This final section of the prophet Micah is written with passion and conviction. It is written against the backdrop of the reign of the evil king Manasseh (2 Kings 21). Four pictures emerge from the text - 1) a picture of the 'detestable practices' which God was particularly concerned about; 2) a picture of judgment yet rescue - God would judge sin, but He does not forget the promises of His covenant; 3) a picture of the heart of God (7:18-20); and 4) a picture what God's mandate for His people (6:1-8). The clear and practical mandate of this section reflects an appropriate response to the message of the whole book. If God really is as Micah describes, then the appropriate response is to 'act justly, love mercy and walk humbly before this God'. May it be!
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Against the backdrop of the reign of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18-20), Micah continues to paint a bold picture of God. He is a God who is passionately opposed to leaders who are corrupt and take advantage of people (ch. 3); He is the Sovereign LORD who WILL reign for ever and ever (4:1-8); He is the God who rescues and will provide Ultimate Rescue through The Rescuer who comes from Bethlehem (4:9-5:9); He is a God who brings salvation through purging (5:10-15). How do we respond to a God like this?? We respond along with the people who declare "all the nations may walk in the name of their gods; but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever" (4:5).
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The opening words of the prophet Micah (v2) carry a strong and global injunction to hear and listen to the Sovereign LORD. A description of life under King Ahaz found in 2Kings 16 gives us an understanding of why those early recipients of Micah's writing so urgently needed to pay attention to the Sovereign LORD who was indeed coming in judgment against them. Micah paints a picture of God for them including 3 characteristics: 1) God is the Sovereign God of all creation (1:3-4); 2) He is the Judge who comes against sin, esp. idolatry and covetousness (1:5-7; 2:1-11); and 3) surprisingly, He is still a God who does not forget His covenant - He will preserve a remnant! (2:12-13). Two responses are called for in the passage: 1) lament (1:8-16); and 2) listen (1:2). May it be!
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In this first lesson in the prophet Micah we pay attention to the fact that the main point of the writing is rooted in the meaning of the prophet's name. 'Micah' (short for 'Micaiah') means 'Who is like Yahweh?' Writing at a time when the northern kingdom of Israel was about to be taken into exile by Assyria and when the southern kingdom of Judah was under similar pressures, Micah writes to remind the people about who their God really is! We survey the whole book in today's lesson looking for words that describe God. We discover Him as a God who: •SPEAKS – 1:1-2 •COMES –1:3-5; 2:3 •JUDGES WITH JUSTICE – 4:2-3 •REDEEMS – 4:6, 10 •RULES – 4:7 •STRENGTHENS the Shepherd – 5:4 •SHOWS – 6:8 •BRINGS US INTO LIGHT – 7:8,9 •HEARS – 7:7 PARDONS, FORGIVES; DOESN’T REMAIN ANGRY; DELIGHTS TO SHOW MERCY AND COMPASSION; REMOVES SIN; SHOWS FAITHFUL COVENANT LOVE- 7:18-20. Let us pay attention to our God and respond to him with worship and obedience!
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