The Grace of Warnings and Judgments

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 NKJV

This verse nicely summarizes Micah’s accusations against the people. It alone is thought provoking and we can ponder if we are meeting this standard.  The details – makes Israel of his time sound a lot like our modern world: corrupt, false profits, greedy and selfish looking out for only themselves and not the good of the nation and not doing what is right in the sight of the Lord.  Even their government was accused of being corrupt – so much like our modern world.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Micah chapters 1-7 (embedded below the image below for your convenience) and full of judgment and hope.  I always enjoy the mercy and grace of God to ALWAYS send someone to warn. His judgment / discipline / correction always comes with at least one warning. So we should always watch for it. This is enjoyable because it is yet another example of His love and grace – it makes us want to change!

I cannot help, while reading about God’s discipline and judgment throughout time, thinking about how lucky we are that grace has helped God forebear with us.  We are worthy of a terrible Babylonian takeover.  We are not invincible against it either! Under grace doesn’t mean God doesn’t STILL raise up prophets and nations against them. 

I had a Rabbi explain to me that he thought I misunderstood grace and went on then to put me on the right path.  He told me how Hitler was prophesied.  I am not surprised – God never lets His people be blindsided.  They were warned to get right with God and stop being so gentrified and worldly.  They didn’t listen. And we all know what happened. But we also know God used it to reestablish Israel and God used it to restore His people and brought HOME the remnant. Grace? Absolutely! I can see the transformation and whenever something dead comes to life, there is grace!
But this example of grace also shows us that God still has prophets. God still has warning after warning. God still allows nations to rise up and get all Babylonian on His children (like Hilter did).  

So we can live under grace and not understand grace in its full nature. Hitler took the just and the unjust.  The Babylonians took captive the Godly (like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) and the ungodly. God’s judgment falls on us all equally even under grace. 

So with all the prophets on the internet (both false and true), will judgement follow and where will the pieces all land? Regardless of if we are good guys – are we not worthy of His judgment? Can judgment be deferred?  Always! Through humility! Through: doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.

Easiest way is to just strive to develop a relationship with God – He will direct you and He will protect you. Prophecy is grace meant to prepare you and not scare you. 

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: James 4:7 
NKJV – “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
NAS – “Submit therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
ESV – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
NLT – “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
NIV – “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Micah 1-7 NKJV

Judgment on Israel and Judah

The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

The Coming Judgment on Israel

Hear, all you peoples!
Listen, O earth, and all that is in it!
Let the Lord God be a witness against you,
The Lord from His holy temple.

For behold, the Lord is coming out of His place;
He will come down
And tread on the high places of the earth.
The mountains will melt under Him,
And the valleys will split
Like wax before the fire,
Like waters poured down a steep place.
All this is for the transgression of Jacob
And for the sins of the house of Israel.
What is the transgression of Jacob?
Is it not Samaria?
And what are the high places of Judah?
Are they not Jerusalem?

“Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the field,
Places for planting a vineyard;
I will pour down her stones into the valley,
And I will uncover her foundations.
All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces,
And all her pay as a harlot shall be burned with the fire;
All her idols I will lay desolate,
For she gathered it from the pay of a harlot,
And they shall return to the pay of a harlot.”

Mourning for Israel and Judah

Therefore I will wail and howl,
I will go stripped and naked;
I will make a wailing like the jackals
And a mourning like the ostriches,
For her wounds are incurable.
For it has come to Judah;
It has come to the gate of My people—
To Jerusalem.

10 Tell it not in Gath,
Weep not at all;
In [a]Beth Aphrah
Roll yourself in the dust.
11 Pass by in naked shame, you inhabitant of [b]Shaphir;
The inhabitant of [c]Zaanan does not go out.
Beth Ezel mourns;
Its place to stand is taken away from you.

12 For the inhabitant of [d]Maroth [e]pined for good,
But disaster came down from the Lord
To the gate of Jerusalem.
13 O inhabitant of Lachish,
Harness the chariot to the swift steeds
(She was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion),
For the transgressions of Israel were found in you.

14 Therefore you shall give presents to [f]Moresheth Gath;
The houses of Achzib[g] shall be a lie to the kings of Israel.
15 I will yet bring an heir to you, O inhabitant of Mareshah;[h]
The glory of Israel shall come to Adullam.[i]
16 Make yourself bald and cut off your hair,
Because of your precious children;
Enlarge your baldness like an eagle,
For they shall go from you into captivity.

Woe to Evildoers

Woe to those who devise iniquity,
And [j]work out evil on their beds!
At morning light they practice it,
Because it is in the power of their hand.
They covet fields and take them by violence,
Also houses, and seize them.
So they oppress a man and his house,
A man and his inheritance.

Therefore thus says the Lord:

“Behold, against this family I am devising disaster,
From which you cannot remove your necks;
Nor shall you walk haughtily,
For this is an evil time.
In that day one shall take up a proverb against you,
And lament with a bitter lamentation, saying:
‘We are utterly destroyed!
He has changed the [k]heritage of my people;
How He has removed it from me!
To [l]a turncoat He has divided our fields.’ ”

Therefore you will have no [m]one to determine boundaries by lot
In the assembly of the Lord.

Lying Prophets

“Do not prattle,” you say to those who [n]prophesy.
So they shall not prophesy [o]to you;
[p]They shall not return insult for insult.
You who are named the house of Jacob:
“Is the Spirit of the Lord restricted?
Are these His doings?
Do not My words do good
To him who walks uprightly?

“Lately My people have risen up as an enemy—
You pull off the robe with the garment
From those who trust you, as they pass by,
Like men returned from war.
The women of My people you cast out
From their pleasant houses;
From their children
You have taken away My glory forever.

10 “Arise and depart,
For this is not your rest;
Because it is defiled, it shall destroy,
Yes, with utter destruction.
11 If a man should walk in a false spirit
And speak a lie, saying,
‘I will [q]prophesy to you [r]of wine and drink,’
Even he would be the prattler of this people.

Israel Restored

12 “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob,
I will surely gather the remnant of Israel;
I will put them together like sheep of [s]the fold,
Like a flock in the midst of their pasture;
They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.
13 The one who breaks open will come up before them;
They will break out,
Pass through the gate,
And go out by it;
Their king will pass before them,
With the Lord at their head.”

Wicked Rulers and Prophets

And I said:

“Hear now, O heads of Jacob,
And you rulers of the house of Israel:
Is it not for you to know justice?
You who hate good and love evil;
Who strip the skin from [t]My people,
And the flesh from their bones;
Who also eat the flesh of My people,
Flay their skin from them,
Break their bones,
And chop them in pieces
Like meat for the pot,
Like flesh in the caldron.”

Then they will cry to the Lord,
But He will not hear them;
He will even hide His face from them at that time,
Because they have been evil in their deeds.

Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets
Who make my people stray;
Who chant [u]“Peace”
[v]While they chew with their teeth,
But who prepare war against him
Who puts nothing into their mouths:
“Therefore you shall have night without [w]vision,
And you shall have darkness without divination;
The sun shall go down on the prophets,
And the day shall be dark for them.
So the seers shall be ashamed,
And the diviners abashed;
Indeed they shall all cover their lips;
For there is no answer from God.”

But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord,
And of justice and might,
To declare to Jacob his transgression
And to Israel his sin.
Now hear this,
You heads of the house of Jacob
And rulers of the house of Israel,
Who abhor justice
And [x]pervert all equity,
10 Who build up Zion with bloodshed
And Jerusalem with iniquity:
11 Her heads judge for a bribe,
Her priests teach for pay,
And her prophets divine for [y]money.
Yet they lean on the Lord, and say,
“Is not the Lord among us?
No harm can come upon us.”
12 Therefore because of you
Zion shall be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins,
And the mountain of the [z]temple
Like the bare hills of the forest.

The Lord’s Reign in Zion

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And peoples shall flow to it.
Many nations shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion the law shall go forth,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
And rebuke strong nations afar off;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into [aa]pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.

But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree,
And no one shall make them afraid;
For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
For all people walk each in the name of his god,
But we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
Forever and ever.

Zion’s Future Triumph

“In that day,” says the Lord,
“I will assemble the lame,
I will gather the outcast
And those whom I have afflicted;
I will make the lame a remnant,
And the outcast a strong nation;
So the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
From now on, even forever.
And you, O tower of the flock,
The stronghold of the daughter of Zion,
To you shall it come,
Even the former dominion shall come,
The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.”

Now why do you cry aloud?
Is there no king in your midst?
Has your counselor perished?
For pangs have seized you like a woman in [ab]labor.
10 Be in pain, and labor to bring forth,
O daughter of Zion,
Like a woman in birth pangs.
For now you shall go forth from the city,
You shall dwell in the field,
And to Babylon you shall go.
There you shall be delivered;
There the Lord will redeem you
From the hand of your enemies.

11 Now also many nations have gathered against you,
Who say, “Let her be defiled,
And let our eye look upon Zion.”
12 But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord,
Nor do they understand His counsel;
For He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor.

13 “Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion;
For I will make your horn iron,
And I will make your hooves bronze;
You shall beat in pieces many peoples;
I will consecrate their gain to the Lord,
And their substance to the Lord of the whole earth.”

The Messiah Will Be Born at Bethlehem

Now gather yourself in troops,
O daughter of troops;
He has laid siege against us;
They will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek.

The Coming Messiah

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From [ac]everlasting.”

Therefore He shall give them up,
Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;
Then the remnant of His brethren
Shall return to the children of Israel.
And He shall stand and feed[ad] His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth;
And this One shall be peace.

Judgment on Israel’s Enemies

When the Assyrian comes into our land,
And when he treads in our palaces,
Then we will raise against him
Seven shepherds and eight princely men.
They shall [ae]waste with the sword the land of Assyria,
And the land of Nimrod at its entrances;
Thus He shall deliver us from the Assyrian,
When he comes into our land
And when he treads within our borders.

Then the remnant of Jacob
Shall be in the midst of many peoples,
Like dew from the Lord,
Like showers on the grass,
That [af]tarry for no man
Nor [ag]wait for the sons of men.
And the remnant of Jacob
Shall be among the Gentiles,
In the midst of many peoples,
Like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
Like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
Who, if he passes through,
Both treads down and tears in pieces,
And none can deliver.
Your hand shall be lifted against your adversaries,
And all your enemies shall be [ah]cut off.

10 “And it shall be in that day,” says the Lord,
“That I will cut[ai] off your horses from your midst
And destroy your chariots.
11 I will cut off the cities of your land
And throw down all your strongholds.
12 I will cut off sorceries from your hand,
And you shall have no soothsayers.
13 Your carved images I will also cut off,
And your sacred pillars from your midst;
You shall no more worship the work of your hands;
14 I will pluck your [aj]wooden images from your midst;
Thus I will destroy your cities.
15 And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury
On the nations that have not [ak]heard.”

God Pleads with Israel

Hear now what the Lord says:

“Arise, plead your case before the mountains,
And let the hills hear your voice.
Hear, O you mountains, the Lord’s complaint,
And you strong foundations of the earth;
For the Lord has a complaint against His people,
And He will [al]contend with Israel.

“O My people, what have I done to you?
And how have I wearied you?
Testify against Me.
For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
I redeemed you from the house of bondage;
And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
O My people, remember now
What Balak king of Moab counseled,
And what Balaam the son of Beor answered him,
From [am]Acacia Grove to Gilgal,
That you may know the righteousness of the Lord.”

With what shall I come before the Lord,
And bow myself before the High God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
With calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
[an]The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love [ao]mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Punishment of Israel’s Injustice

The Lord’s voice cries to the city—
Wisdom shall see Your name:

“Hear the rod!
Who has appointed it?
10 Are there yet the treasures of wickedness
In the house of the wicked,
And the short measure that is an abomination?
11 Shall I count pure those with the wicked scales,
And with the bag of deceitful weights?
12 For her rich men are full of violence,
Her inhabitants have spoken lies,
And their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.

13 “Therefore I will also make you sick by striking you,
By making you desolate because of your sins.
14 You shall eat, but not be satisfied;
[ap]Hunger shall be in your midst.
You may carry some away,[aq] but shall not save them;
And what you do rescue I will give over to the sword.

15 “You shall sow, but not reap;
You shall tread the olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
And make sweet wine, but not drink wine.
16 For the statutes of Omri are kept;
All the works of Ahab’s house are done;
And you walk in their counsels,
That I may make you a [ar]desolation,
And your inhabitants a hissing.
Therefore you shall bear the reproach of [as]My people.”

Sorrow for Israel’s Sins

Woe is me!
For I am like those who gather summer fruits,
Like those who glean vintage grapes;
There is no cluster to eat
Of the first-ripe fruit which my soul desires.
The faithful[at] man has perished from the earth,
And there is no one upright among men.
They all lie in wait for blood;
Every man hunts his brother with a net.

That they may successfully do evil with both hands—
The prince asks for gifts,
The judge seeks a bribe,
And the great man utters his evil desire;
So they scheme together.
The best of them is like a brier;
The most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge;
The day of your watchman and your punishment comes;
Now shall be their perplexity.

Do not trust in a friend;
Do not put your confidence in a companion;
Guard the doors of your mouth
From her who lies in your bosom.
For son dishonors father,
Daughter rises against her mother,
Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
A man’s enemies are the men of his own household.
Therefore I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
My God will hear me.

Israel’s Confession and Comfort

Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;
When I fall, I will arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The Lord will be a light to me.
I will bear the indignation of the Lord,
Because I have sinned against Him,
Until He pleads my case
And executes justice for me.
He will bring me forth to the light;
I will see His righteousness.
10 Then she who is my enemy will see,
And shame will cover her who said to me,
“Where is the Lord your God?”
My eyes will see her;
Now she will be trampled down
Like mud in the streets.

11 In the day when your walls are to be built,
In that day [au]the decree shall go far and wide.
12 In that day they[av] shall come to you
From Assyria and the [aw]fortified cities,
From the [ax]fortress to [ay]the River,
From sea to sea,
And mountain to mountain.
13 Yet the land shall be desolate
Because of those who dwell in it,
And for the fruit of their deeds.

God Will Forgive Israel

14 Shepherd Your people with Your staff,
The flock of Your heritage,
Who dwell [az]solitarily in a woodland,
In the midst of Carmel;
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
As in days of old.

15 “As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt,
I will show [ba]them wonders.”

16 The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;
They shall put their hand over their mouth;
Their ears shall be deaf.
17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent;
They shall crawl from their holes like [bb]snakes of the earth.
They shall be afraid of the Lord our God,
And shall fear because of You.
18 Who is a God like You,
Pardoning iniquity
And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?

He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in mercy.[bc]
19 He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all [bd]our sins
Into the depths of the sea.
20 You will give truth to Jacob
And [be]mercy to Abraham,
Which You have sworn to our fathers
From days of old.

Footnotes

  1. Micah 1:10 Lit. House of Dust
  2. Micah 1:11 Lit. Beautiful
  3. Micah 1:11 Lit. Going Out
  4. Micah 1:12 Lit. Bitterness
  5. Micah 1:12 Lit. was sick
  6. Micah 1:14 Lit. Possession of Gath
  7. Micah 1:14 Lit. Lie
  8. Micah 1:15 Lit. Inheritance
  9. Micah 1:15 Lit. Refuge
  10. Micah 2:1 Plan
  11. Micah 2:4 Lit. portion
  12. Micah 2:4 Lit. one turning back, an apostate
  13. Micah 2:5 Lit. one casting a surveyor’s line
  14. Micah 2:6 Or preach, lit. drip words
  15. Micah 2:6 Lit. to these
  16. Micah 2:6 Vg. He shall not take shame
  17. Micah 2:11 Or preach, lit. drip
  18. Micah 2:11 concerning
  19. Micah 2:12 Heb. Bozrah
  20. Micah 3:2 Lit. them
  21. Micah 3:5 All is well
  22. Micah 3:5 For those who feed them
  23. Micah 3:6 Prophetic revelation
  24. Micah 3:9 Lit. twist
  25. Micah 3:11 Lit. silver
  26. Micah 3:12 Lit. house
  27. Micah 4:3 pruning knives
  28. Micah 4:9 childbirth
  29. Micah 5:2 Lit. the days of eternity
  30. Micah 5:4 shepherd
  31. Micah 5:6 devastate
  32. Micah 5:7 wait
  33. Micah 5:7 delay
  34. Micah 5:9 destroyed
  35. Micah 5:10 destroy
  36. Micah 5:14 Heb. Asherim, Canaanite deities
  37. Micah 5:15 obeyed
  38. Micah 6:2 bring charges against
  39. Micah 6:5 Heb. Shittim, Num. 25:1Josh. 2:13:1
  40. Micah 6:7 My own child
  41. Micah 6:8 Or lovingkindness
  42. Micah 6:14 Or Emptiness or Humiliation
  43. Micah 6:14 Tg., Vg. You shall take hold
  44. Micah 6:16 Or object of horror
  45. Micah 6:16 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; LXX nations
  46. Micah 7:2 Or loyal
  47. Micah 7:11 Or the boundary shall be extended
  48. Micah 7:12 Lit. he, collective of the captives
  49. Micah 7:12 Heb. arey mazor, possibly cities of Egypt
  50. Micah 7:12 Heb. mazor, possibly Egypt
  51. Micah 7:12 The Euphrates
  52. Micah 7:14 Alone
  53. Micah 7:15 Lit. him, collective for the captives
  54. Micah 7:17 Lit. crawlers
  55. Micah 7:18 Or lovingkindness
  56. Micah 7:19 Lit. their
  57. Micah 7:20 Or lovingkindness

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