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MICAH 7:18-20

FINISHING WELL!

A POWERFUL SERMON ON THE MARVELOUS GRACE OF GOD!

"Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old." Micah 7:18-20

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 18:

Micah's ministry, it appears, bettered with age. His preaching, no doubt running parallel to his living, deepened and matured with time.

Many believe we can see such spiritual growth even in the great Apostle Paul's life and preaching.

If you're having trouble with this concept, think back to the life of Jacob. God even changed his name in accordance to his spiritual progress! At first he was the "supplanter," that's what Jacob means, really implying a "crook" or "thief!" Then, as the Spirit of God molded and shaped him, he began to live like "Israel," his new name! That is, one who is a "prince" of God! Or, as an old preacher said, one who is "princed" by God, really meaning "ruled" by God!

Yes, Micah chapter 7, its last paragraph anyway, is absolutely wonderful! Here it is again, word for word. "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old."

Talk about saving the best for last!

The icing on the cake!

Today we can only study the first two verbs.

But first, the name of "God" used here is "El," a shortened form of Elohiym. Basically this means "strength, power, might!" It is usually plural, emphasizing the Trinity we believe. But here it's singular.

So, our God is "mighty," even "almighty" or omnipotent, but also He is gracious and loving and kind and forgiving!

What a combination!

Strength and kindness, a rare combination!

"Who" is "miy" in Hebrew, an interrogative pronoun used almost always of persons! A different pronoun is used of things. So says my lexicon anyway. God is a Person! A Divine Person! The First Person of the Godhead!

And "Who is like unto thee," the question at hand, can be answered!

No one!

God is unique!

Theologians today say He is the "Wholly Other!"

I mean that respectfully and reverently too!

"Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?"

The Lord can deal with both our "iniquities" and "transgressions." This is an interesting combination of words.

Watch.

God judges such things! "Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes." Psalm 89:32

Job knew how important there were also. "I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me." Job 33:9

How's this for a an Old Testament view of forgiveness? "My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up mine iniquity." Job 14:17

Now Job is confused! He's asking God a question. "And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be." Job 7:21

Here are our two words, classic Pentateuch! "The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation." Numbers 14:18

But, perhaps greatest of all, here's the foundation from which this combination has spread! "And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin ...." Exodus 34:6-7

Even in their plural forms, this pair sticks together!

All the way back to the Day of Atonement! "And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness." Leviticus 16:21-22

The plight of mankind, and then comes God! "Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away." Psalm 65:3

Confession, real and sincere, utilizes these expressions. "For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; in transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood." Isaiah 59:12-13

Then, lastly, surely the most important reference of all! "But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5 is talking about Jesus!

But, good news!

God "pardons" our iniquity! This verb, "nasa" in Hebrew, means "to lift up" and take away, far away in this case!  In our context it's a participle too, suggesting continuous action! By the way, the noun "iniquity" is "avon," pronounced a-vone' they say, derived from the verb "to twist, to make crooked, to pervert!" That's what sin is!

And God gloriously "passes" by our transgression! "Abar" means "to pass over!" Or more accurately, "to cross over!" It is used when a major "transition" is to occur, the textbooks say!

I know this. When God saved my soul He "crossed over" from being Someone I dreaded to being Someone I love, adore, worship! Incidentally, "transgression" is "pesha," meaning "to break away, to rebel, to apostasize!" It can, more mildly, also mean "to quarrel." In our King James Bible it is occasionally "to revolt!"

What a wonderful beginning to this Text! Micah is preaching well. He finishes like Paul, having fought a good fight and having run (and completed) the race and having defended the Truth!

Praise the Lord!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

A "remnant" is just a small piece of what's left of the whole entity! "Sheeriyth" means "the rest," or the "residue."

No matter how bad thngs get, God always saves Himself a "remnant!" Jesus asked in Luke 18:8, "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" He knew the answer!

Yes!

A remnant!

And "heritage" is "nachalah," one's "possession." His property, portion, share, it's that kind of idea. The Hebrew verb "nachal" means "to acquire."

 

 

LESSON 2, STILL VERSE 18:

The good news continues!

Of God also, it is also said, "He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy."

The verb "retaineth" is "chazaq," meaning "to be strong, firm or hard." Others say, "to fasten upon, to seize." The first time our verb is used in the Bible, in Genesis 19:16, the angels who had come to remove Lot and his family from doomed Sodom, "laid hold" on Lot's lingering hands to hasten their leaving.

The noun "anger" is "aph," the picturesque word for "nostril!" Or nose or even face! To get a better idea here, let's study the root verb "anaph," meaning "to breathe hard," thus "to be enraged!"

Really angry!

"For ever" merely translates "ad," from "adah," indicating constant advancement, continuance! Infinity!

God judges in holy wrath!

But that is his "strange act," Isaiah says! "For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act." The verb "be wroth" here in Isaiah 28:21 translates "ragaz," literally "to tremble or quake" in rage!

God's nature is Grace!

God is Love!

But He too is Holy!

"Because" is "kiy," a particle indicating "causal" relationship. The cause of God's tempered anger is His underlying Mercy!

The verb "delighted" is "chaphetzs," that is, "to take pleasure" in something. To "be inclined" toward a situation, "to bend" in someone's direction! Amazing!

And "mercy" is "chesed," or as some spell it, just "hesed." It's "kindness, favor," even "pity" at times. It hails from a verb meaning "to bend down," literally what God did when Jesus was incarnated two thousand years ago! God come down to earth! Lowering Himself to die for lost humanity! Here's mercy, Pauline style: "Christ Jesus, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." What beautiful lowliness Philippians 2:5-8 presents!

Micah is preaching!

Grace!

Few words, heavy meaning!

Herein is the Gospel encapsulated!

Look at it all together again: "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."

Praise the Lord!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 19:

These words, Micah 7:19, are not "wishful thinking!"

They are inspired of God, and therefore inerrant.

The Jewish people herein can take great hope.

Still talking about God, Micah preaches: "He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."

The God Who had chastened Israel so severely, ruthlessly nearly, will "turn again" toward His chosen people, in compassion!

In fact, when Israel reads these words during the Tribulation, the Time of Jacob's trouble, Daniel's 70th week, they will be exceedingly thankful to hear of God's "turning" toward them in love!

The verb "turn again" is "shub," several times meaning "to restore," 39 times to be precise. God is changing His tactics. Israel by then will have repented! Grace offered is now Grace received!

Kindness can flow like a river!

The nature of this verb is such that it implies continuous action. God does not just do this for a day or two!

"Shub" is originally used (twice) in Genesis 3:19. There it refers to death! "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

But now, when God "turns again," it is for life!

By the way, "shub" is the first word in the Verse in Hebrew, giving it great prominence! One must emphasize God's lovingkindness here.

"To have compassion" translates "racham," literally meaning "to love," but in this sense, "to fondle." That's exactly what one of my Hebrew dictionaries says. Plus, the verb is a piel imperfect, intensive love, on-going love! "Everlasting," Jeremiah says!

Amen!

"Rehem," a closely related word, in Hebrew means "womb." Thus "compassion" is that endearing feeling that emanates from deep within a person! A "gut" feeling, the country folks used to say. Or, "from the bottom of my heart!"

Then Micah talks about "iniquities." He compares these, apparently, to one's "enemies!"

The noun for "iniquities" is spelled "avon," meaning "perversity, depravity, fault, mischief, sin." Its verbal root is "avah," really "to make crooked!" Sin as the very opposite of God's Will!

But God will "subdue" those things! "Kabash," only found 15 times in Scripture, means "to tread down!" To subjugate! To violate! To bring into bondage! To "keep under!" To force!

It's first Bible use, Genesis 1:28, speaks for itself. "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

In noun form, "kebesh," our word, means "footstool!" But only once, 2nd Chronicles 9:18.

This is a powerful metaphor!

Sin has met its Match!

Then we notice the next verb, "wilt cast," which is "shalak" in Hebrew. It means "to throw, hurl, fling." Here's "shalak" the second time it appears in Scripture: Joseph's brothers and their wicked plan: "Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams." Genesis 37:20

God, throwing our sins into the depths of the ocean, is a lovely picture!

"Depths" is "metzsolah," the "bottom" of something. The first use of "depths" in the Bible concerns Pharaoh's army being destroyed in the Sea! "The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone." Exodus 15:5

God can not only disperse things in the sea. He can collect them from that dark place as well! "The Lord said, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea." Psalm 68:23

Yes, God works in those deep places too! "These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep." Palm 107:24

The little word "sea" is spelled "yam" in Hebrew, being from a root verb meaning "to roar!"

In the Old Testament the whole concept of the "sea" can imply wickedness and ungodliness! Listen to Isaiah: "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." Isaiah 57:20-21

Overall, what a beautiful picture of a gracious God Micah has just drawn!

What preaching this little Minor Prophet does! Yet all his ministry he stands under the vast shadow of Isaiah, the Major Prophet!

My point: little preachers can preach BIG Messages!

And little preachers can proclaim a BIG God!

In fact, little preachers may be "little" only in their own eyes! Truthfully, God may not have any "little" preachers!

Now "Faithfulness," that's "BIG" to God!

"Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." Note that 1st Corinthians 4:2 said "faithful," not "prominent!"

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Just a couple more quick thoughts! The word "sins" above, those things God just cast into the sea, is "chattaah," the "missing" or "forfeiting" or "loss" of a great gift!

And concerning the depths of the sea, I just checked and the scientists say at its deepest point, the ocean bottom is 35,840 feet down! Seven miles! In the Pacific Ocean, in the Mariana Trench, near the island of Guam. If the earth's highest mountain, Mount Everest, could be dropped into the sea at that point, it would be totally submerged with still over a mile of water on top!

I as a boy heard an evangelist tell a sweet little story about a poor country man, ignorant to the ways of the world, who first learned about such depths. He shouted all over the place, thanking God for burying his sins in that inaccessible hole!

Amen!

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 20:

God keeps His Word!

That's how Micah ends his public Ministry, by preaching this great Truth. God is faithful!

"Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old." Micah 7:20

God is the Addressee here, He is the "Thou" of this verse. Micah, talking to God as he preaches!

I once read in Charles Spurgeon's autobiography that he did the same thing! Often as he was preaching, simultaneously praying!

You can do more than one thing at a time! Especially when the Holy Spirit is on the scene!

The verb "perform" is "nathan" in Hebrew, their common word for "giving." This also is the first word in the Verse in the Hebrew Text. That gives it greater importance, much more emphasis.

God's "gift" to us human beings, well, one of His innumerable Gifts anyway, is that He keeps His Word! He honors His promises. He cannot lie, so says Titus 1:2. "It's impossible," chimes Hebrews 6:18, "for God to lie!"

Among Joshua's last words: "Ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof." Amen to Joshua 23:14

This historical note also is amazing! "There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass." Joshua 21:45

The noun "truth" is spelled "emeth," meaning "faithfulness and firmness and sureness and reliability and stability and continuance," as well as "truth!" Verity! Assurance!

Look!

One of God's gifts to us ... Truth!

This fact leads to all kinds of thoughts! John 17:17 where Jesus said to His Father: "Thy word is truth." Or John 14:6, where Jesus claimed: "I am the way, the truth, and the life." The Bible is a gift! Jesus is a gift, The Gift!

God also, implied elliptically in our verse, "gives" something to Abraham! That gift is called "mercy!" In Hebrew ""chesed" or "hesed" means "kindness or lovingkindness or pity or favour or goodness." Often preachers remind us that "mercy" deals with human "misery," alleviating it. While "grace" deals with "guilt," forgiving it. The first term is personal; the second, legal or forensic!

Why is God giving such things?

Truth and Mercy!

Because He has previously promised such! He has even "sworn" it! The verb "shaba" means "to adjure, to take an oath, to vow." Literally it is taken from the verb that means "to seven" oneself! "Sheba" means "seven" in Micah's vocabulary. God, as it were, said seven times that He would give truth and mercy to Abraham and his posterity!

And God always keeps His Word!

Psalm 15, in giving its twelve or so traits of the faithful man, the godly man who will never "fall," lists those who keep their word, even if it costs them dearly. "He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not." Psalm 15:4

Listen to God describe Himself. "And the LORD passed by before him (Moses) and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin ...." Exodus 34:6-7

Add Psalm 105:8-10 ... "He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant."

Now Luke 1:54, Mary the Virgin ... "He (the Lord) hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever." Amen!

John the Baptist's Father ... "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us ...." Luke 1:72-74

The homiletics teachers often encourage Preachers to end their sermons on a "high" note!

Positively!

Victoriously!

Confidently in Jesus our Saviour!

Well, Micah sure did!

Paul often did too! Here's one of his endings, "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." 1st Corinthians 9:15, at the end of Paul's great resurrection Sermon!

Amen!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, MICAH ... THE LITTLE PREACHER WITH A BIG IMPACT!

The historical record is clear!

Micah, who preached during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah, was bold and daring in telling the Truth!

Listen to Him! "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. They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. 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. 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." Micah 3:9-12

And what did the King do?

Did such bold preaching upset him?

No!

Not in a negative way!

Hezekiah repented!

He righted himself with Almighty God!

And, most pertinently of all in today's lesson, the King did not lay a hand on the abrasive Prophet of God!

No punishment for telling the truth!

In fact, in part anyway, Revival came to Judah because of Micah's preaching and Hezekiah's obeying!

Now, turn the pages of time until Jehoiakim sits on the throne of Judah. Just over a hundred years later, if I've figured correctly.

Micah is now dead, in Paradise.

Jeremiah is God's Man on the job!

And Jeremiah preached just as boldly as did Micah, or any other Prophet!

But he, the weeping prophet, lived in constant danger! Kings and nobles and politicians and judges and even priests hated him!

Here's one specific event. Read it with me. "In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD'S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word." Jeremiah 26:1-2 begins what's commonly called Jeremiah's "Temple Sermon."

Here's part of what he preached: "Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, to hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened; Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth." Jeremiah 26:4-6, Shiloh was in ruins!

Threatening, but true!

God will destroy the House of Jehoiakim, the whole dynasty! And Jerusalem! And the whole Country!

What reaction will this evoke?

"Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die." Jeremiah 26:8

There's more: "Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears." Jeremiah 26:11

Jeremiah threatened!

Still, Jeremiah would not relent! "Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard. Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you." Jeremiah 26:12-13, preaching against sin!

Talk about courage, listen to Jeremiah again: "As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you. But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears." Jeremiah 26:14-15

Things are getting "hot!"

But, wait, someone is speaking in Jeremiah's behalf! "Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets; This man is not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God." Jeremiah 26:16

But will they be persuasive?

Maybe yes, maybe no!

Then it happens!

Micah, dead over a hundred years by now, speaks! He does so through his writing of course.

See the logic here! Micah just may have spared Jeremiah's life! "Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying, Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls." Jeremiah 26:17-19

Wow!

Micah, still impacting Israel more than a century after his death!

And Jeremiah was spared! He preached for several more years in fact! Partly because of Micah!

I think I shall no longer call Micah a "little" Prophet!

He may have just overshadowed Isaiah!

God can use anyone!

Even you!

Even me!

Praise His Name! 

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, MICAH AND ISAIAH!

Some of the older commentators unreservedly taught that Micah and Isaiah were good friends, compatriots in a difficult time!

Perhaps so, but the Bible does not say that, not directly anyway.

All we can tell definitively is that they labored at the same time in Judah's history, and lived within fifty miles of each other.

However, this much is for sure. Micah is the minor prophet! Isaiah is the Major Prophet!

Micah ministered in the shadows, Isaiah in the spotlight!

Micah contains only 7 chapters, but Isaiah has 66. What a difference!

Micah foretells Jesus' Birth, the very city, Bethlehem, five hundred years before Mary and Joseph arrived there. Isaiah, while certainly talking about the Virgin Birth of our Lord, focuses mainly on Jesus' Death on Calvary! Isaiah 53 is classic!

Micah is concerned largely with the country folks. Isaiah is a Court Preacher, familiar with the Palace and Temple and Royalty! "In the year King Uzziah died ...," dates Isaiah!

Micah preached about a bunch of "nobodies!" Non-entities! Common people! Isaiah circulates with the wealthy and influential and prestigious!

Micah is the "unquoted" Preacher, very little commonly being know of him. We preachers are largely "Micah illiterate!" Whereas Isaiah is the Prince of Prophets! Eloquent! Everyone reading here today can quote by heart at least two or three verses from Isaiah's pen, if not more! Mr. "quotable!"

We know next-to-nothing about Micah, personally! His biography is nearly non-existent! But we've met Isaiah's wife, the "prophetess" he lovingly nicknamed her! And we've met his sons Mahershalalhashbaz and Shearjashub too. His biography is quite interesting.

Wow!

In sum, Micah would be categorized a "little preacher" by today's religious crowd.  And Isaiah? Well, he's a "big preacher!" Make that a "Big Preacher." Indeed!

And maybe that's why God laid this Text on my heart. It's from a little preacher, true. But it's about a BIG GOD!

Little preachers, preachers like me, preachers like some of you, merely live in the "shadows" of the Giants! Of course many of the "Big Men of God" have gone to Heaven now. And those who remain, thank God for them all, must fight and serve in the more important arenas. That we understand!

But to some little unknown, laboring in an obscure place, maybe even discouraged Man of God, I say to you today ... "Keep preaching the Word!"

Stay faithful!

After all, you, like Micah may one day wax eloquent and proclaim ... "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old." These are Micah's last recorded words, Micah 7:18-20.

Way to go, Micah!

Great Preaching!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, MICAH LIVES ON!

Watch!

This is thrilling!

John the Baptist, a true Prophet of God indeed, was thought by Herod to have been raised from the dead ... and still rebuking sin! "At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, and said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him." Matthew 14:1-2

Then Elisha the Prophet, some time after his death, was still associated with some mighty acts too! "And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet." 2nd Kings 13:20-21

And when Jesus asked His Disciples that question concerning His true identity, their answers were quite revealing as well! "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:13-16 reveals to us another Prophet whose miraculous return to earth would not have surprised the populace of Jesus' Day! That's Jeremiah!

My point is this, these Men of God we call "Prophets" just do not die! Oh, their bodies cease breathing and hearts quit pumping, but their influence, their impact, continues!

This is so with Micah too!

Let me try to show you what I mean.

We recently learned that Micah, the "little" preacher, had an impact on Jeremiah's life! In fact, Jeremiah might would have been killed had not a few princes remembered Micah's preaching! With the mob shouting for Jeremiah's death, "Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets; This man is not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God. Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying, Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls." Jeremiah 26:16-19, this dramatic event, occurred just over 100 years after Micah's death!

I wonder if any of my sermons will still be changing people and influencing actions a hundred years after I've gone to Heaven?

One hundred years, a whole century!

Then ... Micah preached about Jesus' Birth! Even naming the city! "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Micah 5:2 does not occur, literally, the Virgin Birth, for 700 more years! Seven hundred years after Micah is buried!

Think of it, 100 years!

Then 700 years!

But wait!

To top them all, Micah preached about the coming Millennium! The Kingdom rule of Jesus!  A thousand glorious years! Listen: "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it." Micah 1:1-4 is Prophecy that, when it happens, will have occurred at least twenty-seven hundred years after Micah's death! That's 2,700 years ... and counting! As of this writing at least! During the millennium folks will be saying something like this, "Long ago Micah told us about these glorious days! And he was right!"

The preacher who lived in the "shadows," still changing lives and being validated as a genuine Prophet ... 100 years later, then 700 years later, and then again, at least 2,700 years later!

I think that hereafter I'll drop that "small preacher" concept! Or at least ... not put Micah into that category!

Oh, the power of the Word of God!

It is eternal!

Familiarize yourself with this verse! "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." And we all say a great big "Amen" to Psalm 119:89 here, a verse in the "lamed" section of the Psalm. And "lamed" is the character of the Hebrew alphabet that appears to be a "goad!" That is, a "prod" to help us learn!

Thank God for Micah and the Word he preached!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

Micah, what a Prophet of God! We have now reached the end of this series of Bible study lessons ... and the end of the Book of Micah. Stay "in" the Word of God! You will never regret it!

                                                                     

 

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