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April 11, 2022 2:00 am
Micah chapter 7 Micah was a prophet during the reign of three Kings and he mentions that in verse one of chapter 1 the word of the Lord that came to Micah in the days of Joseph Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
He was chosen by God to deliver a message, a message of judgment to the people of Jerusalem.
He references in verse six of chapter 1 Samaria. He says therefore I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the field places for planting a vineyard. I will pour down her stones into the valley, I will uncover her foundations that helps us zero in a little bit more on the historical reference to the time of his prophecy from that verse. We know that Samaria was still standing and had not fallen to the Assyrians that would happen in 722 BC so he is a prophet during a time of incredible decline in moral decay in the country's name means who is the Lord? As we focus our attention tonight. I want us to concentrate in chapter 7 and as we do.
I want us to observe three things wants to see in verses one through six.
A description of perilous times in verse seven. I want us to see a confession of confident hope in a number three. I want us to see in verses eight through 28 declaration of a trustworthy God. Those three headings as we consider the content of chapter 7 of Micah's begin with a description of perilous times. Chapter begins with a lament will is me while is me if you have not felt that only man in your own soul. In recent days in our country that sentiment will be part of our moving forward, I believe, is things continue to decay and collapse around us.
A lament blow. Woe is me. He says the judgment of God has fallen on the nation as we consider this description of perilous times he uses a metaphor there in verse one, for I am like, and here's the metaphor I am like those who gather summer fruits like those who glean vintage grapes. There is no cluster to eat of the first ripe fruit, which is my soul desires a metaphor. Metaphor of harvesting going into the great arbors to pick grapes at the expected time at the harvest time and of a man who goes with expectation and finds no cluster of grapes or man who goes to a fig tree again at the apartment at the appropriate time at harvest time and finds no figures on the tree and what he is saying in that metaphor is that fruit is as scarce as faithful, righteous men.
Notice what he says he ties that metaphor in verse two. The faithful man has perished from the earth, and there is no upright among men. They are all they all lie in wait for blood, so Micah the prophet is lamenting the widespread corruption and injustice any notes that there is that corruption and injustice in specific places.
Notice what he says, verse three that they may successfully do evil with both hands, the Prince asks for gifts. The judge seeks a bride and the great man utters his evil desire, so they skiing together corruption and injustice in high places. They skiing together quite a picture of perilous times, the situation in Micah's day is a desperate one.
All it seems were corrupt and yet some not as bad as others. He describes the best of them in verse four he says the best of them is like a briar.
The most upright is sharper than a Thorton hedge that signed by the place you want to venture into their to be avoided. The best of them. He says are characterized this way like a foreign hedge like a briar. Then he says the day. This is verse for the day of your watchman and your punishment comes the day of your watchman watchman were the prophets. They were warning of the punishment and the judgment that was coming in the Micah returns then to his description in verse five he says do not trust in a friend do not put your confidence in a companion guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom. For son dishonors father daughter rises against her mother, daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law a man's enemies are the men of his own household.
Was he describing is describing the disintegration of the family. A man's enemies are the man of his own household during the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom.
It's a picture of a man and wife a man and wife lying in bed or her reclining on his breast, and the vegetation is the character of the people do not open your mouth guard your mouth. You can't trust even the person you live, the closest to you can't even trust your spouse frightening, frightening. That's description of perilous times in Micah's day.
I think that you would agree with me that without exaggeration. His description is imparted if not the whole. A description of the decay in the corruption of our own society. What was his response. What should be our response. There's cause for despair.
There's cause for hopelessness. There is cause for reign of your hands if you don't know God, if he's not in the picture. But what follows this description of perilous times is a confession of confident hope.
What is Micah do what should you and I do here it is, therefore, in light of these perilous times therefore I will look to the Lord. I will wait for the God of my salvation, my God will hear me. What is this confession of confident hope it's looking to the Lord. It's waiting for the Lord of my salvation.
It's I will see him more earnestly in prayer. Why, because I'm confident that he will hear me is that you tonight is that your confidence in these days in which we live that the, the, the fabric of our society. The foundations of society are rolling away what your response to that are are you looking to God. Are you waiting upon the Lord, are you more earnestly in prayer as you see this happening all around us. Some say well there's nothing new under the sun is been decay and corruption in all yes I agree there has been, but I wonder if is there ever been such a rapid decline that we've seen in 20 years break in 10 years and as I talk to you and some others I know.
Their concern is not for themselves because, well, not too long, will be with the Lord beds our children and it's our grandchildren were concerned about if this accelerated decline continues at this pace. What what will happen. What will be the situation when at times like these. As we saying we need an anchor our God, our God is our hope, our God is RSR God is our stay. I love the psalmist and Psalm 46 he says God is our refuge and strength a very present help in time of trouble, therefore therefore we will not fear even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. I will not fear the psalmist should be our resolve. Spurgeon said I may shake on the rock but the rock will not shake under me and answer confidence. There's cause for fear and trepidation. These are perilous times. They were perilous times in Micah's day 46 in light of that picture that the psalmist is painting the roaring in the upheaval of the mountains were not going to fear. Why not because the Lord of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge so it kept the prophet from utter despair. What will keep you and I from despair, the same confidence were to look expectantly to the Lord and is the same word that's used earlier of the watchman. The idea here is as a watchman observes every shadow and listens for every sound so you and I those that Micah is writing to should look for every evidence of God at work. That's the idea by waiting on the Lord.
We trust that God will accomplish his holy purposes in his own time and it should provoke us to be more earnest and are praying because were also we going to turn who also we going to look to and then to encourage us and are looking and in our waiting in our in our praying Micah, the prophet gives a threefold declaration of a trustworthy God. So you falling with me tonight. Move in rather quickly, but would say number one, a description of perilous times in verses 1 to 6. We sing in verse seven, a confession of confident hope now going to turn our attention to a declaration of a trustworthy God nursery things here under this heading. Mike is going to describe his God, and the first thing he says about God is that number one God is the light of his people. God is the light of his people notice with me. Verse eight do not rejoice over me. My enemy when I fall I will arise when I sit in darkness. The Lord will be a light to me not seem to Micah that there were no faithful men.
There were no righteous men, but there was a remnant in his day.
There is a remnant in our day. Not all have turned the war should bail but like the believer in our day and the remnant in Micah's day they fail, they fall they sin and what happens when that occurs he's writing do not rejoice over me. My enemy when I fall I will arrive not, we encourage tonight to be reminded that though the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down for the Lord upholds him with his right hand. Yes, when I sit in darkness, when I sit in darkness.
The Lord will be a light to me. I like to think when I was in darkness, when I was in darkness, the Lord was a lie to me. Darkness is a dangerous thing. I can pretty much navigate in my own home in the middle the night when I'm up wandering around without any light but I don't do that when I'm in a guest home because I don't know my way around. And even in my own home. There are times where there's a chair in a place that I don't remember it being an letter we've had the privilege of having Carly's 97 1/2-year-old mother living with us last 4 1/2 weeks so we are conscious of leaving a light on for her so she gets up in the night. She's doesn't fall so lights are important to Asante. The boy spiritually speaking. When you and I were in darkness, the God who commanded like to shine commanded light to shine in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. As we sang tonight in the dungeon, a flame of light. My chains fell off. That's the experience of the Christian is we once were in darkness were now we are the light of the Lord, when I sit in darkness.
The Lord will be a light to me. That's Micah's confession and is ours tonight if we are in Christ. He goes on to say, I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against him. I will bear the indignation, what is that the righteous anger of the displeasure of the Lord.
I will bear that he says I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against the Lord until he pleads my case and executes justice for me where dear friend tonight is our case played for where dear friend is justice executed for us is in it in the presence of our holy father isn't it made by his son on the behalf of all who were trusting him until he pleads my case. Aren't you glad tonight we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous who pleads our case by not that charge against him. Father, I bore that sin. I paid the price.
Justice has been satisfied and it says executes justice for me. He will bring me forth to the light. He will bring me forth to the light as a believer when we find our our way becoming precarious when we find the ground under our footing, beginning to slip when we find the battle waging raging in our hearts. What we need more than anything is light. The devil wants to flood our hearts with darkness. This world is full of darkness. And there's a temptation to retreat from light but all we need light we need the illumination of the word of God. We need the word of God, lamp is a lamp for our feet and for our pathway so let's not be ignorant of the devils devices. He wants us to abstain from the word of God. He wants us to abstain from the public ministry of the word of God. He wants us to stay in darkness. No, we need to walk in the light as he is in the light, we might have fellowship one with the other and enjoy fellowship with the triune God. That's what we need more than we need anything, some 27 once as the Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear the Lord is the strength of my life whom shall I be afraid.
So is Micah is giving this declaration of a trustworthy God.
The first thing he draws our attention to is that God is the light of his people. God is the light of his people. What else does he tell us he tells his number two, the God is the shepherd of his people. God is the shepherd of his people notice with me. Verse 14 Micah writes shepherd your people with your staff the flock of your heritage who dwell solid solitaire early in a woodland in the midst of caramel let them feed in but Sean and Gilead, as in the days of old, is in a good to know is in it comforting to know doesn't put a smile upon you to think that is a believer, we are the Lord's heritage. That's what he says. Shepherd your people with your staff the flock of your heritage.
Our Shepherd is a great shepherd. He gave his life for his sheep, Lord Jesus did, he provides for his sheep. He feeds his sheep.
The emphasis here in this passage is that he directs us to Goodpasture. We might feed upon sheep food notice verse 14 again. Shepherd your people with your staff the flock of your heritage who dwell solitaire early in a woodland in the midst of caramel let them feed in but Sean and Gilead as in days of old spend now 30 years ago, but I took a class in school called physical settings of the Bible. I took that class in Jerusalem and we visited Mount caramel professor was showing us the various cities in the planes and he says down. There is the The Valley of Jezreel and it was his green and lush as any field you could possibly imagine any went on to describe how fertile it is because of this, its location and he saying that God leads his people to green pastures, lush pastures, rich pastures.
As I was thinking about that I couldn't help but think of the rich pastor that God led us to this past week in the Bible, we feasted in some lush pastor did my was fabulous. Our Shepherd feeds us on prime pastureland in Micah's declaration of a trustworthy God.
He has shown us that God is a light first people that he is a shepherd for his people with third this evening that God is the partner of his people. The partner of his people and introduces this in verse 18. They remember that Micah's name means who is who is who is God, I'm sorry. His name means who is like the Lord who is like the Lord and what we have here is a bit of a play on words because he says they're in verse 18, who is a God like you who is a God like you pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the rim and out of his remnant of his heritage does not retain his anger forever because he delights in mercy.
He will again have compassion on us and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea you will give truth the Jacob and mercy to Abraham which you have sworn to our fathers from days of old Nessa Micah ends this letter prophecy.
This book of prophecy, and he's looking into the future and laying hold of the promises of God of forgiveness for the people of God but is not just for Israel's future. It's for our consideration tonight who is a God like yours.
We just sign who was a pardoning God like the pardoning iniquity, pardoning, pardoning iniquity and I love the way the hymn writer weaves theology into that aspect. He says in wonder loss with trembling joy. We take the pardon of our God, pardon for crimes of deepest a pardon bought with Jesus blood a pardon bought with Jesus blood if we been pardon. We need to never forget what it cost the Lord Jesus Christ, that we might be pardon his life's blood secured our pardon. Then he says, passing over the transgression of the remnant of his heritage passing over how does God pass over transgression's weep passes over transgression's by satisfying his justice is the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary and paid the penalty for the sin of all of his people.
God is able to pass over our transgressions, because his justice is been satisfied. And Paul writes to the church in Rome. In chapter 3, the God is just and the justifier of those who believe in Jesus.
That's how God passes over transgression. What else is he say he does not retain his anger forever.
He does not retain his anger forever.
Why, because what because he delights in mercy. You believe that tonight. Do you believe that God delights in mercy. That's what the Bible is teaching us here tonight.
He delights in mercy. It brings them pleasure to show mercy, there's a whiteness in his mercy. That's why so many of us have been recipients of his mercy, because he's delighted to extend it to us. Then he says he will again have compassion on us and again Mike is talking about the remnant in his day he will again have compassion on us. But I love this next part and he will subdue our iniquities. For those of us who tire at times of fighting against the world the flesh and the devil that is tremendous good news he will he will subdue our iniquities, and I love the divine. I wills of Scripture. When God says I will do something. Guess what you can take it to the bank that he's going to do it and he says it says you will subdue our iniquities. So don't wary of the fight people looking keep trusting, keep availing ourselves of the means of grace. Don't give up, persevere. As we been reminded this past week. Why because he will subdue our 20s.
He will some of you needed to hear that tonight.
Some of you have grown very weary in your fight in battle against sin.
He will subdue our iniquities when you think about the way this book opens with gloom and darkness and painting. This horrible perplexing picture and think of the high note that the the that the letter ends on. He says you will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea you will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea that sound like God is doing something to retrieve those and someday to bring them up to us again then sound like that to me you will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. The Scriptures go to great lengths to explain how God deals decisively and finally with our sins. Psalm 103 verse 12 says as far as the east is from the West. So far as he removed our transgressions from us. Think about that. As far as the east is from the west never made.
That's how far is a 38 verse 17 says what I'm reading to you. Indeed, it was for my own piece that I had great bitterness, but you have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for you have cast all my sins behind your back. You have cast all my sins behind your back. What is that picture supposed to communicate to us with some things behind your back is not where you can see it. It's out of sight. That's the idea, and then by a quoted Psalm 103 verse 12 listen to Hebrews. We could go to Jeremiah and see this, but Hebrews chapter 8 verse 12 says this guts is for.
I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and their lawless deeds. I will remember no more.
That's a new covenant promise God is going to deal with our sins in such a way that they will not be remembered anymore as we prepare our hearts for the Lord's table tonight. I don't know of anything more encouraging to us and that the Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross of Calvary and in his life and in his death dealt a death blow to sin and all who trust him but are sins behind his back removed them. As far as the east is from the west. Was he say here cast them into the depths of the sea, and I've heard someone say and put up a sign no fishing, no fishing than this great promise new covenant promise that he will remember our sins no more. Think of the irony. He dealt with our sins in such a way that he will remember our sins no more, but in the elements. We are to remember him. We are to remember him while he does not remember our sins and that should thriller hearts should encourage us in these perilous times in which we live. It should cause us to have a confident hope in him, whose ruling and reigning in this world that which he has set out to accomplish. No man, no king, no government official. No edict from anywhere is going to threaten that or hinder that God is going to accomplish all that he we can be confident of that. Let's pray. Father, we thank you tonight for your promises that they are EA and a man in Jesus Christ, we thank you for every blessing that has been secured force that we have enjoyed and we will enjoy secured by our Savior on the cross of Calvary. No wonder Paul could say, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ was blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ some of the greatest blessings.
We know is what you Lord Jesus have done in relationship to our sin. You've bore the penalty of our sins so that we never will. You bore the just wrath of God so that we never will.
The promises that are sins will be remembered no more that they have been removed from us cast into the depths of the sea, help us to rejoice in our freedom this evening is the is men, women of God, we thank you father for this Old Testament prophet who had a word for his nation but has a word for us tonight sealer to our hearts cause it to warm our hearts and our affection in our worship for him who loved us and gave himself for us men