This final session in our verse-by-verse study of Micah was given by pastor Barry Forder on 13th February 2022.
In this last section of the book of Micah (Ch 6-7) we are immediately plunged into a courtroom drama, with God acting as prosecutor and Israel as the defendant.
God takes the stand and asked Israel if there is any reason to justify their unfaithfulness to Him?
He reminds them of the way He brought them out of Egypt, led them through the wilderness under the care of Moses, Aaron and Miriam, and even turned the counsel of Balak into a seven-fold blessing at the hand of Balaam. God askes the question: ‘What more could I have done?’ ‘Having led you and provided for you up to this time, why do you think you now have to turn to your false gods?’
The same question could be asked of each of us. God has shown many times over how faithful He is, yet we so often turn to our own natural resources to help us out of the problems we face.
Then Micah gives us one of the greatest verses in the Bible: “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?”
We have been made in the image and likeness of God, and He wants us to be just (this speaks of our thought life, heart and intentions) as He is just; to show mercy (this speaks of our actions and attitudes towards others) like He shows mercy, but most of all, to walk humbly with Him.
God’s walk with man began in the Garden of Eden, but was broken because of sin. Since that time, God has been calling ‘all who have ears to hear’ to walk with Him. Enoch heard and walked with God. Abraham heard and spent a lifetime leaning to forsake his own natural path, making mistakes on the way, but ended up walking the walk of faith. Job, David, Moses and many others in God’s Word, endured trials as they leaned the secret of trusting God despite what everything around them might otherwise say. Ultimately, God’s walk with man will be resumed in the New Heavens and the New Earth as we read: “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God”. Until then, we have to learn to trust God and ‘walk in the way’.
Contrary to this ‘ideal’ God rebukes Judah for not acting justly, for showing no mercy, and for walking after the dictates and evil desires of their own hearts.
Micah then, as if falling under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, cries out: “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.” Micah was in a turbulent situation, the threat of the Assyrian’s was loud in the nations ears, but the rising empire of Babylon was making Israel’s place as a sovereign nation tentative indeed. God had forewarned of judgment, so what now? Micah responds and says, because of this, I will look unto the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and I will wait for Him. Humanly speaking it is the most preposterous thing, everything around says ‘act now!’ ‘do something!’, but God says, ‘Wait, trust Me’.
This is the ‘secret’ to walking in the way! Firstly, to look not to ourselves and our own abilities, but to God. But then being prepared to wait for Him, wait for His leading, His timing, His provision.
Allow me to share the following to illustrate how offensive it is to God when we try to do things our way:
Here’s this fine Christian family, a father, mother and three wonderful children. One day, the father sees this old tramp sitting on a bench in the park, shivering, dirty, ragged, underfed, unshaved. He takes pity on him. So he brings him home, they find a room and a bed for him, they get him cleaned up, they buy him some new clothes and they say, “You can be a member of the family. You can join in with us.” And he begins to get well fed, respectable. But, after a while, he begins to take over the family. He begins to tell the wife how she ought to cook, to discipline the children, and, in general, to act as if he were the head of the house.
You see the parable? We were the tramp sitting on a bench in the park. Jesus took us into His family, cleaned us up, fed us, cared for us. And, after a little while, we get so arrogant, we say, “Jesus, I think you should do things a different way. If you want to know what I think, this is how you ought to bring up your children.” How many Christians are busy telling the Lord how to look after His children? You need to bear one thing in mind. When you criticize God’s children you make Him angry.
I want to come particularly to the area of taking the initiative. God is only committed to complete what He begins. If God hasn’t begun it, He’s under no obligation to complete it. We will read Revelation 21:5-6:
“Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.'”
And I think that must have been such an astonishing statement that John the revelator paused. And so He said:”‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.'”
It is like he said: “You can trust me, it’s really going to be that way.”
“And He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.'”
Those are two titles that God reserves for Himself. Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End. But what I want to say is this. If He’s not the Alpha, don’t expect Him to be the Omega. If He isn’t the Beginning, don’t expect Him to be the End. God is not committed to complete anything that He hasn’t begun. If we take the initiative out of God’s hands and make our own decisions and our own plans, the end will be frustration because God will not endorse what He has not begun. – Article by Derek Prince
Psalm 44:6 says: “For I will not trust in my bow, Nor shall my sword save me”. It’s the same thing in a different way. It’s the old adage ‘let go and let God’.
Through Micah, God promises to vindicate His people for their trust in Him (“for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me“ – Isaiah 9:23). He promises Israel that, in the end, they will be triumphant over their enemies (“But You have saved us from our enemies, And have put to shame those who hated us”. Psalm 44:7) , and they will once again be fruitful in the Land God has given to them.
In closing this book Micah says something astounding – for an Old Testament prophet; “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.” (Micah 7:18).
But how can God be just and merciful at the same time? By sending His only begotten Son to atone for the sins of the ‘whosoever’. God’s mercy falls on us because His justice fell on His Son.