December 15, 2021

Micah 1:1–4:13

Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos, who was given a message to deliver to both Israel and Judah.  If you’ve been reading through the prophets I’m sure you’ve noticed that the message doesn’t change too much. God’s people had sinned persistently and defiantly. BECAUSE they’re God’s children He must chasten them, but He will not fail to change them in the process…and in the end, they will be restored – even exalted in the kingdom to come.

Micah warns that God was on His way, coming out of His place to tread down the high places of the earth.

Micah 1:5 (NLT) “And why is this happening? Because of the rebellion of Israel— yes, the sins of the whole nation. Who is to blame for Israel’s rebellion? Samaria, its capital city! Where is the center of idolatry in Judah? In Jerusalem, its capital!”

Micah loves the people and therefore mourns their judgment (Micah 1:8). He clearly prophecies the calamity of their captivity.

In Micah 2 he begins by describing people who actually plan out their wickedness. It’s one thing to stumble into sin, it’s quite another to strategize it. They seized lands, houses, and inheritances. Imagine the heartache, the injustice! 

And they wouldn’t listen to God who spoke through His prophets.

Micah 2:6 (NLT) “Don’t say such things,” the people respond. “Don’t prophesy like that. Such disasters will never come our way!”

Micah 2:7 (NLT) “Should you talk that way, O family of Israel? Will the LORD’s Spirit have patience with such behavior? If you would do what is right, you would find my words comforting.”

The people wouldn’t listen to the true prophets, and were ripped-off by the false prophets – who took their robes, their garments, even evicting them from their homes. There was no other option but for God to judge, for the people were lobbying for their own message.

Micah 2:11 (NLT) “Suppose a prophet full of lies would say to you, ‘I’ll preach to you the joys of wine and alcohol!’ That’s just the kind of prophet you would like!”

And yet…in spite of all this, God promised to regather and restore Israel (Micah 2:12-13). Yes, the day will come when King Jesus rules from Jerusalem.

We discover in Micah 3 that the rulers were rotten. After the nation was divided, the northern kingdom never had a good ruler; the southern kingdom  DID have good rulers at times, but the people vacillated. Society, like today had reached a point to where they actually hated good and loved evil (Micah 2:2). They were ripe for judgment.

The overall message of the prophets and priests was peace – “No need to listen to the likes of Micah – judgment is not on the horizon they said.” The people preferred the message of the false prophets, and the false prophets knew it, which is why they spoke it,  it was prophets for profit, a message for money – how tragic that ministries are sometimes run that way, “It’s all about the money.”

In Micah 3 he informs the people that in light of their sins, God would not hear their prayers, and He would not respond.

Micah 3:4 (NKJV) “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.”

Micah 3:7b (NKJV)  “…for there is no answer from God.”

But…even in wrath, God remembers mercy and we read in Micah 4 about the Lord’s reign in Zion. This is a prophecy regarding the Millennial Kingdom.

How we long for the day when the nations flock  to the mountain of the LORD to hear His ways. How we long for the days when swords are turned into plowshares, weapons and training for war are no longer necessary, there will be peace on earth when Jesus reigns.

God will gather His people, the remnant of Israel and lift her up for all people to see, and Jerusalem will be the capital of the world – the place where King Jesus sets up His throne.

Until that day there will be excruciating pain for Israel, like a woman in birth pangs. Micah prophecies not only the judgment of Israel, but the judgment of Judah, carried away captive  to Babylon – but God would redeem them (Micah 4:10).

In the last of the last days many nations will come against Israel, but these nation are greatly mistaken, now knowing the plans of God, nor the love that God has for His people. He will gather the enemies of Israel together to be beaten and trampled like sheaves of grain on a threshing floor (Micah 4:12).

May we never forget Genesis 12:3.

Revelation 6:1-17

Back in Revelation 5, no one was worthy to open or look at the seals with the exception of Jesus Christ, who prevailed and proved Himself worthy through His incarnation and redemption of mankind (John 5:27).

The seals are now opened in chapter 6.

When the first seal was opened the first of four horsemen were unleashed upon the earth. The first horse is white, and some might mistake the one riding the horse as Jesus, who at the end of the Tribulation Period returns on a white horse (Revelation 19:11), but this is actually the antichrist. He “conquers” the world, through a pseudo-peace. 

Warren Wiersbe summarizes it this way, “The world ruler (Antichrist) begins his conquest of the nations by peacefully taking control (Revelation 6:1–2). He has a weapon but no ammunition; and men are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ (1 Thessalonians 5:1–3). Satan usually declares peace before he declares war, so beware his offers.”

When the second seal is opened, the true colors of the antichrist come out – this horse is no longer white, but fiery red, and peace is taken from the earth, a world-wide-war begins, the enemy starts swinging a “great” sword.

When the third seal is opened, scarcity and famine hit hard at the arrival of a black horse, the scales are scandalous! Imagine paying a day’s wages for only one quart of wheat, or three quarts of barley – (barley was the poor man’s food). It’s interesting also how a declaration is made during this time, “…do not harm the oil and the wine.” This may be in reference to the luxuries still enjoyed by the rich.

When the fourth seal is opened, judgment arrives on a pale horse and the rider’s name is Death, followed by another rider named Hades. This is the agenda of the enemy, to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) – his goal is not simply death physically, but death spiritually, home in Hades which will eventually be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14). The sentence of this seal allows death in many forms, through famine, violence, and even by the beast. One-fourth of the world perishes at this point.

The fifth seal reveals those who have been martyred for Christ, most likely during the tribulation period, and theirs is a cry for justice. Much like us today, we long for the time when evil will end, and justice is served, but we must “rest a little while longer” until all those who will be martyred and saved is completed.

The sixth seal brings many cosmic disturbances – the black sun, and red moon may refer to atmospheric changes that distort our view, but there’s no mistaking the “stars” that fall on the earth as meteor showers; the earthquakes begin to level mountains and cover islands. It doesn’t matter if one is rich or if one rules, they can run but they cannot hide, the wrath of the Lamb has arrived. The wrath of the Lamb sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Jesus offers His love but cannot violate His holiness. How do you want to face Jesus? As the Lamb, or as the Lion? As your Savior or as your Judge?

Psalm 134:1-3

This is the final Psalm of Ascents (pilgrim Psalms).

Here we have the pilgrim encourage the priests and Levites who kept watch at the Temple, to bless the LORD, to lift their hands to God.

As we lift our hands to the Lord we worship.

As we lift our hands to the Lord we surrender.

As we lift our hands to the Lord, we’re like children ready to receive from our Father, which is the final prayer of the pilgrim for the priests.

Psalm 134:3 (NKJV) “The LORD who made heaven and earth bless you from Zion!”

Proverbs 30:1-4

Proverbs 30:1 (NKJV) “The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, his utterance. This man declared to Ithiel—to Ithiel and Ucal:”

The identity of Agur is unknown. All we know is his name literally means “gathered.” He’s the son of Jakeh, whose name means blameless, if that has any significance. Most would simply identify Agur as a man moved by the Holy Spirit to give us a great word of wisdom here in Proverbs 30…but that wisdom wasn’t of himself.

Proverbs 30:2 (NKJV) “Surely I am more stupid than any man, and do not have the understanding of a man. 3 I neither learned wisdom nor have knowledge of the Holy One.”

Now, in all honesty this s-word (stupid) is not a word we use in our home…but, I must admit, apart from God, this is great description of what I am.

Apparently I’m in pretty good company, Agur, one of the authors in the Bible believes it about himself as well. This is all of us in our natural/fallen state.

He’s not talking academically, he’s speaking spiritually, honestly. Interestingly. Agur is not the only Bible author who saw himself like this. Asaph said the same thing in: 

Psalm 73:22 (NKJV) “I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.”

I believe this type of honest humility is a precedent to any type of spiritual maturity. If you’re a “know it all,” who’s arrived, why would you strive for more wisdom?

I have not mastered wisdom, nor do I know all there is to know about God. As a matter of fact, have you discovered that the more you know, the more you realize how much you DON’T know?

Agur had an awesome question about a certain Someone:

Proverbs 30:4 (NKJV) “Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if you know?”

This has always been an absolutely amazing section of Scripture to me. Who…descended from heaven? Who…ascended to heaven? Who made and holds the wind? Who sets all walls for the waters? Who made and established this earth we live on? What’s His name? What’s His SON’S name? 

How did Agur know He even had a Son? 

Here we have clear implications of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and agent of Creation. the Bible says this about Him in:

John 1:3 (NKJV) “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

The answer is Yahweh. His son’s name is Jesus.

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