Micah 1-4

Storm Warning!

Though long ago, I remember those days well. Those were frightening times. I can still feel the emotions; the fear and pain. I knew things would not be the same after my mother came in to clean and organize my room. Some of my most valued possessions like that stained dirty tee shirt with all the holes, and that broken truck, along with other “precious” artifacts would never be seen again. Of course there were warnings but I ignored them.

Today we start a two day study of the book of Micah. Micah and Isaiah were contemporaries. His prophesy mostly targets the time frame of the reign of Ahaz king of Judah, but is aimed at both the nation of Israel and the nation of Judah.  Samaria is the capital of Israel and Jerusalem is the capital of Judah. The prophets  message is God is coming like a downpour that washes away mountain’s. God is about to wash away the rebellion of both nations. Chapter 1:3-7

Judgment will begin with Samaria and flow to Jerusalem. Samaria has led the way in rebellion against God. That rebellion has spread to Jerusalem through the outlying cities of Judah like Lachish. As we saw in our study of Isaiah, God used Assyria to invade Israel from the north down to Samaria to take the nation. Assyria then attacked Lachish and Jerusalem. Lachish was located in Judah  between Israel and Judah. The path the rebellion took flowed from Israel to Jerusalem. As we read this prophesy we see that God’s judgment followed the same path.

Sin and rebellion are not static. They start with a trickle but soon become a stream, river, and then a flood. In Chapter 2 we see that sin and rebellion start with a scheme and then quickly flows to injustice, verses 1&2. God also starts with a plan, verses 3&4. As we continue through the chapter, when warning the people the prophet is told to keep quiet. But to those who speak of wineries and microbreweries, we read in verse 11, they are all ears. God is warning but few are listening.

The role of government is to promote justice and righteousness, but in Chapter 3 we see that the leaders have abandoned that role. Rebellion has spread to the government and they are not serving the flock of God. Instead,  they are fleecing the flock. The rebellion that started as a trickle is now flowing like a stream. Soon it will be in flood stage as false prophets join in spreading deception for their own gain.

The Apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 3:5 that greed is idolatry. Though the people “worshiped” many idols the worship of greed was at the basis of their rebellion as we read about in our study today. We need to look closely at what was taking place in this rebellion toward God. We need to compare what these people were doing to what is going on in our culture today. If the nations will be judged for their rebellion, as described in Chapter 4, how can we expect to escape this judgment?  God promises to save the remnant that still follows Him.  Are you part of the remnant or part of the mainstream? There are two verses in our study today that frightens me much more than my mother coming to clean my room. Micah 4:11&12, “And now many nations have been assembled against you Who say, ‘Let her be polluted, And let our eyes gloat over Zion.’ But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord, And they do not understand His purpose; For He has gathered them like sheaves on the threshing floor.” NASB

What frightens me is that the people have been so brainwashed in their rebellious culture that they do not know God or his thoughts. Micah said he was, …filled with the Spirit of the Lord-And with justice and courage To make known to Jacob his rebellious act, Even to Israel his sin. Micah 3:8 NASB

The purpose of this Bible study is that we would know the thoughts of the Lord and act on them so we can avoid the threshing hammer that is going to separate the grain from the chaff. How we respond to the Word of God will determine whether those who look on see a witness of God’s goodness or gloat over our being swept away in a flood of consequences and judgment.

Grain or chaff, remnant or exile, will be determined by what we listen to and follow.

Listen to God! Don’t let the enemy have reason to gloat.

Pastor Dave