Posts Tagged ‘Micah’

The Lord Hath A Controversy

Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice.  Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD’s controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.

Micah 6:1-2

It’s never a good thing when the Lord says that he has a controversy with His people.  When God Himself has a problem with something that we are doing, we need to sit up and pay attention and get the problem fixed.  Fortunately, we can know if the Lord has a “controversy” with us and with what we are doing.  And we can know how to get it fixed.  While it is a fearful thing to go against the Lord, there is an encouraging element to these verses.

He tells them to “hear.”  In fact, He tells the mountains and the hills to “hear.”  He is going to speak so clearly that even the mountains and the hills will be able to hear Him.  When God has a problem with something that we are doing, it is not difficult to hear Him telling us that, if we are listening at all.

Also, it says that “he will plead with Israel.”  He is not only going to speak His controversy clearly, but He is even going to go so far as to plead with us about it.  God does not want us to disobey Him.  He does not want us to live in a way that is not pleasing to Him.  He wants us to follow Him and obey Him.  And, if we are not doing those things, He is going to plead with us to return.  God does not hate us.  Far from that, He loves us and wants to fellowship with us.

If God has a controversy with us, let us hear Him and return to Him.  He is merciful, kind and longsuffering.  What a wonderful Saviour!

Prophecy Fulfilled

But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Micah 5:1

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Matthew 2:5-6

I have often said that I love coming across a familiar quotation from the New Testament in the Old Testament.  It’s like running across an old friend in an unexpected place.  Here in the book of Micah we have a birth announcement for the King.  It was about 700 years early,  but 700 years to an eternal God is as nothing.

Bethlehem Ephratah was small and insignificant, but God told His people that “a ruler in Israel” would come forth from that small and insignificant location.  And then He goes on to say that this ruler’s history as been “from of old, from everlasting.”  That tells us exactly Who this ruler is going to be.  This is going to be no ordinary human ruler.  This ruler is going to be perfect.  This ruler is eternal.  This ruler is going to be God Himself, the very God of Heaven and Earth, incarnate and dwelling among men as a man.  What a glorious promise!

That promise was fulfilled several hundred years later, in that little town of Bethlehem.  God in the flesh came to Earth to live among men.  He lived a sinless, perfect life and “went about doing good.”  As promised, He healed the sick, raised the dead, caused the blind to see and bound up broken lives.  And guess what His people did to Him.  They rejected Him and crucified Him.

Though not in a physical way, He has come to us.  What have we done with Him?

What a Day That Will Be (Part 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; And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion for henceforth, even for ever.

Micah 4:6-7

This passage is speaking of the coming peaceful kingdom in which the Lord Jesus Christ reigns on the earth.  It will be characterized by peace and righteousness.  I like these verses and the thought that, in that day, the Lord will make things right.  It often seems that so many times, things just aren’t as they should be.  But not in that day.

In that day, He will “assemble her that halteth,” and will make her “a remnant.”  He will take of those who need care.  In that day, He will “gather her that is driven out” and “cast out,” and make her “a strong nation.”  Those that we might cast off and ignore, He will make strong and mighty.  The Lord will take those weak and feeble and outcasts and help them.

Ezekiel 34:16 says “I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.”  That is what the Lord will do in that day.  What a glorious day that will be!  But guess what.  He is already doing that today!  Have we ever been lost?  Yes.  Has He ever had to bring us back to Himself?  Yes.  Have we been broken or sick and has He helped us during those times?  Yes.  We should be thanking Him that we don’t have to wait until that future day to experience these things.

As a personal application, we should also be doing these things for others.  Are we helping those that are weak and halting?  Are we helping those who have been cast off and ignored by others?  If we would follow the example of our Saviour, we should be!

What a Day That Will Be (Part 5)

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.  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.

Micah 4:4-5

The peaceful image continues with people walking with the Lord in verse five.  Honestly, I am not quite sure what the first part of verse five means.  “For all people will walk every one in the name of his god…”  I have looked at a couple of commentaries and I still don’t know exactly what that means and to whom it is referring.  I’m going to have to prayerfully meditate on this one for a while.  The word “god” is not capitalized, and it differentiates “his god” and “the LORD our God,” which leads me to believe that people will be following their own false “gods,” but I’m not sure how that fits in with the rest of the passage.  So, I readily confess: I don’t have that part figured out.  But I can comment on the second half of the verse:

“…we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.”

What a great statement.  And, not quite understanding the first half of the verse almost makes it an even more powerful statement.  I may not know what everyone else is doing and which “god” they are following, but I know which God I have chosen to follow.  I may not understand the “gods” of other people, but I can understand the Lord because He has given me His written down word!  To misquote Patrick Henry, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me the LORD!”

What a Day That Will Be (Part 4)

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.  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.

Micah 4:3-4

I have always loved the image given in verse four.  I am a small town midwesterner, and as such, would greatly enjoy the bucolic life pictured in this verse.  “…they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree…”  To me, there is just about nothing more peaceful than sitting under a good tree.  And when that tree happens to be a fruit tree, all the better – you can occasionally reach up and grab a snack!  What a great thought!

The reason for this peaceful serenity is the fact that, because “the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it,” “none shall make them afraid.”  People will be able to enjoy sitting peacefully under their fig tree because there will be no reason to fear and no reason for apprehension.  Today, we can sit under our trees and enjoy a nice day and be at relative peace.  But it won’t be the perfect peace that is spoken about in this verse.  In our lives now, there are always problems and troubles and things that we might be concerned about.  There is always the threat of war or some other form of disaster hovering over us to some extent now.  But not so in that glorious day!

What a wonderful peaceful day that will be!  And we can know that it will be so because “the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.”

What a Day That Will Be (Part 3)

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.  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 sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Micah 4:2-3

No discussion of the beauty and glory of the reign of the Lord would be complete without mentioning these verses.  I love the promise that “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.”  What a wonderful promise and what a wonderful world that will be.

There are many who desire peace now on the earth.  But, unfortunately, war is as much a part of our world as the air that we breathe.  There have always been wars and there will be wars, at least until the Lord sets up His kingdom.  Think about the sadness and waste of war.  How many people have lost their lives or their loved ones or their possessions through the years because of wars?  How many families have been ripped apart by the tragedy of war?  Not when the Lord is in charge.  There will be no more fighting.  There will be no more wars.  There will be no more “learning war.”  There will be peace; all because the Prince of Peace will be sitting on the throne!

What a Day That Will Be (Part 2)

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.  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.

Micah 4:1-2

We started yesterday thinking about how glorious it will be when Jesus Christ Himself comes to rule and reign and about what a glorious image we get of people flowing to Him.  Verse two continues those amazing thoughts: “And many nations shall come, and say… let us go up to the mountain of the LORD… and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths…”

Think of what a day that will be when entire nations go to the Lord and want to learn His ways and want to walk in His paths.  Think about what a glorious day that will be when people, far from rejecting the Lord, actually want to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him and learn from Him.

Today, we seem to come across so many people who reject the Lord and reject His Word.  But not in that day!  In that day, people will flow to Him and will truly desire to learn from Him and will truly desire to follow Him.

That will be a great day, but we can be doing those things today!  We can ask Him to teach us of His ways today.  We can walk in His paths today.  We can fellowship with Him today.  Are we?

What a Day That Will Be! (Part 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 glow unto it.

Micah 4:1

Sometimes it gets difficult reading in the prophets.  Their message is often one of judgment and woe, although I have found that there is always a remnant spoken of and there is always hope and mercy somewhere in the message.  But one part of the prophets I do love to read and think about is the coming millennial Kingdom, in which the Lord Jesus Christ rules and reigns over an earth characterized by peace.  Micah chapter four deals with this subject, and I would like to take a couple of days to look at these verses and think about how wonderful those coming days will be.

The Bible tells us in the first verse that, during this time, “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.”  What a day that will be!  Jesus will be in charge – if nothing else is even mentioned, that would be a wonderful day.

My favorite part of the verse is this: “…and people shall flow unto it.”  I love the image of people literally “flowing” to the Lord.  So many people are coming to him that it looks like river of humanity going toward the Lord.  Wouldn’t it be great if that would happen today?  Wouldn’t it be great if, instead of working and working to bring a few people to the Lord, people would just naturally flow toward Him?  It may not seem to us like it will ever happen, but, as the song says, “there is coming a day…”  What a good think to think about to start the week!

“Devising Iniquity”

Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds!  When the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand.  And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, take them away; so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.

Micah 2:1-2

These verses give the sad state of a person who is so bound and blinded by sin that he lays in bed at night thinking of new and “better” ways to sin.  They daydream about evil and iniquity.  They go to sleep at night thinking of all the sin that they will commit the next day.  And when the next day comes, they “practise it.”  They plan their evil and then they carry out their evil.  That is a sad way to live, and the Lord says “Woe to them…”  They steal, they kill, they do whatever it takes it satisfy their flesh and sin nature.  And God will punish them.

But in the second verse, the first sin mentioned is, I think, an important one to consider.  We would probably never put ourselves in this category of people who “devise iniquity…”  We don’t go to bed at night thinking about sin, and then carry it out as soon as it becomes light.  Or do we?  The sin mentioned in the next verse is that of covetousness: “And they covet fields…”  “Thou shalt not covet…” is still in the Bible and it is still in the list of the Ten Commandments.  It is so easy, especially in the materialistic world in which we live, to start to covet things.  There is not necessarily anything wrong with wanting something, but when that wanting starts to consume us, we have crossed the line into covetousness.  That is an area we should be watching every day.

We may not be “devising” a “big” iniquity, but how are doing in the area of covetousness?

Subduing Our Iniquities, Pt II

He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Micah 7:19

I know that I just wrote about this verse yesterday, but there is so much in it that I wanted to write a little more about some of the other parts of it.  Isn’t God’s Word amazing?  You could take one book or one chapter or even one verse and never exhaust the riches of truth contained in it.  Sometimes  the Lord will bring out a different word or phrase in your mind and sometimes He will help you to apply it to yourself and your life a little differently.  This verse is one of those that is infinitely deep. 

Today, I would like to look at the first and the last parts of the verse: “…he will have compassion on us…” and “thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea”.  I am daily reminded that we have a very compassionate God.  I am daily reminded of this because I have to deal with myself on a daily basis.  And I know that I deserve no goodness nor compassion from a holy God.  But that does not change the fact that the Lord is merciful; He is compassionate, and He is good to us though we do not deserve it.  I also love the imagery of “casting all their sins into the depths of the sea”.  I hate my sin and want to be rid of it, but there is nothing that I can humanly do about it.  It is stuck to me and it is part of me.  But the Lord can do something about it- He has the power to take the whole vile, disgusting lump of it and cast it into the depths of the sea.  Every day that I live I am thankful for that truth!