Sinful people need to see their sin. They need to take a good honest look in the mirror and see themselves as God sees them. There are many people who are "P _______ in their own E ___________" (Proverbs 30:12) but they are really filthy and not washed. In the first part of Chapter 7, Micah takes an honest look at the nation of Israel and at the people who make up that nation:
As you look into the mirror and see yourself, what do you see? As you look into the mirror of Gods Word and see yourself, what do you see? How do your friends see you? How do your parents see you? How does God see you (1 Samuel 16:7)? As you look at SOCIETY (the people around you) what do you see? If Isaiah were in our country today, do you think he would cry out, "AH SINFUL NATION" (see Isaiah 1:4)?
In Micah 7:1 the prophet describes an orchard after the harvest. ALL OF THE GOOD FRUIT
HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY! A person may come to this orchard desiring good fruit or a bunch of
grapes, but he wont find any! They were once there, but they are there no longer.
The meaning of this is found in verse 2. Micah came looking for good and upright men.
Did he find any (Micah 7:2)? ______
The nation was lacking good men:
Were the RULERS (princes) good men (Micah 3:1-2,9)? ________
Were the PROPHETS good men (Micah 3:5)? _____
Were the PRIESTS good men (Micah 3:11)? _____
Read Psalm 12:1. Why does the Psalmist cry out to God and say, "HELP LORD!" ? ___ ________________________________________________ Micah cried out to God also! Micah said, "and there is ______________ upright among men" (Micah 7:2).
How many upright people does God find on the earth today? See Romans 3:10: "As it is written, There is ______________________, no, not __________." None of us are righteous except those of us who are RIGHTEOUS IN GODS RIGHTEOUS SON (Romans 3:21-24)!
God has set up human government for the good of all mankind (Genesis 9:1-7; Romans 13:1-4). In the days of the prophet Micah the government of Israel (the northern kingdom) and Judah (the southern kingdom) had become sinful and corrupt. This corruption is seen in Micah 7:3. Here we see that both the p___________ (RULER) and the J______________ were doing evil. They were taking BRIBES. Instead of doing what was right for the country, they would do what they were told to do by those who paid them the most money. Instead of doing what was right, they did whatever would bring them the most personal gain.
Micah says that even the best of the leaders is not very good. Even the best is like a thorn bush or a brier (a thorny plant)--see Micah 7:4. Because of their wickedness God must VISIT them, and He will visit them not to bless them but to judge them.
Not only has God set up human governments, but God has also set up and established the family unit. God established MARRIAGE (Genesis chapter 2) and God established the family that would come out of the marriage relationship. Strong families tend to make a strong nation. When the family relationships begin to crumble, then the nation begins to crumble as well.
In the days when Micah lived the families were not doing very well at all. In the 10 Commandments children are told to HONOR their parents (see Exodus 20:12). Were the children doing this (Micah 7:6)? ____ Family members and others who may live in our house should be some of the closest friends that we have on earth. But for many living in Micahs day this was not so: "a mans ____________________ are the men of his own house" (Micah 7:6).
The Lord Jesus referred to this verse in Micah once when He was teaching His disciples. Read Matthew 10:34-37. Did the Lord come to send peace or a sword? _______________ (The home should be a place of peace, but in some cases it is WAR!) The Lord was speaking about a SEPARATION that often takes place between family members when one or more of the members in the family become followers of Christ. For example, if a young Jewish person or Muslim person or Mormon person becomes a Christian, his parents might actually DISOWN him and say, "WE NO LONGER CONSIDER YOU AS OUR SON!" Sometimes parents will let their children get all involved with drugs and drinking and sex and many other things, and all of this does not seem to bother them too much. But when their children trust Jesus Christ as Saviour, this is when they get really upset!
What should a young person do if he should find himself in a situation where his
parents hate the Christ he loves?
(What should a young person do?)
(Remember, it is more important for the parents to see the gospel lived, than to hear the gospel spoken)
What about those young people that have Christian parents? Should they also be showing a changed and a changing life? Why?
A friend should be someone that we can TRUST, but in Micah 7:5 we read, "TRUST YE ________ IN A _____________." In fact, the verse even says that a man should not even trust his wife (her that lieth in thy bosom). In the days when Micah lived, these close relationships were crumbling. A person could not even trust his own family members! Sin can ruin even the holiest relationships and the closest ties among men.
How strong are the families in our nation today? Has SIN been ruining family units today? Are close relationships between wife and husband, father and son, mother and daughter, etc. beginning TO CRUMBLE?
As Micah looked at the leaders of his day (the government), there was not much hope. As Micah looked at the families of his day, there was not much hope. God must VISIT the nation in judgment (Micah 7:4). IS THERE ANY HOPE AT ALL? IS THERE ANY PLACE THAT MICAH CAN LOOK TO FIND HOPE AND COMFORT?
In Micah 7:7 we learn that the prophet looked in the right direction to find comfort and hope:
Micah knew that God would hear him: "my God will __________ me" (Micah 7:7). God wants men to HEAR HIM (Micah 1:2)1 And God is ready and eager to HEAR and HELP people like Micah whose hearts are right and who are seeking God. Will God hear the cries of sinners (see Micah 3:1-4 and especially verse 4)? _____ The believers contact can be corrected (God wants to make contact with the believer but sometimes sin gets in the way--see Isaiah 59:1-3) and the believers comfort can be claimed (as we fix our eyes on the God of our salvation, as Micah did).
In Micah 7:8, who is told not to REJOICE? _________________________________ The nation of Israel had many enemies (such as the Assyrians and the Babylonians). These people needed to understand that the same God who brings judgment is the same God who can also bring blessing. The God who punishes His people is the same God who can deliver His people. The God who brings sorrow to His people is the same God who can bring joy! Just because Israel has fallen, does this mean that they will never rise (Micah 7:8)? _______ Just because they are in darkness, does this mean they will never be in the light (Micah 7:8)? ______ The God of Israel is the GOD OF ALL C______________ (2 Corinthians 1:3). In God there is rejoicing and in God there is safety and satisfaction.
Micah said, "I will __________ the INDIGNATION of the LORD" (Micah 7:9). The word INDIGNATION means "boiling anger." God is angry because of mans sin. This word refers to Gods DISPLEASURE: the action God chooses to take by His judgment which honors Gods Person and places the believer in the Light and RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD. Micah was willing to accept and to bear this INDIGNATION. He was willing to say, "I will submit to Gods judgment. I understand the necessity for judgment. I accept Gods anger. We have sinned greatly and God has every reason and every right to be angry with us!"
Micah also CONFESSED his sin: "because I have _______________ against Him" (Micah 7:9). We should never COVER our sin or try to HIDE our sin. But we must admit our sin and confess it and say, "YES, I HAVE SINNED!" This is what Micah did! When we try to cover our sin then we are in trouble. When we confess our sin, then God will cover it! See Proverbs 28:13. The believers CAUSE can be covered by his acceptance of Gods anger and his confession of his own sin.
God is a God of anger, but He is also a God of mercy. The book of Micah ends with a wonderful section on the mercy and forgiving love of God.
In Micah 7:14 the prophet prays for GUIDANCE. The prophet Micah commits His people to the care of the Great Shepherd. Who is this Great Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)? __________ _________________
This Great Shepherd is none other than the Great God and Saviour! In Micah 7:18 the question is asked, "WHO IS A GOD LIKE UNTO THEE?" What is the answer to this question? This question reminds us of the prophets name: MICAH (remember, the name MICAH means "WHO IS LIKE THE LORD?"; see page 3 of these notes).
God is the only One who can pardon and forgive sin. No man can do this. No one can forgive sins except the Lord (the One whom we have sinned against). See Mark 2:7. The believers Christ can be counted on! We can count on Gods mercy, love and, forgiveness!
God does get angry because of sin (Micah 7:9) but does God continue to be angry with His people forever (Micah 7:18)? __________ "God delights in M _________" (Micah 7:18).
What does God do with the believers sins? In Micah 7:19 we are told that He will cast _____ their sins into the depths of the ______. Think about this! The sea is quite deep! In fact, the oceans are deeper than the mountains are high! There are places in the ocean where you could take Mr. Everest (the highest mountain), turn it upside down and it would easily fit in the depths of the ocean with plenty of room to spare!
Suppose you were in the middle of the ocean (or in the middle of a deep lake) and suppose you were to throw something overboard such as a coin or a ring or a watch. That object would sink to the bottom. Would you ever see it again? Would it ever arise to the surface again? No, its lost and gone forever! And this is what God says about my sins! GOD HAS THROWN MY SINS INTO THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA AND HE IS NOT GOING TO MAKE THEM EVER COME TO THE SURFACE AGAIN! "Praise God, my sins are gone!"
Why is God able to forgive me in such a way? Why doesnt God deal with me according to His anger? Why doesnt God punish me according to my sins (see Psalm 103:10-12)? The answer is found on the CROSS:
Gods anger fell on the Lord
Jesus. He was judged so that
I could be forgiven. Therefore
I can celebrate and rejoice!
|Because of the
Cross God is
able to Cover
We can count on God for forgiveness and we can also count on God to keep His promises (the PROMISES which He made to His people and for His people) --see Micah 7:20. Christ is the sovereign King--He is the True Ruler--the Restorer of Rule and Rightness.
OUR PROBLEMS SHOULD AWAKEN US TO OURSELVES AND TO OUR NEED OF THE SAVIOUR (see JEREMIAH 17:5-10).
Remember, its a HEART problem (Jeremiah 17:9) and only God has the SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM (Jeremiah 17:7).
Now that we have come to the end of the book of Micah, lets review and think back upon the first 6 chapters:
MICAH CHAPTER 1-- Persisten sin leads to sure ruin. SIN leads to certain suffering and judgment. God cannot bless sin; He must judge it. When men go against God, God must go against them! If we continue to go our own way and fight God and refuse to change direction, then we must face certain RUIN!
MICAH CHAPTER 2--Gods judgment is coming. If a person does not get rid of the pollution of sin (by turning to God), then he will end up permanently polluted and ruined. If a man does not turn to God then there is nothing but trouble.
MICAE CHAPTER 3--It is possible to be religious but not right. Being (performing a ritual) without having a right HEART is not a proper response before God. Religious acts and words do not set a person free from the terrible prison house of sin. Religious activity does not make a person good. RELIGION and RITUAL are not enough. God wants our hearts to be right. OUR PROBLEMS WILL NEVER BE SOLVED IF OUR HEARTS DO NOT GET RIGHT. Let God fix your heart today!
MICAH CHAPTER 4--We need to be able to look ahead and see Gods promise. In the middle of our problems we need to be able to hold on to and head for Gods promise. We need to see more than the blackness in the tunnel. We need to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When we see rightly then we will walk in the right way and in the right direction. There surely will be problems but there surely will be deliverance from the problems (rescue by our Redeemer).
MICAH CHAPTER 5--Gods Son is able to deliver us. The Saviour of my Tomorrows is saving me in my todays. I believe His promise, and I know that the same God who will deliver me then will deliver me now. Someday God will fix the world (bring peace and blessing to the world), but right now God wants to fix my heart (bring peace and blessing to my heart).
MICAH CHAPTER 6--To approach God wrongly leaves us without Gods benefits and blessings. If I do not come to God in the right way, then I have all my problems but I do not have any Saviour to save. My problems unsolved, wrongly seen and wrongly handled remain and ruin and continue to ruin my days and my time on earth.
MICAH CHAPTER 7--What were the great lessons which we learned in this last lesson?