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The Scriptorium

Justice Scorned and Received

The sad end of a rebellious people. Micah 3

Warnings to Rulers: Micah 3 (7)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 74.1-4
O God, why have You cast us off forever?
Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
The tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed—
This Mount Zion where You have dwelt.
Lift up Your feet to the perpetual desolations.
The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary.
Your enemies roar in the midst of Your meeting place;
They set up their banners for signs.

Sing Psalm 74.1-4

(Rockingham: O Lord Most High, with All My Heart)
O Lord, why have You cast us off? Why does Your anger ever burn?
Remember now Your Church, O Lord, and to us let Your grace return.

Turn now Your steps to this sad ruin; our foes have damaged all within.
They roar throughout Your meeting place and raise the banner of their sin.

Read Micah 3; meditate on verses 1and 8.

1. How had the rulers of God’s people failed them and Him?

2. What did Micah say he was bringing against them?

They who will not yield to and pursue justice will find themselves the object of it.

That’s the lesson for the rulers of God’s people in Micah 3. The kings, judges, elders, priests, and prophets of Israel and Judah had turned away from the plain teaching of God’s Law and were incorporating into their worship, governance, and daily lives practices adopted from the surrounding pagan cultures. They still “worshiped” God, but they compromised His Law with idols, immorality, indifference, and ignorance. Their duty was to “know justice”; instead, they scorned the justice of God, preferring their own ideas about right, wrong, good, evil, justice, and mercy.

Because they scorned the justice of God, and led the people down that same path, they put themselves between the crosshairs of God’s justice, as clearly revealed in His Word. Over and over God had warned His people against the kinds of compromises Micah catalogued, threatening to judge them severely if they did not repent.

The people in Micah’s day had crossed a watershed with the Lord. They would not return to Him, as He commanded; therefore, He would drive them out of their land and destroy everything He had freely given them. The land, the city of Jerusalem, even the temple itself would be razed and ruined as the rulers and their people came under the justice of the holy God.

Micah 3 ends in a terrible and sad scene. But it’s not the end of the story.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“They who will not yield to and pursue justice will find themselves the object of it.”

Conversely, if we hear Micah’s words, and strive to know justice, we will be filled with power by the Holy Spirit, and justice and might, so that we can share the need for repentance from transgression and sin, and the forgiveness to be found because of Jesus.

But we must first be filled with the Holy Spirit Who enables us to accomplish this mighty task.

Isaiah spoke of this Spirit when he wrote these words from God, “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles” (Is. 42.1; Matt.12.18).

Then God says to us, “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (Ez. 36.27).

Then Jesus tells us how it will happen and the purpose of this gift: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (Jn. 14.26).

Finally, the apostle Paul elaborates on this gift to each of us, and assures us of our security, hope, and calling now, and our eternal future with God: “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Cor. 1.21, 22).

Empowered by the Holy Spirit we will pursue love because it never fails (I Cor. 14.1; I Cor. 13.8). And within this pursued love for God and for others we will know justice, might, and power, and will truly be able to say, “Is not the LORD among us?” (Mic. 3.11)

1. Why do we need the Holy Spirit to make us just?

2. How would you counsel a new believer to “be filled with power by the Holy Spirit”?

3. What can you do to make sure you are walking more consistently in the power of the Spirit?

Justice is one of the key concepts of the Law (see Deut. 10:18; 32:4; 33:21). Perverting justice was strongly prohibited by God (see Deut. 16:19; 24:17). Yet this was precisely what the leaders of Judah were doing. They had used their authority to destroy justice rather than to establish it among the people.
Earl Radmacher (1931-2014), NKJV Study Bible Note on Micah 3.1

Closing Prayer: Psalm 74.18-23

Call on the Lord to restrain wickedness, remember His favor toward His Church, and revive and renew us for His glory.

Sing Psalm 74.18-23

(Rockingham: O Lord Most High, with All My Heart)
Remember this, O Lord, our God: a foolish people spurns Your Name.
Deliver not Your flock to them, nor leave Your holy ones to shame.

Your covenant recall, renew, for violence spreads throughout the earth.
The poor and needy rescue, Lord, and we shall sing Your matchless worth!

Arise O God, and plead Your cause! See how the fools reproach Your Name.
Their voices quell, their uproar still, who Your majestic grace defame.

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.


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.
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