The Ministry of Micah

April 14, 2014 at 11:13 am | Posted in Micah | Leave a comment
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Idolatry and greed are two sins that often go hand in hand. Human beings are prone to find their security in things that we can see and handle. The first two of the 10 Commandments were very strong prohibitions against worshiping, fashioning, or ascribing “need-meeting” power to anything other than the One True God. In the prophet Micah’s day these commandments were violated with reckless abandon as the Northern Kingdom fell under the curse that befalls all who forsake the real God for little man-made substitutes. It is a curse that entails oppression of the poor, the forsaking of mercy, and debased unrighteousness. Micah warned the people that God would not let such things go unnoticed nor unpunished.

Below is a list of links to lessons on the Book of Micah:

1. When God Makes Fun of Your Name
2. The Raptor and the Captor
3. False Prophecy and Disappointment
4. Condemning the Princes, Prophets, and Priests
5. That Man Was Certifiable! *
6. One Sin Lighter
7. Cut-Outs, Cut-Ups, or Cut-Offs
8. Our Own Worst Enemy
9. What Does God Want from Me?
10. Opportunities / Obstacles
11. The Breathtaking Wonder of God

* most-viewed post in category

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Our Own Worst Enemy

March 21, 2014 at 9:47 am | Posted in Micah | 3 Comments
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Micah Chapters 1 and 2 contain warnings. Chapters 3 and 5 contain promises. Chapter 6 is a challenge. Micah sums up the attitude of the people when faced with the idea that God is displeased with their worship.

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?

Micah 6:6-7

You can’t build up a credit of good works with God while planning to sin. You can’t bargain with God: “If I do A, B, and C right, will You let me get away with X, Y, and Z?” The Lord is truly righteous. In Him is no sin at all.

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Luke 18:9-14

No man will make God his debtor. The stealing of land or property by the rich and powerful from the poor and weak is a sin which seems to trigger God’s judgment.

Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins. Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword.

Micah 6:13-14

God’s judgment sometimes begins slow like a train, but it always comes into the station right on time.

For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.

Micah 6:16 (emphasis added)

The sins of the “common” people are just as offensive to God as the sins of the leaders.

For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.

Micah 7:6

Micah 7:6 is quoted in Matthew 10:36: “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Why would Jesus say this? There will be some families where some family members are saved and some are not. Those closest to you can be some of the worst stumbling blocks, and thereby your worst enemies. As Christians, we don’t hate our enemies – we love them – but there are times when our devotion to Christ calls us to separate from even parents or children.

According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things.

Micah 7:15

When every enemy is united against God’s people – when we don’t have anyone else to trust – that’s when the Lord does great miracles of deliverance.

Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 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 7:18-19 (emphasis added)

The greatest victory God will ever win in your life will be the victory over you.

Cut-Outs, Cut-Ups, or Cut-Offs

March 5, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Micah | 4 Comments
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Do you remember the 70s when everyone wore “cut-offs?” Those old blue jeans that had been modified into shorts by a sturdy pair of scissors?

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Micah Chapter 5 is God’s “cut-off” chapter, where He announces the cutting off of the things that His people never seemed to tire of, even when God’s patience had run completely out.

Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots: And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds: And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers: Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.

Micah 5:9-13

God cuts off, not to make a fashion statement, but because He will have the preeminent place in this world, not only in the hearts of believers, but, one day, in the suddenly-opened eyes and ears of everyone in the whole world.

And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.

Micah 5:15

Would you rather God have you by the heart, or by the throat? Would you rather be one of His friends, or be a part of His footstool?

One Sin Lighter

February 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Posted in Micah | 3 Comments
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Micah Chapter 4 transitions from the destruction of Jerusalem in the near future, to the New Jerusalem in the distant future.

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 4:4

The Lord promises a pleasant home, plenty to eat, and peace in the land. God will give us the desires of our hearts when our hearts desire what He desires.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Psalm 37:4

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 4:5

Knowing God and obeying God are blessings unto themselves. Jeremiah had told the people in Judah to surrender to Babylon to save the city and the temple, but they did not listen.

Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. 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. 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.

Micah 4:11-13

In the end times Israel will look weak and defenseless, but it will really be strong through God’s power in “the remnant.”

Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.

Micah 5:1

King Zedekiah would be captured while trying to escape and the Babylonians would humiliate him by striking him with a rod across the face.

Micah 5:2-5 is the prophecy found here in the New Testament:

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

Micah reveals that the Messiah would be: eternal; humble; rejected; and returning victoriously. The prophecy of the Messiah was to give comfort and to arouse responsibility, not to satisfy curiosity or cause complacency. We may say the same about the prophecies in the New Testament today concerning Jesus’s return.

And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.

Micah 5:7-8

The people of God should be like lions: strong and bold. And like dew: refreshing and fruit-producing.

And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots: And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds: And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers: Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands. And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities. And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.

Micah 5:10-15

God warns, and then He purges. He wants to get good fruit from our lives. If we are a field, and are producing bad fruit – the wrong kind of fruit – no amount of pruning, weeding, fertilizing, watering, is going to help. We’ve got to be plowed up and re-planted. Christ will deliver you from some particular sin, but by trusting Him to do so, you place yourself totally in His hands, and He doesn’t just want you to be one sin lighter. He wants you to be perfect. If you trust the crop expert to get rid of the boll weevils, do not be surprised if he burns the whole crop and completely re-plants before He is done.

Condemning the Princes, Prophets, and Priests

January 22, 2014 at 11:38 am | Posted in Micah | 8 Comments
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In Chapter 3 Micah accused three groups of people of being false cheap imitations, and he condemned them.

1. The Princes

And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment?

Micah 3:1

This is going to sound like a crazy idea, considering the age in which we live, but leaders in government are actually supposed to do what’s right. They are supposed to be statesmen instead of just politicians. Politicians think of the next election. Statesmen think about the next generation.

Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones;

Micah 3:2

We know that hating good and loving evil is is an abomination to God, so he compares it to something that we think is abominable: cannibalism.

Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. 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 3:3-4

The princes looked valuable, but when they were examined closely they didn’t make the grade. They were fake leaders – they didn’t lead. They preyed upon the people they were supposed to be leading. They had been honored by God, and raised up to do good, but they behaved abominably once they came into power.

2. The Prophets

Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him.

Micah 3:5

The prophets were supposed to help people. Do you help someone by giving him good news or bad news? Neither, necessarily. You help someone the most by telling him the truth. These greedy, sinful prophets decided what kind of prophecy they would give based on what they were given by those who wanted to hear the prophecy. If people wanted their ears tickled, these spiritual prostitutes could be had for cheap – a little food would be enough. Imagine your pastor standing up on Sunday morning to preach, and saying, “I’m going to be preaching against some of your favorite sins next week – but if you take me to Popeyes this week, I might be inclined to change up the lesson a little bit!”

Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.

Micah 3:6

God tells them that they’ve misused their gift, so He’s going to take it away from them.

Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.

Micah 3:7

Divination – dealing with familiar spirits – was a great sin and a crime, but God calls these fake prophets diviners and seers. He would make it so that the people began to see that these charlatans had no real value. People would see that their prophecies did not come true, because God would not speak to them at all.

Micah was a different prophet. He was genuine. He did not flatter, and he could not be bought. He invited people to hold up his words next to what actually came to pass.

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. The Priests

The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

Micah 3:11 (emphasis added)

The politicians and judges could be bribed, and the priests wanted to be paid for teaching. They taught false doctrine concerning the Covenant, claiming that it guaranteed the people’s protection even in their sin. The devil loves to counterfeit, and these counterfeit leaders were a dime a dozen – so were their favors, their prophecies, and their lessons. They gave out messages that comforted, but did not challenge, the people. Their messages could not be verified from the Word of God. The people should have learned from their experiences, but they wanted the cheap instead of the costly because of their pride and self-love.

These fake leaders would turn on the people the instant they didn’t respond the right way.

Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him.

Micah 3:5 (emphasis added)

They liked to tickle ears, not ruffle feathers. As Billy Sunday and Vance Havner used to say, when the cat was going the wrong way, they just started rubbing in a different direction rather than making the cat turn around. When counterfeit spirituality and greed are present together, it is a sign that Satan is at work. The false leaders in Micah’s day were judged, but the people were punished, too. God often permits people to get the types of leaders they deserve.

False Prophecy and Disappointment

January 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Posted in Micah | 5 Comments
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Micah was prophesying to a people with whom God had made a covenant. But He was letting them know that the fact of being in covenant with God does not excuse two sins in particular.

One was covetousness.

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, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.

Micah 2:1-3

The second was false prophecy.

Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame. 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 2:6-7

Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction. If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.

Micah 2:10-11

Prophets who are truly sent from God are seldom popular. One of the marks of a false prophet is that, in telling people they are good, he is loved by the people. Satan had been at work in the false prophets being addressed by Micah. In the Old Testament, we can often identify Satan trying to do two things: one, trying to contaminate or kill off the line of the Messiah before His birth; two, trying to kill the Jewish people in general. The sins of covetousness/greed and counterfeiting God’s words (false prophecy) are two of Satan’s favorites. Micah did not bring God’s judgment upon the people. He foretold it. He was the messenger, not the destroyer.

Micah 2:7 asks if the Spirit of the Lord is “straightened?” The people didn’t want to hear any true prophecies. They only wanted prophecies that were “happy,” but God’s Spirit is not straightened just because people don’t want to hear Him. God can reveal Himself through means other than prophets. Christians should be so excited about God’s Word that we can’t help but tell about others about it, even though we are not receiving new, immediate, private revelations from God. The Bible itself, and its sufficiency, reveals God to us. Creation, and even the scientific study of it, should reveal God to us. Our consciences, when they are sensitive to the Spirit, will reveal God at work in us.

For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem.

Micah 1:12

If we are waiting for “good,” and then we perceive that “bad” comes to us instead, it is a recipe for disappointment. We must be careful, for disappointment can be a form of blaming God. The Bible says that “evil came down from the Lord,” because the people were looking for good somewhere else besides God. We should we look for good to come from the Lord, and, even better, we ought to just to look for the Lord Himself to come. Whether He brings good or evil from our perspective, it will really be good, because it will be His will.

When God Makes Fun of Your Name

December 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Micah | 3 Comments
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The Old Testament prophet Micah’s name meant “Who is like God?” He was a contemporary of Isaiah, but he prophesied to the rural people in Judah, whereas Isaiah prophesied mainly to the courts in both Jerusalem and Samaria. Micah was from Moresheth, about 25 miles from Jerusalem. He warned of God’s judgment coming upon Israel (the northern kingdom) and Judah (the southern kingdom).

For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, [and] as the waters that are poured down a steep place.

Micah 1:3-4

The people of Judah saw what the Assyrians had done to Israel, and it should have caused them to repent. The northern kingdom became openly idolatrous and competed with Judah’s “true” worship. The Assyrians and other gentile peoples brought in by the Assyrians intermingled with the Israelites and became the despised, half-breed Samaritans. Spiritual adultery – in the form of “watered-down” worship – is contagious, and the sickness of Israel began to infect Judah.

For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. 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

You can call it worship, but if it’s idolatry, it’s idolatry. You can call it spiritual, but if it’s flesh, it’s flesh. Micah prophesied about the cities in Judah and God mocked their names. God has a way of taking what is nearest and dearest to you, and, if you disregard Him, taking it away, or turning it into a curse.

Declare ye it not at Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust.

Micah 1:10

“Gath” meant “declare it” and “Aphrah” meant “house of dust.”

Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel; he shall receive of you his standing.

Micah 1:11

“Saphir” meant “beautiful,” “Zaanan” meant “come out,” and “Bethezel” meant “taking away.”

For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem.

Micah 1:12

“Maroth” meant bitterness.

O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee. Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moreshethgath: the houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel. Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel. Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.

Micah 1:13-16

“Lachish” meant “team of fast horses,” “Achzib” meant “deception,” and “Mareshah” meant “conqueror.”

These were God’s covenant people, but being in a covenant does not excuse sin. The first sin addressed in Micah Chapter 2 is covetousness.

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, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.

Micah 2:1-3

The second sin addressed is false prophecy.

Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame. 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 2:6-7

Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction. If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.

Micah 2:10-11

Prophets who are truly from God are seldom popular. One of the marks of a false prophet is that, in telling people they are good, he is loved by the people. Note how the sins of covetousness and false prophecy often go hand in hand.

That Man Was Certifiable!

February 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Galatians, Micah | 8 Comments
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One good place to study the difference between real leaders and fake leaders is in the Book of Micah. Politicians think about the next election; statesmen think about the next generation. In Micah’s day, the real priests were shepherds who protected their flock; the fake priests were wolves who devoured the flock. The fake prophets gave good news to people who bribed them and bad news to people who shunned them; the real prophets just gave the people the truth, and could not be bought.

A good way to illustrate this point is to think about those big gaudy Mardi Gras beads.

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Some of them are brightly colored and obviously not real jewelry, but some of the strands actually look, at first glance, like expensive pearls. There are a number of reasons, though, why these fake necklaces are not likely to really fool anyone:

1. They are tossed out casually, as if they are worthless.
2. In your hands, they feel like the cheap plastic they really are, not like weighty precious gems.
3. Here in South Louisiana we have experience with Mardi Gras beads, so we know that their real worth is extremely negligible once the parade is over and people start to sober up.

Finally, you can note that, unlike real jewelry from a real, reputable jewelry store, Mardi Gras beads do not come with a “certificate of authenticity.” In the Book of Galatians the Holy Spirit used a similar indicator in proving that the Gospel which the Apostle Paul preached was authentic, and that the false gospel of the Judaizers was not.

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

Galatians 1:11

The Greek word translated as “certify” is “gnorizo,” and it comes from the same root word from which we get the English word “recognize.” The Holy Spirit is saying that, if you are familiar with the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself – the true Gospel – then you must recognize that Paul is preaching the exact same Gospel.

The message of Paul was given to Him directly by Jesus. It was “certified” by Paul’s mission, his ministry, his methods, and the contents of the message itself. If you listen to much modern theology you are likely to come across a statement like this one eventually: “Oh, I’m a Christian. I follow Jesus, but I don’t believe everything that Paul wrote.” Such a statement is pure foolishness. The famous British preacher, Charles Spurgeon, responded to such a statement with this quote:

It is not unusual to hear dubious persons profess to differ from the apostle, and they even dare to say, ‘There, I do not agree with Paul.’ I remember the first time that I heard this expression I looked at the individual with astonishment. I was amazed that such a pigmy as he should say this of the great apostle. Altogether apart from Paul’s inspiration, it seemed like a cheese-mite differing from a cherub, or a handful of chaff discussing the verdict of the fire. The individual was so utterly beneath observation that I could not but marvel that his conceit should have been so outspokenly shameless. Notwithstanding this objection, even when supported by learned critics, we still agree with the inspired servant of God. It is our firm conviction that, to differ from Paul’s epistles is to differ from the Holy Ghost, and to differ from the Lord Jesus Christ, whose mind Paul has fully expressed.

Charles H. Spurgeon

The Breathtaking Wonder of God

January 26, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Posted in Bible Studies, Micah, Salvation | 8 Comments
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Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? 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 7:18-19

Many times, when a person feels he is nearing the end of his life, he will begin to seriously consider his eternal soul. This will often lead to two main concerns, and, really, they are concerns that any reasonable person would have.

1. I understand that I am about to see God, and I have much for which to answer.

We should all be this honest – every day. For we all have a past. And not a one of us can go back in time and change that past. We have offended God with our sin.

In this world, when we offend someone more powerful than us, there is an instinct to run away from that person. This will not work with God. The only safe place to run when we have offended God is to God. Micah 7:18 asks, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity?” When you run to God for forgiveness, trusting in His Son, Jesus, He does not punish – He pardons. The Verse goes on to say that God passes by “the transgression of the remnant of his heritage.” These are the people that He will make a part of His family.

A sense that we have offended God should lead to a desire to get right with God, and this does not anger God. “He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.” Take a moment to let that sink in: God delights in mercy. God is both just and loving. He is compassionate, forgiving, and merciful.

But that only answers one of our concerns:

Q. How will I get right with God when I can’t undo the past?
A. He will erase your sins from His accounting books for the sake of His Son if you believe the Gospel and trust in Christ, being born again.

The second concern is this:

2. How can I know He has done this?

The answer to that one is: You have God’s promise. He has given His Word. Jesus never lies. When He said He was God incarnate, He was telling the absolute complete truth. It wouldn’t make sense for every Word He ever said about Himself to be true – and then to lie to us about ourselves. Jesus was and is God, and God can not lie.

So, we have the assurance of His promise and the assurance of His victory over sin. When you find the power of sin broken in your life – when you find you can choose to love God more than you love sin – you will have additional assurance that you are truly God’s child.

In trusting Jesus Christ, you can claim the promise of Micah 7:19: “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.”

I once visited with an elderly gentleman in his home a few days before he died. He was battling an illness – I believe it was called COPD – which caused him to struggle for breath. It is heartbreaking to see a man struggling to breathe – to see such powerlessness over something most of us take for granted all day long. But it is so encouraging to see something more powerful come along and empower the powerless – and give them victory! I believe that I am going to see that man in God’s Holy City one day because of the saving power of Jesus Christ. I want to see him taking deep breaths of the breath of Life. I want to see every person reading this there one day, too. Whether we run for God, sing for God, or climb a mountain for God – we will never get short of breath there!

What Does God Want from Me?

December 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Micah, Uncategorized | 10 Comments
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The Lord is truly righteous. In Him is no sin at all. He desires to look at His creatures with love. But therein lies the problem. Human beings, created by God, are sinful. How does a completely righteous God look with favor upon an unrighteous people? The answer is that He doesn’t. Instead He first declares His people to be righteous.

For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

Psalm 11:7

God’s creatures also reach a point (deep down, whether they admit it or not) where they desire to know that God’s countenance is facing toward them, and not away from them. Therefore, they ask, what does God require of us that he may look upon us in love?

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?

Micah 6:8

If God will look with favor upon a man, He first requires that that man treat people fairly and obey God’s laws. However, man can never do this in and of himself. He can only love mercy if he himself has experienced the mercy of God. He can only walk humbly with God if he has first humbled himself before God. God requires righteousness, and God-pleasing righteousness can never be achieved by man until it has been imputed to him by God Himself.

If you have received Christ Jesus as your Savior, you have humbled yourself before God, and experienced His mercy. Now you are righteous in God’s sight, and may “do justly,” with God’s help and with His loving eyes upon you.

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