Tuesday after the Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Micah 1-3 (NKJV)
1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
2 Hear, all you peoples! Listen, O earth, and all that is in it! Let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, the Lord from His holy temple.
3 For behold, the LORD is coming out of His place; He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth. 4 The mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys will split like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place. 5 All this is for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what are the high places of Judah? Are they not Jerusalem?
6 “Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the field, places for planting a vineyard; I will pour down her stones into the valley, and I will uncover her foundations. 7 All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces, and all her pay as a harlot shall be burned with the fire; All her idols I will lay desolate, for she gathered it from the pay of a harlot, and they shall return to the pay of a harlot.”
8 Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked; I will make a wailing like the jackals and a mourning like the ostriches, 9 for her wounds are incurable. For it has come to Judah; It has come to the gate of My people—to Jerusalem. 10 Tell it not in Gath, weep not at all; In Beth Aphrah roll yourself in the dust. 11 Pass by in naked shame, you inhabitant of Shaphir; The inhabitant of Zaanan does not go out. Beth Ezel mourns; Its place to stand is taken away from you. 12 For the inhabitant of Maroth pined for good, but disaster came down from the LORD to the gate of Jerusalem. 13 O inhabitant of Lachish, harness the chariot to the swift steeds (she was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion), for the transgressions of Israel were found in you. 14 Therefore you shall give presents to Moresheth Gath; The houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel. 15 I will yet bring an heir to you, O inhabitant of Mareshah; The glory of Israel shall come to Adullam. 16 Make yourself bald and cut off your hair, because of your precious children; Enlarge your baldness like an eagle, for they shall go from you into captivity.
2:1 Woe to those who devise iniquity, and work out evil on their beds! At morning light they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand. 2 They covet fields and take them by violence, also houses, and seize them. So they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.
3 Therefore thus says the LORD:
“Behold, against this family I am devising disaster, from which you cannot remove your necks; Nor shall you walk haughtily, for this is an evil time. 4 In that day one shall take up a proverb against you, and lament with a bitter lamentation, saying: ‘We are utterly destroyed! He has changed the heritage of my people; How He has removed it from me! To a turncoat He has divided our fields.'”
5 Therefore you will have no one to determine boundaries by lot in the assembly of the LORD.
6 “Do not prattle,” you say to those who prophesy. So they shall not prophesy to you; They shall not return insult for insult. 7 You who are named the house of Jacob: “Is the Spirit of the LORD restricted? Are these His doings?
“Do not My words do good to him who walks uprightly? 8 Lately My people have risen up as an enemy—you pull off the robe with the garment from those who trust you, as they pass by, like men returned from war. 9 The women of My people you cast out from their pleasant houses; From their children You have taken away My glory forever. 10 Arise and depart, for this is not your rest; Because it is defiled, it shall destroy, yes, with utter destruction. 11 If a man should walk in a false spirit and speak a lie, saying, ‘I will prophesy to you of wine and drink,’ even he would be the prattler of this people.
12 “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, like a flock in the midst of their pasture; They shall make a loud noise because of so many people. 13 The one who breaks open will come up before them; They will break out, pass through the gate, and go out by it; Their king will pass before them, with the LORD at their head.”
3:1 And I said:
“Hear now, O heads of Jacob, and you rulers of the house of Israel: Is it not for you to know justice? 2 You who hate good and love evil; Who strip the skin from My people, and the flesh from their bones; 3 Who also eat the flesh of My people, flay their skin from them, break their bones, and chop them in pieces like meat for the pot, like flesh in the caldron.”
4 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.
5 Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets Who make my people stray; Who chant “Peace ” while they chew with their teeth, but who prepare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths:
6 “Therefore you shall have night without vision, and you shall have darkness without divination; The sun shall go down on the prophets, and the day shall be dark for them. 7 So the seers shall be ashamed, and the diviners abashed; Indeed they shall all cover their lips; For there is no answer from God.” 8 But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.
9 Now hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert all equity, 10 who build up Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with iniquity: 11 Her heads judge for a bribe, her priests teach for pay, and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the LORD, and say, “Is not the LORD among us? No harm can come upon us.” 12 Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, and the mountain of the temple like the bare hills of the forest.
The people of Judah and Israel had a hearing problem. They refused to listen to the Lord, who spoke through the prophets. The prophets would proclaim the Word of the Lord, but the people would respond with the words, “Do not prattle.” The Lord was trying to lead them into repentance so that they might cling to Him in faith, but they refused to listen. The words of the prophets were useless to them. Therefore, the Lord planned their destruction on account of their unbelief.
All was not lost, however. There was still a remnant of people in both Israel and Judah who listened to and heard the prophets, who repented of their sins and clung to the Lord and His promises in faith. He promises through Micah that He would gather these remnants from the northern and southern kingdoms into one flock. He would be their Shepherd. It would be a large flock. And the Lord would be their Head.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of this prophecy. He gathers together into one flock all those who hear His Word and believe on Him for their forgiveness, life, and salvation. He is our Shepherd, our Head. He leads us by His Word to cling to Him and His promises. And, like a Good Shepherd, He will rescue us from the destruction reserved for unbelievers and lead us into our eternal home in Heaven. There we will rejoice in our Shepherd who gave His life for us sheep.
We pray: Lord, we beseech Thee to keep Thy household, the Church, in continual godliness, that through Thy protection she may be free from all adversities and devoutly given to serve Thee in good works, to the glory of Thy Name; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.