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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sermon on Micah 2

 

    In Micah chapter 2, God is sternly rebuking His people. "You wear the name of My people but you have no resemblance to My people!"  It's the OT version of the NT saying, "You have a name that you live, but you are dead" (Rev. 3:1).  The words of Micah tells us that the descendants of Jacob were proud of the name "House of Jacob," but they were not worthy of it.

            Hopefully, we who make up the "church of Christ" will never degenerate to the point where the Spirit of God will be compelled to say, "O you are called the church of Christ, but you are not the church of Christ!" To honor Christ only with our lips, but not with our lives, is parallel with the "kiss of Judas" (Matt.22:48). We may decorate ourselves with all kinds of religious glitter, but the truth is made known in our lives.

            Now, when God found His chosen people to be in such a state of wanting the NAME, but not the CHARARACTER of His people, He sent a preacher to teach them about the "Spirit of the Lord," and I wonder why He did that?  It must be that their restoration and revival must come from that direction.

            When the church begins to decline, there needs to be much preaching on the TRUTH of the Spirit of God. Consider: the Spirit is the very "breath" of the church (John 6:63);  we must worship in "spirit" and truth (John 4:23-24); and, we must be born of the water AND the spirit (John 3:3-5). If the Spirit be withdrawn from the church, the vitality and energy of the church collapses! (Ephesians 3:16). However, the only way for the Spirit of Christ to be withdrawn from the church is for the Spirit of Christ to be withdrawn from the MEMBERS of the church.

            David prayed, "Make me alive according to Thy word" (Ps. 119:25);  Paul writes, "God shall revive our mortal bodies by His Spirit" (Romans 8:11);  and, Peter writes, "Though Jesus was put to death in the flesh; He was made alive by the Spirit" (1Peter 3:18).

            In Micah 2:6a, we hear the Israelites singing an old familiar song: "Don't prophesy! We don't want to hear what you have to say!"  Of course, people today never say that -- at least out loud -- we're too sophisticated for that! We just stay away from Bible studies! When we stay away from Bible study, it's the same as saying, "God, we don't want to hear what you have to say!" Or, more fitting for today, "God, we're too busy with our lives to be concerned with what You have to say!"

            God kept sending them messengers to warn them, but they kept killing them. (Matt. 21:33-41). The same continues today; not killing God's messengers (in the U.S.), but killing God's message. This is done through rumors, gossip, innuendos, and sometimes outright rebellion. People can "quench the Spirit," in themselves (Ephesians 4:30), and some are influential enough to quench the Spirit/spirit in others -- but no one can quench the Spirit in the lives of those who have genuine faith (1Thessalonians 2:13).

            The Israelites also tried to "handcuff" the Spirit of God by only allowing certain persons to speak to them (Micah 2:11). They wanted preachers who would tolerate their lusts and passions;  preachers who would swell their pride with empty flatteries; preachers who would tell them they could sin with safety; and preachers who would tell them that commitment and sacrifice were unnecessary.  For some reason, many think that God's Word is like a *wax nose* that can be shaped to suit the face of the latest societal changes.

            In verse 8, "Even My people have risen up as an enemy."  The worst enemies of God's church is not the infidels and atheists, they are those who call themselves God's people and yet fight against His Spirit; those who contradict His Word, and even try, at times, to apologize for it. Consider: The Spirit is truth (1Jn 5:6); The Word is truth (Jn. 17:17); the Gospel is truth (Colossians 1:5); and all God's judgments are according to truth (Romans 2:2).

            Let the modern, broad-minded, liberal world do what they want with God's word; but the Truth is: God's Spirit cannot be locked up in a straight-jack (or a church building)! It will accomplish exactly what God intends for it to accomplish (Isaiah 55:11), for "they can do nothing against the Truth (2Corinthians 13:8).  --Toby Miller

                                                                                                                                                                  

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