MICAH Sermons by Rev. Mike Jones
Notes on Micah Chapter 1 by Rev. Mike Jones:
You normally cannot solve a problem until you identify a problem (It is difficult to fix what is wrong if you do not know what is wrong).
- Who was witness to their offense? “Let the Lord God be witness against you” (1:2) David recognized the ultimate one he had offended: Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest (Psalms 51:4).
- Why was God bringing Judgment on Israel and Samaria? For the transgression [Act of rebellion] of Jacob is all this, and for the sins [habitual offenses] of the house of Israel (Micah 1:5).
- Where was the problem originating? What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem? (Micah 1:5). Note that the Government Centers were identified as the “Problem Place”. (O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths (Isaiah 3:12).
- How serious was the problem? 1:9 For her wound is incurable (Like Cancer, it had crept over from Samaria even unto the gates of Jerusalem so that all were corrupted).
- Then, He uses the names of towns (in Hebrew) to show in a poetic way some Results of sinful behavior. Vs 10 Weep not in weeptown. Roll in the dust in dust town. Vs 11 Expose your naked beauty in beautytown. Lose your joy in joytown. Vs 12 The inhabitants of bad water will find bad water instead of good. Vs 13 Slow town will find problems living in the fast lane. Vs 14 Gifts will be given to gift town (Cute that Micah’s “Hick” home town was the only positive). Truthtown shall be a lie to Israel. And, Vs 15 The “high one” shall come to high town to expose their low living.
- Finally, they are told to prepare to meet Judgment: Vs 16 Prepare for hard times (bald head) for you and your children. Captivity is coming and it will not be fun!
- Discussion question when we see Judgment coming on God’s People. Why was a “good” nation being punished by “bad” nations? But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more (Luke 12:48).
Rev. Mike Jones
Why is the world becoming more evil in spite of the fact that God’s word is available to change it for the better? Why is God’s Word not working? Micah chapter two talks about this very issue.
Vs 1-2: A Mind is a terrible thing to waste [Men were thinking their thoughts instead of God’s Truths]: vs 1 They were “dreaming up” mischief at night to practice during the day. Vs 2 Their covetous schemes were destroying their heritage (Profit replaced principles). This action produced consequences:
Vs 3: Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth (Hebrews 12:6). God “plots problems” (“Against this family do I devise an evil”) so the people will see the problem with their plots! This will cause winners to become whiners (“Neither shall you go haughtily”).
Vs 4-5: The “Parable of the changed Portion”. [God changed from looking for ways to bless them into seeking ways to punish them- (“Turning away He has divided our fields”). Others would now use the land that was once distributed to them by God (“Thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the Lord”).
The Time had come that the Word does not work! The problem was neither a failure of the Power of God (“is the Spirit of the Lord straitened”?) nor the Plan of God (“Are these His doings”?). Why then did the Word not work?
Vs 6 God no longer sent preachers to proclaim it vs 6 (“Thou shalt not prophesy to them”).
Vs 7 People ignore its teachings (“Do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?”
Vs 8 MY way had replaced God’s way. When “every man does that which is right in his own sight” then people become adversaries trying to bring each other down (“My people is risen up as an enemy, you pull off the robe from them that pass by”).
Vs 9 Homes were no longer built on Biblical practices and principles (“From their children have you taken away my glory forever”).
Vs 10 The controversy and chaos of “new theories” had replaced the comfort of God’s word (“Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest”).
Vs 11 False prophets were proclaiming lies and “feel good” sermons instead of the truth of God’s word (“I will prophesy unto you of wine and strong drink”).
But still, God offers Hope:
Vs 12-13: Punishment is not for pain but for profit (He verily for a few days chastened us after His own pleasure; for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Hebrews 12:10). “I will surely gather the remnant of Israel” and “their king shall pass before them and the Lord at the head of them”. Never let any problem cause you to give up on the promises of God.
Rev. Mike Jones
Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings (Micah 3:4). I will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh (Proverbs 1:26)
What an absolutely horrible situation life would be if God ignored your prayers and hid His face from your pain and problems! Yet, this is what Micah declares will happen when His people turn away from Him and seek their own plan and pleasure.
1> God contemns Leadership failures: 3:1-4
In management of government- : “Is it not for you to know judgment?”
In moral leadership- “Who hate the good, and love the evil”
In care for people- “Who pluck off their skin from off them”
Result: Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings (Micah 3:4).
2> God points out Prophet’s failures: 3:5-8
Wrong message- “Make my people err”
No message- “Ye shall not have a vision”
Ashamed message- “cover their lips; for there is no answer of God”
What should have been- But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin (Micah 3:8).
3> God declares that Punishment is Coming “For your sakes”
Because of your Character- You abhor judgment and pervert equity
Because of your Conduct- Build Zion with shed blood and fill Jerusalem with iniquity
But your “reward” is coming- You made Gold your goal while claiming God’s protection but God will “Plow your fields” and destroy your houses.
God is a great friend but a really bad enemy!
The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming (Psalms 37:12‑13).
Rev. Mike Jones
Thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies (Micah 4:10).
Micah chapter 4 moves from Punishment to Purpose-“But in the last days” [The punishment is not without a promise, Glory! God has declared that He must punish Israel for their continued sinful lifestyle but now He shows them some amazing results that will be accomplished by His chastisement Remember that the purpose of punishment is not the pain it inflicts but the profit it produces- Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby (Hebrews 12:11)].
1) Israel will become a World Leader (4:1), a Religious Leader (4:2), a “Peace Provider” (4:3), a Home Haven (4:4), and a Faithful Follower of the One True God (4:5).
2) Past Problems will be forgotten because of Future Blessings:
A) National Gathering: “I will gather her that I have afflicted and I will make her a strong nation” where the Lord shall reign over them (4:6-7). (First in the return from Captivity, Later in Jewish Nation reestablished at end of WWII)
B) Prominent Position: “Even the First Dominion” (4:8).
3) Present Pain has a Purpose:
A) To Fulfill God’s Plan: “Thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered”. God will not “waste” their captivity (4:9-10).
B) To expose Man’s faulty thinking: “For they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel” (4:11-12)
C) To demonstrate God will be the “winner”: “I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord” (4:13).
Mic 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.
5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.
6 In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted;
7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.
8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail.
10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.
11 Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.
12 But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.
13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.
Results of Babylonian Captivity show us how God “works” good out of the bad things that come into our life. Following the Captivity several major changes happened in Israel’s life style:
What will God need to do to you, or bring into your life, to get you to give up your secret or besetting sin (which causes you to continually fall) in order for you to become the amazing person God created you to be?
- Idol worship disappeared. Many scholars believe that the Jewish religion was monolateral before the Babylonian Exile. Simply put, that means that the Jewish people acknowledged the existence of other gods, but believed that they should only worship the god of Israel. After the Exile the Jews became monotheism (Believing in only one God) and it is now the central tenet of Judaism.
- The Jews realized they were a world changing religion (The testimony and leadership response by “heathen” leaders to Daniel and Hebrew Children. The rebuilding of the temple under Ezra and Nehemiah being granted by foreign kings).
- The Temple and the Synagogue and the Influence they had on Jewish Worship. Even after the Temple was rebuilt, many aspects of Jewish worship that began during the captivity continued as part of Jewish worship. These include the prominent use of the singing of Psalms, prayer and instruction as part of the synagogue service. Synagogue worship and rabbinical teaching continued to operate in towns and village where Jews met even after the newly constructed Temple was finished. [When the Romans sacked Jerusalem in A.D. 70, they also destroyed the Temple and expelled the Jews from Jerusalem. With the Temple destroyed, synagogue worship again became the norm for Jewish people and continues to be so to this day. This is in part because the Muslim Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque are on the site where Jewish law stipulates the Temple was to stand, effectively preventing the Temple from being rebuilt].
- The Torah produced a set of laws that could be shared as well as lived. Since the Jews now lacked both a temple and the ability to go to Jerusalem, changes were needed to retain their cultural and religious identity. The result was the rise of the synagogue among the Jews dispersed throughout the Babylonian Empire. The focus shifted from animal sacrifices, which could only be properly performed at the Temple, to the study and teaching of the Torah — the Jewish Bible — which became the focal point of worship in the synagogues. This new focus gave rise to a new class of professional clergy within Judaism, the rabbi. The rabbi was and is both a scholar and a teacher, a spiritual leader tasked with explaining God’s expectations to the common people. Early rabbis compiled the Talmud, a series of writings that further explain the Torah. Additionally, the biblical books of Daniel and Esther were written during the Babylonian captivity. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah detail the end of the exile. They describe the overthrow of the Babylonian Empire by the Persian Empire, the subsequent return of many of the Jews to Judea and the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.
False Religious Promises:
Abundant Wealth- God is keeping something from you.
Increased Wisdom- Be as God
Self-Righteous Works- You can be your own god
Joy producing Wanderings- New Things to see and do with limitation
Pleasure Producing Wickedness- Sins are accepted and approved.
O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly? (Micah 2:7) (straitened comes from a Hebrew word Qatsar and means to cut off or to limit. The idea being that it is not able to adequately handle the problem.
66 Books in Bible- 39-27 39=17-5-17. 17=5-12, 12=9-3
Micah is a minor prophet with a major message- Birthplace of Christ- 5:2 / Gods requirement- 6:6-8 / Sins into the Sea- 7:18-19
We live in a changing world today. Climatic changes (hurricanes), technology changes (internet; cell phones), world awareness changes (news and products) and religious changes (one belief is as good as another belief). This has led to
Changing views of Christianity:
– Anemic Christianity: No power or influence
– Alias Christianity: Anything goes in the name of love
– Against Christianity: Mans wisdom over Gods Word
Would you continue to claim to be a Christian if:
-Your family would disown you – Friendship Church, India
-Your village would stone you- Baptism in India
-The Police would arrest you- Bolen and Carlisle in India
What we long for is – Authentic Christianity: (Reality Check- Becoming a Christian means you are still married, in debt, or sick. You will be the same – yet different!)
Life altering Christianity involves Radical Faith in Gods Ability- Is the Holy Spirit limited?
To Save- New Creature by Holy Spirits work.
To Keep- More than Conquerors by Holy Spirits Power.
Bibles Promises- do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?
The word of God produces
Faith- by hearing the Word (must be preached)
Fruit- And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. (Mark 4:20)
If God is not limited then why are people living in such spiritual poverty? Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1‑2)
Tomatoes were thought to be poison because they were cooked in cast iron pots and the acid caused lead poisoning. For years people missed the joy of eating tomatoes because they believed a lie. If you will come to the Lord today you will taste and see that the Lord is good and you will find that His words do good to them that walk uprightly!!
For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him (1 Corinthians 8:5‑6).
All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory (Isaiah 60:7).
Paul told the Corinthians that if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (I Cor 14:8). By that he meant that if you don’t know what you are being asked to do then it’s difficult to do it. Many people find themselves in that situation today. They hear many different voices calling them to follow a multitude of diffferent paths and, despite the fact that they want to do the right thing, they aren’t really sure what that is anymore.
What I want us to do today is let God speak for Himself and reveal to us what He Wants us to do. Let me warn you, however, that it’s not enough to simply find out what God wants; you must be willing to Obey His Instructions. Now, WHAT DOES GOD WANT?? GOD WANTS YOU-
To Come to Him for Salvation on HIS Terms– Micah 6:6-8 Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
To live right and do right– Deut 10:12-13 And now, Isreal, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? .
To Obey HIS Word– Deut 18:18-19 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethern, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth: and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
To Keep YOUR Word– Deut 23:21 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.
To Warn the Wicked.– Ez 3:18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his live; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
To be faithful in your responsibilities– I Cor 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. Luke 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
God wants you to Accept His Way of Salvation (The Sacrifice of Christ for Sins), to follow His Plan (as revealed in the Bible), and to be Faithful in your duties. Will you do what God wants??