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The Scriptorium

Rebellion's End

Turning away from God never ends well. Micah 3.12

Warnings to Rulers: Micah 3 (6)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 77.1-3
I cried out to God with my voice—
To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing;
My soul refused to be comforted.
I remembered God, and was troubled;
I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.

Psalm 77.1-3
(Leoni: The God of Abraham Praise)
My voice to God shall rise; I seek Him on His throne.
In days and nights of trouble I seek God alone!

When I remember Him, then am I sore distressed!
My spirit faints and longs to find in Him its rest.

Read Micah 3.12

Preparation
1. What are the consequences of rebellion for God’s people and their city?

2. What will become of God’s dwelling place?

Meditation
Sin, rebellion, treachery, hypocrisy. The sins of the rulers ultimately spread to all the people of Israel and Judah. Micah turns his focus to Jerusalem and the people of the southern kingdom. Boasting that they had nothing to worry about (v. 11), they would soon discover how wrong they were.

“Zion” and “Jerusalem” here stand for the nation of Judah as a whole. They would be ground under by the judgment of God, and all their strong cities reduced to rubble. Even the dwelling place of God – the temple – would be stripped of all its adornments and torn down, leaving only a heap of stones.

This is only what God warned about in Deuteronomy 28.15ff. In turning from Him and His Word, the people not only forfeited His promises, but they invoked the wrath He had threatened many times before. That wrath, in the form of the Babylonian armies, would be terrible and costly. Destruction, death, and deportation would be rebellion’s end, at least for this generation.

But this would not be God’s last word.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“Therefore because of you…” (Mic. 3.12).

Because of the rulers’, priests’, judges’, prophets’, and then the people’s sinfulness, God plowed them all like a field and they became heaps of ruins.

Do we want that on our consciences? Do we want God to say to us, “because of you” I must judge your family? Your friends? Your neighborhood? Your church? Your world?

“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Prov. 12.26)
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Prov. 13.20).
“They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matt. 15.14).
“Can the blind lead the blind?” (Lk. 6.39)

We do not live this life unobserved. And we never sin alone. Sin always impacts others negatively. We must be very careful to obey God’s Law always, because we love Him and want to please Him. And, because we don’t ever want to be the cause of anyone else’s downfall – “because of you”.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus…” (Heb.12.1, 2).

Reflection
1. Does God still judge His people today? Why?

2. If we sense, in any way, shape or form, that we are coming under the discipline of the Lord, what should we do?

3. The great sin of God’s Old Testament people was that they refused to receive and obey God’s Word. What should this say to us?

We here see how intolerable to God hypocrites are; for it was no ordinary proof of a dreadful vengeance, that the Lord should expose to reproach the holy city, and mount Zion, and his own temple. This revenge, then, being so severe, shows that to God there is nothing less tolerable than that false confidence with which hypocrites swell, for it brings dishonor on God himself; for they could not boast that they were God's people without aspersing him with many reproaches. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Micah 3.12

Closing Prayer: Psalm 77.11-20
Praise the Lord for His sovereign might and power. Call upon Him to revive His people and turn our hearts back to Him again.

Psalm 77.11-20
(Leoni: The God of Abraham Praise)
Now let us call to mind Your deeds and wonders, Lord,
and meditate on all Your works and praise Your Word.
Full holy is Your way, great God of earth and heav’n.
To You, O God of strength and pow’r all praise be giv’n!

The waters and the deeps all tremble ‘neath Your hand.
The clouds give forth, the sky resounds across the land.
Your lightning flashes forth and lights the earth around;
we feel beneath our feet the trembling of the ground.

Your way leads through the sea; Your path the water parts.
Your footprints are to us deep mysteries in our hearts.
As then by Moses’ hand and Aaron’s law-filled voice,
You led Your sheep, lead us that we may all rejoice!

T. M. and Susie Moore

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

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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 Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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