Judgment and Hope
Comments for Study 3
Memory Verse: 4
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I. The Coming Judgment (6:1-20)
* See a chart showing the Old Testament Covenants to the right.
>1. What did the Lord tell the mountains? (1-2)
* Micah 6:1-2 "Listen to what the LORD says: "Stand up, plead your case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say. Hear, O mountains, the LORD's accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the LORD has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel."
* "Listen to what the LORD says... the LORD has a case against his people" -The Lord is about to bring a case against Judah and Israel concerning the covenant made at Mount Sinai. Picture yourself in a court; the father is the judge, Judah and Israel are the accused, and the witnesses are the mountains.
* "he is lodging a charge against Israel" -A contract has been broken. A legal case is to be made. (Psalm 50; Isaiah 1:2; Hosea 4:1)
* "before the mountains... the hills... everlasting foundations of the earth" -These are not just inanimate objects. They are third party witnesses because of their enduring nature and because they were witnesses to the covenant. Mount Sinai, Mount Nebo, Mount Ebal, Mount Gerizim, Joshua's Shechem stone, etc. (Deut. 32:1; Jos. 8:30-35, 24:27; Isa. 1:2) Joshua 24:27 states, "See!" he said to all the people. "This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God."
* All that we say and do are recorded and will be played back at the resurrection of the dead. At the first resurrection those who called on the name of the Lord Jesus will stand before the Bema Seat and give an account. Did we act in love, faith, and hope? If not, the act will be burned away. (1 Cor. 13:13)
>What questions did he ask? (3)
* Micah 6:3 "My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me."
* "My people" -The Lord's people include the northern and the southern kingdom. Yet since Micah was a prophet of Judah, they are the primary target of this case.
* "What have I done to you?" -The Lord does not first bring accusations against them, though he could. Rather, the first order in the case was to see if the Lord broke the contract.
* "How have I burdened you?" -Not only didn't the Lord break the contract, but he didn't burden them.
* Was the Law a burden? Paul wrote, "So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." (Romans 7:12-20)
>Why might he be asking this?
* The case was concerning a conditional contract (covenant). The covenant between Israel and the Lord was a two sided contract. Both sides needed to be examined to see if either or both had failed the contract. The Lord was the first.
>2. What should have Israel remembered? (4-6)
* Micah 6:4-6 "I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam. My people, remember what Balak king of Moab counselled and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember [your journey] from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD." With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?"
* The Lord does not get an answer out of Israel. So he answers the questions.
* "I brought you up out of Egypt" -Around 750 years before Micah's time.
* "redeemed" -A barter term.
* "from the land of slavery" -Slaves were bought and sold. All men are slaves to sin and death. Jesus purchases us from slavery to sin and death by his blood. Galatians 3:13-14 states, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit." And Titus 2:11-14 stats, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."
* "I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam." -They were without direction before Moses. They didn't know how to be freed and had no power to do so. After being freed they didn't know where to go.
* "what Balaam son of Beor answered" -The Lord protected them. Numbers 22-24 record this event.
* "Shittim to Gilgal" -Shittim was the last camp on the east side of the Jordan. Gilgal was the first camp on the west side of the Jordan. Joshua 3:1 and 4:19 record these.
>Why was it important to remember this?
* "that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD"
* The Lord kept his part of the covenant. The Lord Jesus has kept his part of the new covenant with us too.
* The faith of Israel and the faith of the Church depend alike at rock bottom not on theological propositions but on the knowledge of the righteous acts of the Lord. In times of temptation for both individuals and groups, the rehearsal of the Lord's blessings already experienced remains the strongest form of prophylaxis against apostasy. (The International Bible Commentary)
>With what shall we come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God?
* "Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?"
* "burnt offerings" -Normal everyday offerings.
* "with calves a year old" -Only the rich could offer.
* The same thought is expressed in 1 Sam. 15:22, Psalms 51:16, Hosea 6:6 and Isaiah 1:11-15.
* Micah does not deny the desirability of sacrifices but shows that it does no good to offer them without defects. (NIV Study Bible)
* Ritual verses real religion.
* The court case begun in verse 1 is still going on. Israel part of the covenant is not being examined. The first of the ten commandments deals with worshiping the Lord. (Exodus 20:1-11) The means of worship is further defined in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers.
>3. Was the Mosaic sacrificial system enough to take away sins? (7)
* Micah 6:7 "Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"
* "thousands of rams, with then thousand rivers of oil" -Stating even this almost impossible act for an individual is not acceptable to God when there is no true repentance which is followed by obedience.
* "Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression" -Child sacrifice was common in many ancient cultures including Israel and Judah. Ahaz king of Judah, who lived in Micah's time (1:1) did such an evil thing. (2 Kings 16:3)
* As the hymn says, "Trust and obey, for there's no other way. To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."
* Exodus 13:13 and Leviticus 18:21 forbid child sacrifices.
>Whose son was the only acceptable sacrifice for our sins? (1 Peter 1:17-21; 1 John 1:7-10)
* 1 Peter 1:17-21 "Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God."
* 1 John 1:7-10 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."
* Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God is the only acceptable sacrifice for sins.
>What then does God want of us? (8)
* Micah 6:8 "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
* "He has showed you" -God reveals his ways to all people who were ever born. As stated in the very first lesson, question one; Divine law (the principles God established when he made the universe) has been revealed to mankind through seven mediums: nature (Psalms 19:1), conscience (Rom. 2:15), stone tablets (Exodus 24:12), Jesus the living Word (John 1:14), the entire scriptures (Rom. 15:4), on man's heart (Heb. 8:10), and Christian's as living epistles (2 Cor. 3:2-3). The word of the Lord that come to prophets is described this way, "And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:19-21)
* "O man" -Both in the singular and for our entire fallen race.
* "good" -What is good can be defined "as God intends it to be" and "to live in his will and way".
* Deuteronomy 10:12-13 "And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?"
* Psalm 25:8-10 "Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant."
* Matthew 19:17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
* "act justly... love mercy... walk humbly with your God" -Perhaps the most remarkable statement in this book.
* Matthew 22:37-40 "Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
* Theresa Bates (an ARI Guest Teacher) once wrote on "O man, what is good, and what does Yahweh require of thee?" and "working out my own salvation." The times of "believe whatever you want and it will be okay" have come to a close.
Learning these things does not mean that I don't care about those around me. I recently reread the story of Cain and Abel. They walked side by side for many years. They knew and loved each other. After all they were brothers. Abel was walking justly, and I believe with mercy, and humility (though Torah wasn't yet written). But the jealousy of Cain was immense, even enough to lead him to the point of murder. Why such an intensity? I believe Abel was walking out Micah 6:8, even though it wasn't written yet. Abel was the upright example. His lifestyle of choosing to walk in love is what bothered Cain to such an extreme.
- Here, He is speaking to us as individuals.
- It's another Scripture that puts the responsibility of my salvation squarely in my lap. No one else can do this for me.
- It also shows me that He doesn't require me to make others abide by these same rules.
- I am responsible for my own actions, not theirs. I need to let Yahweh take care of them.
- What does He require of me "but to do justly..."
- I am to walk justly. I am to be upright, to uphold His Torah, to be sober, and to clearly understand what my responsibilities to Him are.
- I am called to be a light to the Nations. I am supposed to show them the truth by my ACTIONS, and let them decide if they want to follow His truth or not. I am called to BE a light, not DO a light. The people around me, too, have to decide to work out their own salvation.
- I am not to require others to be the same as me. I need to allow them to be on Yahweh's particular time schedule for them.
- I need to be aware of my every deed, and to take all my thoughts captive.
- I need to choose which kind of fruit I want to produce in my life.
- If I am to be a light, I choose to be a good light, and I need to distribute good fruit. The light I reflect should be like the light of Messiah, my fruit should be like His fruit. If I walk around in judgment and condemn others, then it isn't Messiah's light or fruit that I am distributing.
- When I walk justly. Knowing this, I choose to keep my own actions in line with Messiah. Again, be sober. Trying to "be" His example to others has changed my perspective on many of my past actions. I see things differently now.
- He tells me to "love mercy."
- Mercy. There are only two seats one can run to when a wrong has been done: The seat of judgment, or the seat of mercy. I choose mercy over judgment.
- He wants me to see that others, too, have an individual walk with the Father. Most people I am around don't have a full understanding of His scriptures. They need to know that they too, may one day fall, and have to ask Yahweh for His mercy when He judges them in a given situation.
- When I see others in active sin, whether they are Believers or not, I need to first ask for mercy to cover them. This concept seems challenging at first, but to know what the outcome may be in the time of judgment, I ask for mercy for them.
- Is one person's sin worse than another's sin? Yes and no. Sometimes it depends on the sin, but one thing is very clear to me: Every knee will bow, and every tongue confess. We ALL will kneel before Yahweh Elohim. He knows everything, and will rightly judge everything. Mercy. Father, I ask for Your mercy to cover me.
- He tells me that I am to "walk humbly" with Him.
- To walk humbly. Hmm... Humility is born in adversity. Humility is controlled strength. Messiah Yeshua was full of it. In different ways we all rebel against Yahweh's teachings and need to learn to be molded by and accept the path He has chosen for us. We need to learn humility.
- To know that the Father has all power and authority to remove ones life at any moment changes things. I put Him over me. His thoughts. His will. His kingdom. Even though I do not always do this perfectly, I need to try to practice this on a daily basis.
- To accept the assignments He gives me. Most of the time, they are not glorious, or profitable. They often are assignments no one else wants. But when they come, I need:
- To accept, agree to, perform, and carry out what He has asked to be done.
- To not decline or grumble about an assignment.
- To desire His will over mine. I need to allow my own dreams and wants to die, and put His will over my own. Not easy, but the shalom He gives to endure to the end is priceless!
I think Abel was trying to be his brother's keeper by being an example of light to him. I hope to do the same for those around me. Sometimes when we walk this very narrow road our very actions will irritate others. Perhaps because they know they should be doing the same, but for whatever reason they are not. I have watched people hate someone that walks in Torah and then try to get others to hate that person too! That is where I see the type of fruit they are producing. Too often, I don't see good fruit. It is here that I pray and ask for mercy, for they really don't know what they are doing.
Yes, we are to be examples, and to teach and share the scripture with people, and to sound the shophar and admonish one another, in love and humility. But that is all. I am learning to drop the responsibility of making them accept Torah or not. That is between them and the Father, I no longer want to be in between them. Now, I pray and intercede for them. I pray, knowing that Yahweh is a just Elohim, and that His judgments will come to pass, but asking for His mercy and reminding Him that we are ALL but dust.
Mercy, I cry for mercy!
* The court case begun in verse 1 is still going on. Israel part of the covenant is not being examined. Now the Lord is examining their actions toward their fellows. The second part of the ten commandments deal with interaction between people.
>4. What is the Lord's rod and why are we to fear it? (9-10)
* Micah 6:9-10 "Listen! The LORD is calling to the city-- and to fear your name is wisdom-- "Heed the rod and the One who appointed it. Am I still to forget, O wicked house, your ill-gotten treasures and the short ephah, which is accursed?"
* "!" -Ancient writer pressed hard on the pen to emphasise a point.
* "The LORD is calling to the city" -Out of love the Lord gives a message that they must listen to. The city is Samaria and perhaps Jerusalem, the capital cities mentioned at the beginning of his book.
* "to fear your name is wisdom" -Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom according to Proverbs. Fear of the Lord is part of awe for the Lord. Fear of the Lord is to recognize our weakness, sin and need of his forgiveness and help.
* "Heed the rod" -David said that the Lord's rod comforted him. He realized that the Lord didn't want his people to sin and thus ruin their life. So the Lord uses a rod like a shepherd uses a rod to keep sheep on the path to green pastures and quiet waters. (Psalm 23)
* "the One who appointed it" -The Lord God, the Lord Jesus Christ is our shepherd. (John 10:11, 14) He has guided all of his people in love, strength, wisdom, grace, and mercy.
* "ill-gotten treasures and the short ephah" -Crimes in their business.
>What does it mean to be acquitted? (11-12)
* Micah 6:11-12 "Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights? Her rich men are violent; her people are liars and their tongues speak deceitfully."
* "acquit" -Acquit means to relieve from a charge of fault or crime; declare not guilty. The Lord will not acquit. The case is against the rich and leaders of society. The specific violations of the covenant continues.
* "dishonest scales" -Micah knew that dishonest trading was a greatly practiced. How much more is this done in my age! Will this generation go unpunished too? "Repent or perish," to quote Jesus.
* "Her rich men are violent" -As it was then so it is now.
* "tongue" -People today think they are wise when they lie and someone believes it. They are fools, throwing away eternity for a moments gain. When Isaiah meet the Lord he stated that he and his people have unclean lips. (Isa. 6:5) James wrote, "All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water." (James 3:7-12)
* Lies are one the covenant violations of Israel and Judah.
>5. What happened to Judah because she was found guilty and refused the Lord's offer to forgive? (13-16)
* Micah 6:13-16 "Therefore, I have begun to destroy you, to ruin you because of your sins. You will eat but not be satisfied; your stomach will still be empty. You will store up but save nothing, because what you save I will give to the sword. You will plant but not harvest; you will press olives but not use the oil on yourselves, you will crush grapes but not drink the wine. You have observed the statutes of Omri and all the practices of Ahab's house, and you have followed their traditions. Therefore I will give you over to ruin and your people to derision; you will bear the scorn of the nations."
* "Therefore" -Now comes the punishment. Now the court case between the Lord and his people moves to the sentencing phase. The Lord was found innocent. His people violated the covenant. Now a sentence against his people is given.
* "I have begun to destroy you, to ruin you" -The plan was already active. Paul wrote, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Rom. 1:18-20)
* "because of your sins" -The Lord does not invoke judgment for no reason. In fact he relents from harsh punishment for he is long suffering. Yet to the unrepentant judgement will come.
* "Omri... Ahab" -1 Kings 16:25 and 30 says these two committed more evil than all the other kings before them. The leaders were a bad influence on their peers and children.
>Is the Lord dealings with people the same today? (Heb. 13:8)
* Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
* Galatians 6:7-9 "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
II. Lament for Corruption (7:1-6)
>6. What did the Lord compare himself to? (1-2a)
* Micah 7:1-2a "What misery is mine! I am like one who gathers summer fruit at the gleaning of the vineyard; there is no cluster of grapes to eat, none of the early figs that I crave. The godly have been swept from the land; not one upright man remains."
* The speakers in this chapter are: Micah (1-7), Zion (8-10), Micah (11-13), perhaps Zion (14), God (15), Micah (16-20). It begins with gloom and ends with hope.
* "What misery is mine!" -Micah is full of grief for he cannot find anyone who is living by faith, keeping the covenant.
* "summer fruit" -The grape harvest had ended.
* "The godly have been swept from the land; not one upright man remains" -God has always kept a remnant. A few years earlier Amos pictured the godly as few and powerless. (Amos 5:13) Now Micah sees them swept from the land. The remnant were so few they could not be found. Elijah believed he was the only prophet left. (i Kings 18:22) However, the Lord said he had had 7,000 who had not bowed to the alters of Baal. (1 Kings 19:18) At one time or another followers of Jesus believe that they are the only true believer or at least that those who believe in Jesus are very few. This is not uncommon.
* Micah 7:2b-3 "All men lie in wait to shed blood; each hunts his brother with a net. Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire-- they all conspire together."
* "All men lie in wait to shed blood" -Apparently the reason so few believers were around was because the ungodly were seeking to destroy them. Every generation has a remnant. Every member of the remnant have experienced persecution and hate. Jesus said, "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household! So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known." (Matthew 10:21-26)
* "Both hands are skilled in doing evil" -The ungodly had no shame. They whole heartedly committed sins, not little sins here and there, but great sins all the time.
* "the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire-- they all conspire together" -In Micah's society and today the ungodly work together to gain wealth, power, and control over people.
* The society I live in now is fast growing to the extremes of evil. True believers are few and more and more are victims of the plots of the ungodly. How many times in recent years have there been cases that had so much evidence against the accuse only to see them aquited. Even the top courts seem to have lost their moral and ethical compass. Will justice from the Lord be far behind? It wasn't in Micah's day.
>How did Jesus show this in his day? (Mark 11:20-21)
* Mark 11:20-21 "In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"
* Matthew 7:15-23 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"
* Jesus taught that people are not always what they appear. Often those who appear to be religious and devout are not. The religious leaders in Jesus' day put the Messiah that they claimed they were waiting for to death. How many who walk into churches regularly will not take places at the wedding feast of the lamb? Faith is active and real. The righteous live by faith.
>7. What will it be like on the day God comes to visit us? (4)
* Micah 7:4 "The best of them is like a brier, the most upright worse than a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen has come, the day God visits you. Now is the time of their confusion."
* "brier" -A brier is a prickly plant or shrub, especially the sweetbrier or a greenbrier. My grandfather had a dairy farm that had lots of thorn trees. We had to be careful where we walked or we could fall into one. Being punctured by one was painful. Once I was playing on a sandy area of the small river that ran through his property when a long thorn punctured the palm of my hand. The strange thing was it did not bleed and it did not hurt. I pulled the thorn out and it still didn't bleed.
* "The day of your watchmen has come" -Watchmen is plural. The day of judgment that the prophets warned about. (Jer. 6:17; Eze. 3:17-21)
* "the day God visits you" -God's coming for punishment, starting with the leaders of his people.
* "Now is the time of their confusion" -The people, especially the leaders will be confused because they were God's chosen people. Therefore, they assumed that they were always going to be blessed and no one would conquer them. They said they trusted in the Lord to rescue them. However, how can God come to them when they always refused the one thing that would make him come to their aid; faith, hope and love. This will happen again during the seven years of tribulation. The covenant at Mount Sinai was a two way contract. The terms were clear, if they obeyed him he would be their God. Jesus also said, "If you love me you will obey my commands. My command is this; love one another."
>What are we warned? (5-6)
* Micah 7:5-6 "Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with her who lies in your embrace be careful of your words. For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- a man's enemies are the members of his own household."
* Jesus quoted this because his generation and the one's that followed would be the same. The family unit was disintegrating when sin increased.
>How did Jesus apply verses 4-6 to his first coming and claim his divinity?
* Matthew 10:32-39 "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
* Jesus may have been thinking of this in other places. (Matt. 10:21, Mark 13:12; Luke 12:53)
III. A Bright Future for God's People (7:7-20)
>8. What was Micah sure of? (7)
* Micah 7:7 "But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me."
* "I watch in hope for the LORD" -As society and society leaders were falling away around Micah, as the number of those who follow the Lord diminished until he had a hard time thinking of anyone who followed the Lord, Micah could hold onto the only truth, the Lord his God. Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." (John 14:1-4)
* "watch... wait" -Faith is sometimes expressed in watching and waiting. Jesus taught a parable about ten bride's maids that were waiting for the bridegroom. Half had enough oil; the other half did not. Jesus taught this to teach the remnant to be ready while we wait.
* "my Savior" -The Lord Jesus who is the Creator God was Micah's God.
* "my God will hear me" -Micah had faith in God. He knew God heard his prayers. Jesus hears all the prayers of his people. What did Micah pray for? Salvation. He felt lonely, betrayed, and drowned in a society of sin.
>What did he tell his enemies? (8-9)
* Micah 7:8-9 "Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the LORD's wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness."
* Though Micah addresses the generation that will undergo the judgment of God, the principle here can be applied to any of his children who have sinned against him.
* "Do not gloat over me" -"Me" here is Zion. I cannot help but to believe Micah was also thinking of himself.
* "I will rise" -Confidence in the Lord's love that compels him to seek the best for his people. A person can fight God or trust in his leading in all situations.
* "the Lord will be my light" -The Lord shows the way. In the darkness we can try to walk in a room, but all that will happen is we will bump into things and fall over. Jesus compared himself to light. He said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12) The Lord shows us all the obstacles in the rooms in our hearts so that we will not stumble.
* "until" -The Lord will respond to Judah when they repent while in captivity. The same is for those who sin and turn to him for forgiveness and help.
>What was he sure they will see? (10-11)
* Micah 7:10-11 "Then my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame, she who said to me, "Where is the LORD your God?" My eyes will see her downfall; even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets. The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries."
* "she" -She here could be someone Micah personally know who like Job's wife said, "Are you still holding onto your integrity? Curse God and die." (Job 2:9) Yet as is common with prophecy this looks forward to a time when Israel's enemies will taught her. Then the Lord will turn the tables. Those who gloated over Israel will have their own words come back to them. Since they trusted in that which is not God, that which they trusted in will not be able to save them. Only Jesus is Savior.
* Who do you trust in? If you say Jesus, do you truely trust in him? What if sickness, misfortune, and persecution comes your way. What if the persecution comes from one who love, one you made a covenant of love with? Where will your faith be then?
>9. What did he say about the Messianic age in verse 12?
* Micah 7:12 "In that day people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, even from Egypt to the Euphrates and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain."
* "In that day" -"In the last days" and "in that day" and "in the day of the Lord" all refered to the future from the Old Testament prophets' point of view. They all referred to events concerning Jesus first and second coming. The day of the Lord is the time when God reveals His sovereignty over human powers and human existence.
* "the last days" -In Hebrew this is "aharit yom". Aharit is usually translated "end", "latter", or "last".
* Seven Old Testament prophets (Isa. 13:6,9; Eze. 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15; Amos 5:18,20; Oba. 1:15; Zep. 1:7,14; Mal. 4:5; perhaps Zec. 14:1 too) uses the term "the day of the Lord". Sometimes they abbreviated it to "that day". It was familiar to their audience, a term by which the audience expected light and salvation (Amos 5:18), but the prophets painted it as a day of darkness and judgment (Isa. 2:10-22; 13:6,9; Joel 1:15; 2:1-11,31; 3:14-15; Amos 5:20; Zeph. 1:7-8,14-18; Mal. 4:5). The Old Testament language of the day of the Lord is aimed at warning sinners among God's people of the danger of trusting in traditional religion without commitment to God and to His way of life. It is language that could be aimed at judging Israel or that could be used to promise deliverance from evil enemies (Isa. 13:6,9; Ezek. 30:3; Obad. 15). The day of the Lord is thus a point in time in which God displays His sovereign initiative to reveal His control of history, of time, of His people, and of all people.
* Eschatology is the teaching concerning the last things in world history. The Greek word "eschatos" means “last” or final.” Accordingly, eschatology is the study of the things expected to occur at the end of history. This does not include what will happen after the Lord Jesus creates the new heaven and the new earth as described at the end of Revelation.
* "people will come to you" -The whole world will come to Jesus for he is King of kings and Lord of lords. The age we are in has been called "the age of the grace" and "the age of the church" and "the age of the Gentiles". In this age most people follow Satan. However, the few who accept Jesus' rule are purchased from the kingdom of the world by the blood of Jesus. When Jesus comes again, the kingdom of the world will be over throne and it's prince, Satan, will be defeated and throne in hell by Jesus. Then will this prophecy be true. The whole world will be under Jesus' rule. (Zech. 14:16-19)
>What will have happened just before it?
* Micah 7:13 "The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds."
* "the earth will become desolate" -John wrote in Revelation what he saw concerning the final seven years of this age and the beginning of the next age. Most of its inhabitants will be under the wrath of God.
* "as a result of their deeds" -The wrath of God comes not because God is mean and evil. Rather, he is reacting to their sin, the sin of blaspheme of the Holy Spirit, that is to refuse the invitation to join in a love relationship with Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man, the Creator God.
* Each person from Adam and Eve and after have a decision to make. Have you made the decision to accept Jesus' invitation? If not, what are you waiting for?
>How will the Lord's people have it different? (14)
* Micah 7:14 "Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in days long ago."
* "Shepherd your people with your staff" -Jesus is the Good Shepherd. (John 10:11-18) A shepherd uses a staff to guide sheep. Sheep are not very smart, in fact they are quit stupid. They run away from noisy waters even though they are very thirsty. They wander all over rocky soil, not remembering where green pastures are. They won't run away from animals that want to eat them. Without a shepherd sheep will die.
* "inheritance" -In order for there to be an inheritance someone needs to die. Jesus died and so he inherited the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Heaven. His kingdom is his people.
* "which lives by itself in a forest" -Micah often mentions the remnant. Here he says they live by themselves in the forest. Sheep graze in the green meadows. When they are in the forest they have some protection.
* Hosea 11:8-11 "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man-- the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their homes," declares the LORD."
>When Jesus comes again what will happen? (15-17)
* Micah 7:15-17 "As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders." Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power. They will lay their hands on their mouths and their ears will become deaf. They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on the ground. They will come trembling out of their dens; they will turn in fear to the LORD our God and will be afraid of you."
* "I will show them my wonders" -Miracles during the wrath of God against Pharaoh and Egypt and the miracles that followed were all done for the benefit of God's people. When Jesus comes again similar miracles will happen.
* "Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power" -Egypt was the most powerful nation in the Middle East at the time of the exodus. The Lord deprived them of their power. When Jesus comes again all the nations will be deprived of their power, though they will continually war against each other.
* "They will come trembling out of their dens" -They will fear the Lord God who brought wrath down on the unrepentant.
* "they will turn in fear to the LORD our God and will be afraid of you" -We are included in this.
>10. What can we learn about God in verse 18-20?
* Micah 7:18-20 "Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago."
* "Who is a God like you" -Nothing.
* "who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance" -The remnant were sinners who needed forgiveness.
* "You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy" -The Lord does anger, but does not delight in it. His wrath comes as a last resort to stubbornly unrepentant sinners. Accept Jesus as you Lord and Savior now before the Lord's wrath comes.
* "You will again have compassion on us" -This implies that at one time his compassion was removed. Indeed Israel and Judah experienced this. The Lord will have compassion on them again.
* "you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea" -Though Jesus death and resurrection.
* "You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago" -The covenant, though broken by his people, still is intact.
* The court case is closed. The Lord will bring judgement as the covenant stated. He will then show love and compassion to them again.