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

Judgment

God is sovereign. He will judge. Micah 6.13-15

The Case against God’s People: Micah 6 (5)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 80.1-3
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
You who lead Joseph like a flock;
You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth!
Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh,
Stir up Your strength,
And come and save us!
Restore us, O God;
Cause Your face to shine,
And we shall be saved!

Sing Psalm 80.1-3, 17, 19
(St. Theodulph: All Glory, Laud, and Honor)
O God of grace, restore us, and shine on us Your face!
O save us, Lord, work for us; renew us by Your grace!
vv. 1, 2
Give ear, O gracious Savior, Who leads us as Your flock:
Stir up Your pow’r and favor, our King and Lord and Rock!

Read Micah 6.13-15

Preparation
1. What form will God’s judgment take against His people?

2. What will be the result of this? Why does God intend to do it?

Meditation
God’s judgment is coming to desolate His people because of their sins (v. 13). Their crops will fail, and what they do manage to harvest either won’t satisfy their hunger or will be taken from them by the sword (v. 14). They will work to put in a crop, but it won’t produce for them (v. 15). Their perpetual olive trees and grapevines will yield, but others will realize the benefits (v. 15).

God is sovereign over His people and all nations. He is also sovereign over weather, the earth, and the plants of the earth. The creation in all its aspects serves the purposes of God (Ps. 119.89-91), and He can turn the creation – as well as nations and powers – to bring judgment against His people when they have rebelled against Him.

In view of the grace and power of God, we are well advised (v. 9) to cling to Him and His Word and to resist every inclination of our heart to worship or serve other gods, including the gods of self-interest and things. God is as sovereign today as He was in Micah’s day, and He exercises His wrath and judgment against all who deny or resist Him (Rom. 1.18-32). Caveat auditor.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Instead of being sick, hungry, and dead, with bad gardens, no oil, and no wine, we can be healthy, well-fed, alive, fruitful, and well cared-for with oil and wine to spare. But it is a serious choice we have to make to experience the one and not the other.

Moses said to the forebears of these people: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.” “…therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them” (Deut. 30.15, 16, 19, 20).

The same holds true for us. Judgment or blessing.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jn. 10.10). But He also said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (Jn. 14.15), and, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (Jn. 15.14).

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 Jn. 5.3).

Reflection
1. Why did Jesus invest so much importance in keeping the commandments of God? Can keeping the Law save us? But why must we keep it?

2. Is God still sovereign today? What are the implications of that for when He decides to bring His judgment against someone?

3. How can believers encourage one another to walk in the ways of God’s commandments?

Sin is a root of bitterness, soon planted, but not soon plucked up again. Their being the people of God in name and profession, while they kept themselves in his love, was an honor to them; but now, being backsliders, their having been once the people of God turns to their reproach. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Micah 6.9-16
 
Closing Prayer: Psalm 80.4-7, 12-19

Pray that God will give us repentance from our sins, and that He will make our sins known to us, revive us, and renew our mission to proclaim Jesus and His Kingdom to the world.

Sing Psalm 80.4-7, 12-19

(St. Theodulph: All Glory, Laud, and Honor)
How long will You ignore all Your people’s fervent prayer?
Shall bitter tears fall ever?  O Lord, renew Your care!
vv. 6, 7
Our neighbors mock and scorn us, they laugh at our distress;
renew, O Lord, and turn us, look down on us and bless!

Now You in wrath have spoken and bruised Your chosen vine.
We languish, Lord, are broken by wrath, deserved, divine.
vv. 14, 15
Once more, Lord, hear our pleading: return and heal this vine!
Look down on us, so needy, and show Your love divine!

Though we be burned and perish because of Your command,
revive us, Lord, and cherish this son of Your right hand.
vv. 18, 19
Then let us not return to our sinful, selfish ways
but call on You and learn to surround You with our praise.

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 Scriptures 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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