Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Micah I, Sermon Notes

Micah 3:1-12
Sermon Notes
American Heaps?
July 26, 2015
Lynchburg, Virginia

         Micah- or Micaiah, Who is like Yahweh?
         Moresheth- small town 25 southwest of Jerusalem
         Timeframe- 735BC-715BC, younger contemporary of Isaiah. He prophesied during the reign of Hezekiah and Hezekiah repented at the preaching of Micah.
         Micah 1:6 predicts downfall of Samaria so Micah began his prophetic ministry before 722 BC.

         Mic. 1:1   The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
         Jotham did that which was right but the people did act corruptly. In Chronicles, we are told that in Jotham’s days, the Lord began to send Syria against them. Ahaz did that which was evil. Hezekiah did that which was right.
         During this same time period, the several Kings of the Northern Kingdom were all in rebellion against the Lord. They were making alliances with foreign powers as well as serving foreign gods. There was much evil throughout all of Israel.
Context- 2 Kings 16-18, 2 Chron. 28-30
         2 Chron. 29:36 And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.
Speaking of Ahaz, Hezekiah’s father
         2 Kings 16:3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel.  4 And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
         He made molten images of Baalim.
         Syria attacked Jerusalem but could not overtake it. Ahaz sent to Assyria to make an alliance with them. The Assyrians attacked the Syrians and defeated them.
         Ahaz was attacked by the Northern kingdom and defeated and 200,000 souls were carted off to Samaria. However, the prophet Oded received a message from the Lord telling the victors that they must return the captives, which they promptly did.
         As a result of these defeats, Ahaz did not repent. Instead, he doubled his efforts to serve the gods of those who defeated him.
         2 Chron. 28:22 And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz.  23 For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. 24 And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem.  25 And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers.

         Samaria will be a heap Micah 1:6. 6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof.
The Sins of Israel
2:1 Mic. 2:1   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.
Their minds are busy getting ahead even to the harm of their neighbor. The devise evil in the night and carry it out in the light.

         2 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.
         Covetous, take fields by violence and houses. The rich against the poor, the powerful against the defenseless.
          If man can devise evil and defraud his neighbor, God can devise a greater evil, one from which you will not escape.
         2:3-4 3 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.

         They prefer lying prophets 2:11- 11 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.
They cannot stomach the truth so they would rather have words of peace when a storm is upon them. Maybe the prophet said, “Imagine your best life now.”

3:1 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? 
Your leaders should know judgment. That is the principle reason they are leaders. But can they judge aright?

2 Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; 
They cannot. They hate the good and love the evil. Why? Because the evil is profitable!
Fleece the people, peal off their skin, take the flesh from their bones. It sells.

3 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.
Such leaders are like cannibals. They eat the flesh of the people. They are like Moloch who could not eat enough children to be satisfied. They crush their bones, chop them up and boil them in a petri dish.
Ahaz made his own children to enter the fire. God hates such wickedeness and does not leave it unpunished. Ahaz served as king for 16 years, two terms. Our bloody President has great blood on his hands and more now than ever. They traffic in body parts. They sacrifice them to the god of science. They make them to pass through the fire. God is not mocked.

4 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. 
What insolence to think that such people can cry unto the Lord our God? They do cry out but He will not hear. God hides His face from such cannibals.
President Obama even prayed a blessing upon Planned Parenthood. But God did not hear that prayer to bless them.

5 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. 
There are many false prophets. There are false political leaders. There are false teachers and preachers. There are the scientist, purveyors of a new religion. They get things precisely and exactly wrong.
How can we have peace when we are courting disaster? Ahaz was doing this. He was seeking peace through alliances with God’s enemies. He worshipped false gods. He learned the way of the pagans who attacked them, seeking their favor. Meanwhile, God was planning his destruction.

6 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.  7 Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.
When lying prophets speak, God goes silent.
In our day, it is refreshing that many true prophets are now emboldened to speak the truth. And now that they are speaking, God is speaking.
But among the lying prophets, the Word of God is silent. How will the people know what God has said if His voice, the Word is not in their midst. The liars, the lying prophets, shall pay!

Mic. 3:8   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 is not afraid to speak the truth. Israel’s only hope is to hear and repent and be saved.
We need men who are not afraid of the President, of Congress, of the Supreme Court, of Academia, of the main stream Media, of the prevailing cultural sentiments. We need men who understand God’s Word and have the boldness to declare it without apology. Only in this way do we have hope of repentance and the return of God’s favor.

9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. 
It is hard to hear if you hate judgment. It is hard to hear if you pervert justice.

10 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. 
Blood money. Bribery. Crony capitalism. Socialism that make some men more equal than others, like fat pigs. Blood money for Lambourghinis.
God calls all of this what it is. Iniquity.

11 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.
Congress convenes and votes according to the lobbyists. The priests speak that which the people pay to hear. The prophets pronounce a bull market.
They lie and steal and cheat and ask God to bless America. God is not blessing America. He has but He is not. His hand has turned against us. His face is turned away.

3:12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.
The danger was imminent for Samaria. Her judgment was proclaimed. Her wound was incurable. She felt the mighty power of God.
But Jerusalem was spared, at least for a time. Hezekiah repented and God gave His people more time.
Samaria was soon to lay in heaps and Jerusalem was threatened with the same. The very place where God proclaimed His special presence was in danger of lying in ruins.

2 Chron 29:36 And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.
In 2 Chron., we see Hezekiah institute great reforms. His predecessor had committed many sins. The Jews had neglected their feast, not even practicing Passover. Hezekiah sought to right these wrongs and the transformation came about rapidly. Hezekiah responded, the people responded and God responded.
God saved Jerusalem even when overwhelming numbers of enemies were on their front porch.

2 Chron. 30:10 So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.
But not everyone was saved. Hezekiah’s curriers were met with laughter and scorn. Their doom was looming but they could not be woken from their lethargy. Things are good. We are strong. We have peace. We will not hear the prognosticators of doom.
I must say that the resistance to the prognosticators of doom resonates with me. I am optimistic, hopeful. I think things are good and am hopeful they will get better. Don’t speak negative words to me. Don’t tell me that things will get worse.
But it is time for us to wake up. We live in a particularly wonderful and largely Christian place. But it is not so in much of America.
Our government schools are run by a federal government that insists that perversions are taught as normal. Our institutions of higher learning embrace every sort of societal wickedness from socialism, communism, free sex, transeverything, anti-capitalism, full blown scientific evolution and environmentalism. These are the new priests and these are there commandments. That is the reality whether we like to admit it or not. There are few exceptions.
Our politicians are afraid to speak truth because offending anybody for any reason can immediately end your political career. So, they spend their careers uttering platitudes. Our preachers are professional encouragers, self help impresarios, who certainly cannot discern the signs of the times nor the voice of the Lord.
Let us wake up. Let pray for ears to hear. Let us ask God to restore the voice of the prophet that He might awaken the conscience of a nation to repentance and bring healing instead of destruction.
We are seeing small snippets of boldness in political leaders. Senator Lankford from OK comes to mind. Mike Huckabee comes to mind. It took the revealing of great evil to wake us up but thank God we are awake! May He grant His people full scale repentance and may this repentance reach His ears so that He showers us with restoration blessings. Amen.

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