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Faithlife

A Divine Lawsuit

Notes & Transcripts

1) 12-7-08…AM…SBC     2)

“A Divine Lawsuit”

Micah 6:6-8

Introduction:               Finish this statement

·         Don’t run in the halls/church

·         No shirt, no shoes no service

·         Brush your teeth and go to bed

·         Eat all of you vegetables

Ø      we are all familiar with requirements – school, workplace, public

Ø       

Background:

1-      the Prophets ministered during a state of spiritual decline – spoke out against idolatry and social abuses

2-      Following Solomon’s reign and as a result of his own idolatry, God divided Israel and eventually sent them into exile because of their sin

3-      Background of Micah

-          Message was mainly to the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and it’s corrupt leadership and nobility

-          Micah’s prophecies are of doom and of hope, threat and promise. Micah arranged them into three series (chs. 1–2, 3–5, 6–7), each beginning with the command rendered either ‘Hear’ (1:2) or ‘Listen’ (3:1; 6:1)[1]

-          Micah was addressing a nation who was not being true to their own profession

-          Micah’s message was to warn the people of their own inconsistencies

-          Judah claimed to be godly but wasn’t really any different from the Northern Kingdom – Israel

-          Micah’s messages of judgment rest on the lofty ethical laws of God’s covenant handed down at Sinai (6:1–8)[2]

 

This text challenges us to…


Proposition:    Do the right for the right reason.


Questions:  Can we do the right thing for the wrong reason? (Johnson gifts, Cantata, Church, SS, nursery, evangelism)

                        Should we not participate because our hearts aren’t right?  No, change your heart!!!

Courtroom Scene:       v1-5     (imagine standing before a judge as he tells you what he thinks of your actions)

 

Ø      This oracle against Israel develops as a complex legal suit with God as the Plaintiff and Judge [3]

 

6:1 – the mountains are called to be witnesses to the indictment that God has against Judah – they see God’s actions

6:2 -     “please your case” (רִ֣יב) – a legal term giving us our courtroom setting

6:3-5 – God demands for the Israelites to find evidence of what God has done to burden them

·         Has he not performed promises—not loved—not protected—not provided?  What is it then?

·         Though the Israelites had often complained against God, they had no grounds for such complaints. For that reason they could not answer God’s accusation.[4]

·         God called them to remember (v5) God’s goodness  – Exodus, Law, Baalam’s blessing, entering PL

Application:

1-      Do you feel that the burden of serving God is too heavy? (Study, evangelism, prayer, discipleship, Serving)

2-      When is service to God an imposition?  (inconvenient, difficult, undesirable) - we are prone to be lazy & relax

3-      Would our accusation hold up in court against the evidence for God’s goodness?  Absolutely Not

Ø      the opening scene is of God as the Judge and Plaintiff, the mountains as the witnesses and the people of Israel as the defendants with not alibi or defense

Illustration:      Imagine a child standing boldly before a parent who has total control over their life and being confident they that they had done nothing for which they could be accused – then the parent begins to speak of what they have done wrong – imagine the progressing body language of the child

6:6-8

Ø      Israel has been justly accused of injustice and ingratitude towards God—Their guilt is too plain to be excused

Ø      This accusation leaves them in need of deep heart change

Ø      Micah expounds for them the essence of true worship

v6a: Micah is using the personal pronoun “I” personified as Israel collectively – standing before God and people

-          he desire each Israelite to place their name in the “I” of v6 (literary tool – personification)

-          for the people and as one of the people of Israel Micah tutors them on true worship


·         the “worship tag” is applied to many aspects today but mainly to music and the song service

·         | Worship |

we have to have worship teams and leaders in order to advance worship

·         we have entire genres of music that are called worship music – like the hymns aren’t!

·         we could still worship if there was no song leader up here leading us because worship is first found in the heart and if it isn’t in the heart then worship is not happening

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Transition: Micah discusses their main mode of obedience (Levitical Law) and their heart’s motivation behind it

v6b-7: Micah “ups the ante” from ordinary sacrifice to extraordinary sacrifice to the most costly gift of a worshipper

The point of all of these is…No! They are insufficient even if they cost everything but there is not heart in it

v8: Micah now answers the questions raised in v6

 

Ø      God has once again revealed himself to us in the embodiment of His Word – through prophet & NT

Ø      this is God’s will for God’s people – he has not left you in the dark about His will

Ø      Not the outward acts of sacrifices but the following three duties lead to true worship – a target to shoot for

 

(this is another pyramid literary pyramid device use by Micah like in the sacrifices of v6b-7)

1-    “walk justly” - be fair in their dealings with others

·         their injustices to others reveal their lack of humility to God (injustice – 3:1-3)

2-    “love kindness/mercy” - carry through on their commitments to meet others needs[5]

3-    “walk humbly” - fellowship with Him in modesty, without arrogance

Ø      Doing justice ”is a way of loving mercy, which in turn is a manifestation of walking humbly with God“ [6]

Ø      Without these moral virtues, sacrificial worship was a spiritless actions, in which God had no pleasure

(1 Sam. 15:22 and Hos. 6:6).[7]

Application:

1-      Salvation:                   (Self-Confrontation Manual p20)

·         This passage is teaching about how to please God but the fact of the Bible is that without a sincere personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ no good activity you do pleases God – selfish pride

·         In fact the Bible teaches that you have a spiritual problem that only God can solve

·         The Bible says that man’s spiritual problem is that he is hostile to God and spiritually dead

·         the answer to your spiritual problem is found not in yourself but in God’s Son, Jesus Christ

·         God gave his only Son as help for helpless spiritual condition

·         “But Pastor, I believe God is real.  I’m not an atheist!” – just believing God exists is not enough

·         You must repent of your sinful ways that are against God and believe in Christ to save you from sin

·         What will you do? – continue shaking you fist at God or repent and believe in Him to have your sins forgiven—and become born again and then possess real happiness and purpose in life

·         Come see me after the service if you have any questions about how to get to heaven.

 

2-      Individual Christian

·         The injunction of this passage is for change – heart change as opposed to going through the motions

·         Real heart change comes when motives for what we do change

·         Humble submission to God leads to how we will treat others around us

·         outward religion w/ inward sin (hypocrisy) never influence other to come to Christ

·         when we are focused on others we don’t have time to be concerned with problems

3-      SBC:  If God put SBC on trial today how would we fare in our obedience to the requirements of God

·         the church is the sum and reflection of the individual commitment of it’s members

·         lack of a heart to see others know Christ is a revealing the selfishness in our own hearts

·         Evangelism:  How far does your love for others reach? – wife, kids, church, unbelievers

 

                                                              i.      The Evangelism efforts of this church is a reflection of individual commitment of it’s members

                                                            ii.      Cantata flyers – been available for 3 weeks, haven’t counted, not many gone, should print more

·         Our lack of evangelistic efforts reflect not only our own selfishness but also our hostility to obeying God

·         Our church will not survive without the evangelistic efforts of each one of us

Conclusion:

1-      Can we do the right thing for the wrong reason? (Johnson gifts, Cantata, Church, SS, nursery, evangelism)

                        Should we not participate because our hearts aren’t right?  No, change your heart!!!

2-      Spiritual blindness had led them to offer everything except the one thing He wanted—a spiritual commitment of the heart from which right behavior would ensue[8]

3-      What God requires is faithfulness, which is based on faith in him and expresses itself fundamentally in right living and only secondarily in ritual[9]

4-      God wants not what we have (sacrifice of our possessions) but who we are our hearts and nothing else


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[1]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Jon 4:5.

[2]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Jon 4:5.

[3]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Mic 6:1.

[4]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 1:1488.

[5]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 1:1489.

[6]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 1:1489.

[7]Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002), 10:336.

[8]John Jr MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville: Word Pub., 1997, c1997), Mic 6:8.

[9]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Mic 6:1.

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