"Prophetability - lessons of strength and power in the minor prophets!"
This week in September 2018 has been especially difficult for many with the disruption and disaster brought about by hurricane Florence throughout the eastern part of North Carolina. No doubt everyone has experienced their own set of troublesome circumstances and have needed help as a result of the storm. Perhaps the silver lining in it all is that such need can bring out such nobility in people. One of the most memorable and incredible things I saw throughout the last several days was not so much the big trucks of commodities or even the many benevolent organizations highlighted on the news for their acts of generosity. The wonderful ways I saw neighbors helping neighbors, and individuals helping each other impacted me the most. People who had electricity invited their neighbors who didn’t the opportunity for a hot shower, hot meal. Once I discovered that our local Hardees was open and serving hot meals I immediately posted on Facebook because there was nowhere else in town to get a biscuit. “Little things mean a lot when little things is all you got”
You may wonder what this has to do with the prophecy of Micah. I am glad you are.
Micah serves as a clear reminder for Christians to lead the way in expressions of kindness, generosity, benevolence, and teaching.
What is the Church our community with our actions? What are you as a believer teaching your neighbors? The prophecy of Micah was a strong warning to the people of God to teach what is right with our actions and behavior and not misrepresent the will of God. Humorously, and perhaps a bit sarcastically, the prophet suggested in Micah 2:11; “I will preach to you about wine and beer” —he would be just the preacher for this people!” This attitude seems apropos to the personality of this prophet. Although he was a contemporary of Isaiah he did not share the same optimism as Isaiah about God’s tolerance of the misbehavior of his people and the continuing protection of Jerusalem. His message to the people of God was clear and reminded them that God would punish them too if they continue to refuse to repent.
Micah spoke primarily against the leadership of Israel. In Micah 3:1 the prophet wrote; “Then I said, Now listen, leaders of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel. Aren’t you supposed to know what is just? 2 You hate good and love evil.” We will discuss later exactly what constituted a “leader.”
God wanted the leaders of Israel to be an example of His loving character and represent Him accurately. The greatest way God desires to empower you is through your exemplary life. God will literally change the world through your witness.
In Micah 4: 1-5, the writer states; “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established at the top of the mountains and will be raised above the hills. Peoples will stream to it, 2 and many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us about his ways so we may walk in his paths.” For instruction will go out of Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 3 He will settle disputes among many peoples and provide arbitration for strong nations that are far away. They will beat their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nation will not take up the sword against nation, and they will never again train for war. 4 But each person will sit under his grapevine and under his fig tree with no one to frighten him. For the mouth of the Lord of Armies has spoken. 5 Though all the peoples each walk in the name of their gods, we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.”
God’s ultimate goal is for people to know Him and, ultimately, the people of the world will know God, not because of His wrath but because of His Word.
Some in the church have perpetuated ideas like; “Jesus one day will come back and set this world straight” or “one day God will get all the bad people and put them in their place.” People will know God through His Word, as the Bible reminds us; “They will know the truth and the truth will make them free.” His Word goes out through His people, people like you and me. That phrase; “The mountain of the LORD’s house… shall be exalted above the hills.” This speaks of the ultimate exaltation of Jerusalem, the City of Zion, in the Lord’s ultimate restoration. (Some scholars believe This will be fulfilled completely in the Millennium, when the peoples shall flow to a restored and redeemed Jerusalem as the capital of the millennial earth (out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem).But whether it is in the Millennial reign of Christ Jesus on this earth or during the church age, it will be the people of God from whom the Word of the Lord will come and it will come from a restored and redeemed people. Like a mountain that stands out above the hills God’s people will be a representation and a demonstration of Him.
"The world will want to know the God of this people. Their God will be attractive." Is your God attractive or is your god repulsive? The God Micah and Isaiah speak of (as the two of these are contemporary prophets) is a God who people will flock to, a God whose teaching people will be eager to both hear and heed. Are people flocking to our churches or are people fleeing from our churches? Are your neighbors attracted to you or are your neighbors turned off by you? Micah suggests it will depend on the behavior of the people of God whether or not people flock to Him…especially leaders. There is a need for clarification here. Be careful not to let your mind immediately start analyzing the behavior of your parents, your pastors, or your employers. Whenever I take on an air of authority that I do not have, refusing to submit to the actual authority in my life, I automatically hate good and love evil. In other words, the spirit of rebellion makes me a wicked leader. When I am too stubborn to follow the God-ordained leadership in my life I have automatically appointed myself as god. When I do my god is repulsive.
It is when I learn to live my life with humility and with a servant’s heart in subjection to God that my God becomes attractive and people want to flock to him and hear/heed his teaching. I believe that when the world sees we have a God other than ourselves the World will then want to serve Him. - Dr. Hughes
Whenever the world stops feeling judged by the church the world will start being willing to be judged by God. It is not righteousness of Christians that will draw the World to Jesus as much as it will be the lack Self-righteousness of Christians that will draw the world to Jesus.
Actually, it would be better evangelistically if Christians were more transparent with our unrighteousness than we are apparent with our righteousness.
Micah 4:3 says; “He will settle disputes among many peoples and provide arbitration for strong nations that are far away.” God is supposed to be the judge not the church. The passage goes on to say; “they will beat their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nation will not take up the sword against nation, and they will never again train for war.” Due to the fact that God will settle all disputes and not me, whenever I think I have the righteous perspective on the matter, I am appointing myself judge, leader, and God. The people of God with this mindset were the target of this prophecy. Micah further explains; “But each person will sit under his grapevine and under his fig tree with no one to frighten him. For the mouth of the Lord of Armies has spoken. Though all the peoples each walk in the name of their gods, we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.”
The prosperity we as the people of God want in our homes, communities, churches, and nation will come only as the Church teaches the world this message through our actions and behavior….that Jesus Christ is our Lord….that the ground is level at the foot of the cross…..and that we are all hungry people diligently trying to tell other hungry people where to find bread. “Hardees is open!”
Rev. Wiley Hughes
D.Min., Psy.D., FBPPC, LPCA, NCC
Apostolic Leader of Destiny Now