INTRO: Minor prophets! Why are they minor. I have sought to know why they are called minor. And the only possible reason I have found is the fact of their brevity. They cannot be minor because of any deficiency in their message. They cannot be minor for any lack of courage before public opinion. Indeed, their messages ring loud and clear of Gods will and intentions toward a sinful people. Too, their messages include punctuations of Messianic prophecy. And all of this is so true of the book of Micah. The man Micah was apparently from a small, rural village about twenty miles from Jerusalem. His rural roots seem to have an impact on his manner and his concerns. He is apparently older than Isaiah, but their periods of prophetic ministry overlapped a bit.
I. OBSERVATIONS TO BEGIN?
A. See Jer 26:16-19 - Micahs boldness was remembered years later
1. for his truthfulness, faithfulness people want to kill Jeremiah
2. a quotation from Mi 3:12 is even cited by those who are defending Micah
3. their point? If Hezekiah and the people had not killed Micah for his honesty and faithfulness (with an unpopular message), why should they kill Jeremiah?
B. The Messianic kingdom prophecied
1. Mi 4:1-3 - note similarity with Isa 2:1-4
2. who borrowed from whom? - why must it be either way? if it is the same spirit revealing to both, could not both have received the same Messianic message?
3. in the midst of messages of Gods judgment are these glimpses into a glorious future ... the last days of a worldwide interest in Gods ways! (Mt 28:19,20)
C. Mention of the birthplace of the Messiah
1. Mi5:2 - But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah....
2. remember Mt 2:1-6 and Herods interview with the wise men
3. the priests and scribes knew exactly the place of the Messiahs birth!
D. Another New Testament citation from Micah
1. note Mi 7:6 - is there a familiar sound to this?
2. what of Mt 10:34-36?
3. the Micah passage is the very passage to which the Lord referred when He spoke of the divisions the gospel would cause among and within families!
E. The hopeful conclusion of Micahs prophecy
1. Mi 7:18-20 - these verses immediately follow words of harsh judgment
2. yes, judgment was coming and would be devastating - thats a fact!
3. but the God of judgment is the God of forgiveness ... the prophets over and again tried to make this point (Ezek 18:30-32 with 2 Pet 3:9
II. BUT FOR WHAT REASONS WOULD JUDGMENT COME?
A. A key statement is Mi 6:8
1. in this verse we can find the root causes of Judahs coming judgment
2. the absence of the very things which God required was Judahs undoing
B. There was social injustice
1. Mi 2:1,2 - what an indictment of the nation!
2. these people literally lay awake at night thinking of ways in which they could defraud their neighbors, take the lands of the widows and poor, etc.
3. and there was no one to speak for the victims
4. according to Mi 3:11, the judges were corrupt! could be bought easily
5. how do we, Christians, feel about social injustice? are we concerned about it?
C. There was ethical failure
1. Mi 6:10-13 - 7:2-4
2. there was no honesty; there were false weights; measures were shorted; bribery was a way of life
3. Micah says they did evil with both hands earnestly
4. so prevalent were these ethical failures that the prophet can only observe, The good man is perished out of the earth...
5. I cannot help but wonder about the ethical behavior of the people of our own nation ... the corporate scandals; the cheating, the lying, the immorality
D. There was religious perversion
1. Mi 2:11 - 3:5,11 - 5:13
2. the messages of preachers was what people wanted to hear; only money (not devotion and conviction) motivated priests and prophets; paganism (with its abominations) was widely practiced
3. why was there social injustice? why were there ethical failures? answer: revealed religion had been abandoned!
4. Ps 11:3 asks a very important (and critical) question
5. my strong belief is that it is the proliferation of religious perversion which accounts for the great failures plaguing our land!
CLOSE: In all of this the prophets own answer is at Mi 7:7. While I may be able to do very little to change the national to local situation, I can still put my trust in the God of my salvation Whom I am certain will hear me!
Cecil A. Hutson
27 April 2003
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)