“When I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’ and you do not warn him – you do not speak out to warn the wicked to turn from his wicked deed and wicked lifestyle so that he may live – that wicked person will die for his iniquity, but I will hold you accountable for his death.”
God informed the prophet of his responsibility. The wicked must be warned. Failure to warn would bring guilt upon the prophet.
Love is the great motivator for evangelism, but it is always aware of the weight of accountability before God for lost souls.
There were many social injustices in the lands of Israel and Judah. Micah placed the blame for those oppressions upon the rulers of the people.
Many prophets spoke before the kings and their governors. However, the words of false prophets who spoke of peace and prosperity were more welcome than those of the prophets of God who warned of impending destruction. Because of their wicked ways, Jerusalem and the temple of the Lord would become heaps of rubble and desolation.
Since Micah and Isaiah prophesied from God during the same time to the same people, their messages were sometimes very similar. They both looked into the future and saw the Judah that God desired. Both prophesied the coming of the Lord’s house, the church in the last days. All nations, Gentiles included, not just the Hebrews would be included in its fellowship. The law of that house would come from Jerusalem.
A mother endures much pain and suffering while giving birth to her child. Likewise, God’s people would be subject to much pain and suffering before the birth of the new kingdom, the church. Part of that pain and suffering would come as captivity in Babylon many years after Micah had spoken.
Kingdoms come and go. Both Assyria and Babylon mighty at one time would be overthrown. However, from the remnant of Jacob, a new King would come from Bethlehem who would reign forever. Gentiles would also become subjects of that kingdom.
“At that time Herod the tetrarch heard reports about Jesus, and he said to his servants, ‘This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead! And because of this, miraculous powers are at work in him.'”
Herod had John killed. Now his guilty conscience was apparently at work. His interpretation of the reports was completely wrong.
In what ways do people today interpret wrongly the work of God? What’s the solution?
#understanding #God #VOTD
God used a plurality of contemporary prophets to convey His word during the depths of Israel’s and Judah’s sinful times. Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah and Micah lived and prophesied during overlapping times. Whereas Jonah was sent to prophesy against Nineveh in Assyria, Amos and Hosea were sent to warn Israel of their impending doom. The thrust of Isaiah’s messages was to speak against the wickedness that had come upon Judah mainly during the reign of their king, Ahaz. Micah’s prophecy warned both Israel and Judah of the judgment that was to come upon them. The chief sins of Israel and Judah involved the idolatrous worship that was prevalent at that time.
Micah, in his first of three messages depicted God as coming down to administer His justice upon Israel. Samaria, being the capital of Israel was the seat of their idolatrous worship. However, during the time of Ahaz, Judah in Jerusalem had fallen into the same iniquity and was subject to the same wrath of God. The prophet painted a bleak picture of their devastation. God is also pictured as weeping and mourning over His people’s impending destruction.
In addition to idolatry, the rich were guilty of oppressing the poor. Houses and land were taken illegally. Micah warned that disaster was in order for those people. However, they ignored the prophet’s warning as empty meaningless words. Instead, they would willingly heed the words of a false prophet or liar who would speak the things that they desired to hear.
Micah concluded his first message by alluding to the remnant that would eventually be gathered together, “like sheep of the fold…”
“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27 NKJV)
In the above verse, the word translated as “visit” (from the Greek word, ‘episkeptomai’) means much more than “stopping by” to see someone for the sake of seeing them. The idea of “stopping by” (which we may associate with the word, “visit”) is nothing close to the idea or intent the scriptures have in mind.
Episkeptomai means (according to my personal breakdown), “to inspect, examine with our eyes in order to help, benefit and look out or provide for.”
In other words, God’s intentions aren’t for us to simply visit someone who needs help to see how they’re doing, but rather to visit someone to see how we can help.
Turning a blind-eye to the problems of others may be easy, but turning a blind-eye may be due to symptoms caused by giant spiritual beams (Matthew 7:1-5) that are keeping us from seeing the things that lead to pure and undefiled religion before the eyes of God.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25 NKJV)
“I maintain a pure lifestyle, so I can appear before your altar, O LORD, to give you thanks, and to tell about all your amazing deeds.”
The psalm declares the conditions of entering and remaining in the presence of the Lord. This negative confession humbly presents itself as a holy people pleading with the holy God.
What is involved in a pure lifestyle?
#purity #Psalms #VOTD
Is. 17:1-14; 14:24-32
Israel/Ephraim had allied themselves with idolatrous Syria against Judah. Isaiah stated that Syria’s capital city, Damascus would cease from being a city and would become a ruinous heap. Ephraim would also be carried away as a harvester reaps his grain. However, as gleanings from grain, grape and olive harvests are left, so would a remnant of Israel remain in the land.
God used evil people such as Assyria and Philistia to serve His purposes in punishing His children for their sins. That, however, did not prevent Him from punishing those same evil persons for their sins also.
The prophet Isaiah stated God’s intention to, “break the Assyrian in My land…tread him underfoot…”
Philistia also would face the same wrath of God for their wickedness. “…All you of Philistia are dissolved; For smoke will come from the north, And no one will be alone in his appointed times.”