles (“He has…”, twice in v. 4). And indeed He had. But His bringing this judgment against them was no change in His thinking. God had threatened such consequences if His people turned away from Him (cf. Deut. 28.15ff.).

God had not revoked His promises. The people of God had forfeited them.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“God had not revoked His promises. The people of God had forfeited them.”

The people forfeited them, God kept His promise, and they blamed Him for it

As Proverbs 19.3 tells us, “The foolishness of a man twists his way, and his heart frets against the LORD.”
How true that is. It was true then, and it is true now.

But we have a choice. It is too late for the Israelites of Micah’s day, but it is not too late for us.

We can decide differently. Instead of taking on ourselves the yoke of disaster, we have been invited to bear the yoke with Jesus, in obedience to Him. As He said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11 28-30).

The promises of God are too precious to forfeit.

Reflection
1. How would you explain God’s promises to a new believer?

2. What are we supposed to do with the promises of God?

3. If we ignore His promises, or turn away from them, what can we expect?

They then who refuse to obey God, when he requires from them a voluntary service, will at length be drawn by force, not to undergo the yoke, but the burden which will altogether overwhelm them. Whosoever then will not willingly submit to God's yoke, must at length undergo the great and dreadful burden prepared for the unnamable. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Micah 2.3

Lord Jesus, keep me in the yoke with You, that I may learn from You and…

Closing Prayer: Psalm 68.19, 20, 26-35
Thank God for His salvation, and for all His precious and very great promises. Commit this day to living in the promises of God and for His glory.

Sing Psalm 68.19, 20, 26-35
(O Store Gud: How Great Thou Art)
Blessed be the Lord, our burden daily bearing, O God, our God, our Savior and our King!
With us salvation and deliv’rance sharing, He life from death His people daily brings.
Refrain vv. 32, 33
Sing to the Lord, O kingdoms of the earth! Ancient of Days – praise Him on high!
Behold He speaks; His Word is going forth; Ancient of Days – praise Him on high!

Bless God in all His holy congregations, even the Lord, the Fountainhead of grace!
He calls His people forth from all the nations and gathers them before His glorious face.
Refrain vv. 32, 33

To You, O God, are strength and exaltation; You fill the skies and dwell in holy awe!
To us You give strength, pow’r and full salvation, blessed be Your Name, our strong, majestic God!
Refrain

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to last week’s summary of our study 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.

Don’t forget to listen to this month’s Personal Mission Field Workshop. It’ll make you a little spongier (click 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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