(sermon by Andrew Allison – November 19.2017)
It’s tough getting through Micah but stay with it. This all lies with God. Let’s pray that He opens our eyes and we see things we don’t normally see. There is no hope otherwise. This is not intelligence based – it’s a revealing of the living God – so don’t get discouraged.
I’ve been asked to be the chaplain for the local fire station. One thing I’ve observed is that these fireman have plans. Lots of plans. They’re prepared. They have a plan for everything. Without a plan, things would go a wreck.
This book of Micah sounds like a book of wreck, destruction is heavy and there is no plan. It might make you feel like there is no hope.Here’s what we know so far. God is going to bring judgment. When human beings fail to live justly, when they fail to exercise justice, God brings judgment. In this case, God’s people are going into exile – ordered out of your house, stripped, humiliated, walked out of town, and sent to another place for 70 years. Exile is awful.
The Bible is very clear that each of us is accountable.
People might ask, “What’s with the serious punishment?”
God might ask, “What’s with the serious miscarriage of life?”
These people trampled over others, stole things, bribed judges, the rich were using their influence to guard their own interests and they couldn’t care a less about the widow,orphan or the poor…so God did a clean sweep.
Is that it? Does God have a plan?
The answer is one word in Micah 2. 12 : REMNANT.
A remnant is a small piece/a fraction of what was there originally/just a little bit. God’s plan was that a few would be spared while most were being exiled. The remnant will be gathered together and brought home. (vs.12) There IS hope at the end of it all. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture. (vs.12) They will be totally safe under the eye of the Shepherd.
THIS is the plan.
Verse 13 sounds like a jail break but this is where things get a little fuzzy because there wasn’t a jailbreak back in Micah’s day. There was no kind established in Micah’s day or afterwards. There was no new monarchy. None of this happened in Micah’s time. So, what’s this verse all about? God did bring a remnant back but not like this.
Everything in the Bible points to Jesus. This is ancient history that happened before Jesus was born but we can see Jesus in this story. In Micah’s day, there was another prophet named Isaiah and he said, ” Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7.14) Christians read this verse years later and we can recognize, “That’s all about Jesus.” When Israel the nation was leaving Egypt and going to the promised land, they were ordered to march in a certain formation. The ark of the covenant was in the middle of the formation and the priests were all around it. Nine tribes were commanded to march in three columns in front of, behind and east and west of the arc. This looked just like a cross. Even in the marching order, it pointed to Jesus.
The power of the Bible shows us that God predicted and prophecized..and it all came true in Jesus.
The One who “breaks open the way” (verse 13) is Jesus. He broke through death and we get to follow through. He led the way. When we die, we are confident that we too will break through because Jesus broke through first. This is great stuff! You could preach Micah at my funeral because it describes such great hope!
Micah didn’t know he was talking about Jesus but God did.
I believe there is another and greater judgment day coming. I still believe there is a hell and a heaven and those outside of Jesus will be in hell for eternity. I believe this. I can’t escape it because Jesus said these things.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7.13,14
This is a big deal…but there is a remnant. This is a way to escape. What happens in the here and now plays out in heaven and hell. You can disagree but death is the significant reminder that the biggest things on planet Earth are outside of your control.
God’s heart is that you join this remnant and trust Him. He shattered hell’s handcuffs. God provides a rescue. Anyone and everyone can be a part of it. We didn’t deserve to be part of the remnant but we have been rescued. Life can never be the same going forward if you are part of the remnant. I’m talking to you, remnant – studiers of Micah. The news of what Jesus has done with your near death experience is that it could have gone another way but it has not. In His kindness, mercy and grace, you have been rescued.
Outside of this, people live in fear but Jesus looked at the most scary thing – death – and defeated it for your sake and calls you to living radically different because of what He has done.
So, be wide-eyed and grateful.