Day 135 – Thru the Bible
Today we start Micah and continue Psalms. Here is the overview video for Micah.
Video – Read Scripture: Micah
How does today’s video help you understand Micah better?
Micah 1 – Micah calls the peoples of the earth (v. 2), Israel’s corrupt leaders (3:1), and God’s covenant people (6:1) to hear the word of the Lord and repent of their sin. Israel faces judgment due to her unwillingness to hear and repent. Micah’s response to the well-deserved, punitive destruction coming upon God’s people was therefore to lament. This lament anticipates that of Jesus, who, even as He prophesied impending destruction, lamented that Jerusalem would not listen and repent (Luke 19:41–44). The mark of God’s true people in every age is that they hear His voice and repent, believing in Him (Luke 11:28; John 5:24; 6:29).
Is this the mark your life?
Micah 2 – Micah pronounces woe on oppressors who covet, plot, and seize the property of the poor. He is warning that they will be excluded from the “assembly” of those who are allotted an inheritance in the land when the faithful remnant returns from exile.
His warning extends beyond Micah’s day to all who persist in unrepentant wickedness and wrongly presume they will have an inheritance in the eternal kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:8–10; Galatians 5:19–21). To the presumptuous, the gospel pronounces judgment. To the humble, the gospel pronounces deliverance.
Unprincipled prophets told those who corrupted justice and oppressed the poor that, because they were Israelites, God would bless rather than judge them. Jesus, the true Prophet of God, pronounces blessing on those who reveal by their kindness and generosity toward the “least of these” that they belong to Him; and He pronounces judgment on those who reveal by their lack of Christlike love for the needy that they have no real relationship to Him (Matthew 25:31–46).
What we do reveals who we are. The outside reveals the inside (Matthew 7:17–18). The gospel of grace, when received with faith, transforms our hearts; which is the reflected in our behavior, and our desire to repent when we stray.
The hope Micah presents in the face of Israel’s coming destruction is a Shepherd who will gather His people safely to Himself (John 10:11–16). This Shepherd is also identified as a King who will go before His people in battle against their enemies, a King who is the Lord (Colossians 2:15; 1 John 3:8). This is a promise of sure deliverance and protection for the harassed people of God. In Jesus, the fulfillment of this hope for an unfailing Shepherd-King is decisively accomplished.
Yet He delivers His harassed people not from a position of might and power but by being harassed Himself by those who should have welcomed Him (Mark 14:1; John 5:17; 7:1). He was the Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep (John 10:11). Ultimately this led to death on a cross to suffer the judgment we deserve, and resurrection from the powers of sin and death to provide the victory we need. Through this Shepherd’s death, there is hope for the oppressed who trust in Him to save—as well as for oppressors who turn away from injustice, looking to Jesus for forgiveness and deliverance (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
How has the Gospel (Jesus) delivered you?
Micah 3 – The civil leaders of Judah were responsible to execute justice as a declaration and demonstration of Yahweh’s justice, but their cannibalistic exploitation of the poor and powerless revealed that they had no interest in walking in His ways. Their refusal to listen to God or to the cries of His people meant that God would not hear their own cries for help. Those who demonstrate by their refusal to trust and revere God that they are not His children cannot expect Him to answer their prayers (Psalm 66:18; 1 Peter 3:7; James 5:13).
Ultimately, through our sins and failures, we all give God reason not to listen to us. Yet there was One who had no sins or failures, who deserved to be heard by God—and wasn’t (Matthew 26:39). The sinless One’s prayer was unanswered, so that the humble sinner’s prayer can be answered.
Rather than calling the rulers to repentance, these “prophets-for-pay” falsely assured them of peace with God. But Micah confronted the rulers regarding their sin in order that they might confess and repent and thereby enjoy true peace with God. This peace would ultimately be made possible by Jesus’ reconciling work on the cross (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:14).
At one level, the coming destruction of Jerusalem and its temple because of Israel’s sin, followed by the city and temple being restored and drawing people of many nations, anticipates what will occur at the second coming of Jesus (see Isaiah 2:2). At another level, Micah’s words prefigured what would happen to the true Israel, Jesus Himself. On the cross, Jesus was “plowed as a field” and became “a heap of ruins” as He took upon Himself the judgment for His people’s sins. But His death was followed by resurrection and being lifted up to God’s right hand, from where He draws people from every nation to Himself (John 2:19; 12:32). By historians atoning work, Believers in Jesus from every nation are set free.
How do you celebrate your freedom by loving others?
Micah 4 – Micah envisions the “latter days” when Jerusalem will be raised up so that people from many nations will flow into it to be taught by God and to walk in His ways (Isaiah 2:1–2). In that day there will be abundant provision and restful security instead of war. This is the peace, safety, and abundance that Believers experience in part even now through faith in Jesus (Romans 5:1; 15:13) and that they will experience in full in the new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2–4, 25–27).
Ultimately, the Old Testament prophets can anticipate all nations flowing to Jerusalem because, in the New Testament, Jesus sends Believers out from Jerusalem “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8) to gather them into His kingdom.
Though their enemies are coming to destroy their cities, defile their temple, and humiliate their king, God is going to raise up for Himself a King in Israel. This ruler will be born, not in a place of power but in the unimpressive town of Bethlehem. He will be the fulfillment of the ancient promises—the seed (or “offspring”) of the woman (Genesis 3:15), the blessing for all of the families of the earth (Genesis 12:3), the son of David (2 Samuel 7:12–13). Yet while born in obscurity and killed in ignominy, this King has been raised in glory (Hebrews 8:1; 12:2) and will one day return in decisive triumph as a conquering and victorious King (Revelation 19:11–21).
How does this legacy and future, in Jesus, give you an assured hope for today and tomorrow?
Psalm 130 – This individual Psalm of lament focuses on the psalmist’s own sin but then generalizes at the Psalm’s conclusion to celebrate the forgiveness God brings to redeem Israel of all its iniquities. Today this Psalm of both narrow and wide deliverance brings great hope and healing to sinners individually and to the people of God corporately.
Given the covenant commitment of God to His people, one might wonder if there was something about the people, Israel, which elicited God’s favor. Perhaps they were more righteous than other nations, and that’s why He took them as His own people. Nothing could be further from the truth! The fact is, every individual Israelite, and all of them taken together, must acknowledge this truth: “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” The implied answer, obviously, is “no one—not even one!” How remarkable, then, is the verse that follows: “But with You there is forgiveness, that You may be feared” (i.e., be given proper regard; v. 4). Both personal and corporate forgiveness is celebrated as the wondrous and gracious gift of God to an undeserving people.
But notice what this forgiveness produces. Those who bask in God’s merciful forgiveness are to fear God. That is, those redeemed by grace walk in His ways with joyous reverence and a determination to turn from evil. They are marked by waiting tirelessly and expectantly on the Lord, and they place their hope in God and in Him alone. What sinners we are, and what grace God has shown—ultimately and lavishly expressed in Jesus.
Unmerited favor—that is what we have received in Jesus. How do you walk in His favor in your everyday life?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s video and reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.
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