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Micah Survey

17/06/2019

Micah Survey 

Text.  Micah 6:1-8

The prophet is introduced in Micah 1:1  He’s also mentioned in Jeremiah 26:18 living in the same times as Isaiah and Jeremiah, and drawing much from the same sources, – there are parallel passages in both Isaiah and Micah. Isaiah 2:2-5, and Micah 4:1-5.  But what was it that Micah was saying to the people of his day?

1 God is Angry with Samaria and Jerusalem. Chapter 1-3.   Micah 1:2.

The sins of the land are laid bare. Micah goes on to describe…

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Greedy Property Theft

  • Description of the Sins of Israel.  Chapter 2 & 3.
    • Greedy property developers.  2:1-2   Hosea singles out the bloodthirsty, ruthless businessmen of his day and their activities.  They lay on their beds at night, and couldn’t sleep because they were plotting how to defraud others.   They went out to look at people’s fields and they wanted them and they took them, even if that mean possessing them by use of violence.  They didn’t just take fields either.  They threw people out of their homes, oppressing people to gain financially from poor people.  But such sin is always punished.  2:3-5.
    • Professional money-oriented clergymen.  V6-7  There were other prophets and there were other preachers, – who would say what people wanted to hear for money. These prophets and preachers were even backing up the businessmen in their wicked activities.
  • Discipline for the Sins of Israel.  In 3:9-12, there will be a day of retribution for all these oppressive businessmen and the clergymen they have in their pockets.  3:9-12  

Is it any wonder that God is angry with Israel – with the rich people, the governing classes and the religious leaders.  

 

2 The (true) Latter Day Saints!  Chapter 4-5.

When Micah speaks of the Latter Days, he’s speaking about:

  1. Messiah’s Kingdom.  4:1 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it.  Perhaps Micah is thinking about the restoration of the temple, and the re-establishment of the Hebrew state, but while that did happen, after exile, it certainly fell far short of what’s envisaged here, – a pale shadow of the kingdom of Christ which was to come.  The Latter Days would demonstrate 1) An international flavour. 4:1-2, 2) A true obedience to God. 4:2   3)An orderly, peaceful and Godly world. 2:4)True Christian fellowship. 4:4  5) An end to idolatry. 4:  In Messiah’s kingdom, there will be no idolatry!

Now, you will appreciate that this wasn’t fulfilled at the restoration of Israel.  It is with us in a measure now, in the Lord’s invisible church, among the true saints of God, – but its complete, final and perfect revelation is yet to come, in the new heaven and new earth.   Isaiah 64:17-25   And we will only be in that kingdom because of the work of ONE man -Jesus,God’s MESSIAH, and it is to him that Micah turns in chapter 5.

  1. Messiah’s Incarnation. Now, this is a truly remarkable prophecy, pointing directly to the birth and person of Jesus! 
    1. Messiah’s Birth. 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel,.  
    2. Messiah’s Divine Character. Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” 3 Therefore He shall give them up, Until the time that she who is in labour has given birth;
      1. His eternal nature.  Micah establishes in his words the fact that Messiah was not created at his birth, as we are.  He is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting – which of course is an attribute only of God Himself.   John 8:48-59.  
      2. His condescension.  Yet the One who is eternal sets aside his majesty and enters into this world as a man, – He ‘gives them up’ to become flesh for us!  Cf Philippians 2:5-7 
      3. His virgin birth.  Micah even prophecies about the method of his condescension.  He speaks of eternal God coming into this world via a natural human birth, the Son of God, being ‘born of a woman.’
    3. Messiah’s Love. Then the remnant of His brethren Shall return to the children of Israel. 4  And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; And they shall abide, Here is the reason, the theology behind the prophecy.  God’s Son, the Messiah would come into this world on a mission, to rescue lost sinners, so that they can return to the God who created them.
    4. Messiah’s Glory. For now He shall be great To the ends of the earth; 5 And this One shall be peace.  What a glorious work our Saviour has completed for us.  Paul reminds us in his great hymn that he will be exalted, Phil. 2:9 T 

 

3 The Divine Controversy. Chapter 6:1-8   

  1. A dispute with God.  Micah uses the same method as Hosea in this passage.  He depicts the controversy that God has with his people in terms of a court proceedings, with a complaint, a charge, and witnesses (the creation) and a judge (God himself).   
  2. Being ‘weary’ with worship.  Micah 6:3   Now let’s be honest.  The OT sacrificial system of worship was a very heavy burden indeed, especially the poorest people in society. Yet Micah turns right away to the deliverance from Egypt, -perhaps because there they had no resources and yet they were still able to worship God! Worshipping God is not about what YOU DO – your works, but about a humble response to what Gd has done for you!  
  3. The problem with religion. You can worship with great enthusiasm, with great regularity, with great offerings, with great words – but it won’t please God unless it’s presented through and in the name of Jesus.  And you’ll burn yourself out trying and give up.
  4. Resting in the Lord.  So give up trying to please God by your works, even your religious works, and just rest in what God has done for us in Christ.  HL Ellison in ‘Men Spake from God’ (p66) sees that verse 8 is a summary of the overall prophetic message of his day; God demands JUSTICE as explained in Amos, MERCY as explained in Hosea, and HUMILITY, as Isaiah reminds us of the holiness of God and our puniness and sinfulness in the light of the blinding glory of God.

So verse 8 is not an exhortation to works righteousness, to earning favour with God, but a reminder of how God expects his people, who have been made just in Christ, will respond by growing like Him in their own lives.

 © BobMcEvoy 2019

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