Today’s Reading: Micah 1:1-3:12, Acts 13:13-14:7, Job 22:14-30
Today’s Theme: Judgement, Salvation and Hope
Today’s theme is about the full gospel message which includes the three elements of judgement for sin, the salvation provided through Jesus and the hope of eternal life and peace with God.
Pray for London
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 is the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem? (Micah 1:5, ESV)
All the nation’s sin was summed up in the wickedness of the city of Samaria. We must pray for our own country and our capital cities in particular that they would repent and escape God’s judgement.
Disaster from God
For the inhabitants of Maroth wait anxiously for good, because disaster has come down from the LORD to the gate of Jerusalem. (Micah 1:12, ESV)
The prophesied disaster would come from the Lord.
They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. Therefore thus says the LORD: behold, against this family I am devising disaster, from which you cannot remove your necks, and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be a time of disaster. (Micah 2:2-3, ESV)
The coveting, envy and oppression that mark so many lives all begins in the mind. It begins with dwelling on evil thoughts of greed, self exaltation or covetousness, it ends in the performance of what was meditated on. This is why the New Testament warns us to think on pure things.
Speak about coming judgement
“Do not preach”—thus they preach— “one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us.” (Micah 2:6, ESV)
Like today there are many preaching that the church should not preach about God’s wrath, the coming judgement or hell.
We must boldly stand against this trend which has been empowered by liberal theologians who reduce God, the Bible and its message down to their own warped, sentimentalised view of love.
Driven from the home
The women of my people you drive out from their delightful houses; from their young children you take away my splendor forever. (Micah 2:9, ESV)
In modern times the women’s liberation movement, libertarian ideas of freedom and egalitarian ideas of equality have driven our women from the home to the office.
I think this is in particular context to women who are married with young children as mentioned in Titus 2:4-5.
If we do not take care of our own children, within the safety of our own families then it is as if our children are taken away by the system around us. It should be no wonder that there is a great wall between children and their parents as the children grow.
We must encourage young Christian mothers to reclaim the home and the fathers to provide for their families and protect and nurture the family in the faith.
Lust driven teachers
If a man should go about and utter wind and lies, saying, “I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,” he would be the preacher for this people! (Micah 2:11, ESV)
This is the folly we see today and what the Bible warned us about, people heaping teachers to themselves after their own lusts.
King of the remnant
He who opens the breach goes up before them; they break through and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king passes on before them, the LORD at their head. (Micah 2:13, ESV)
God is the king of the remnant that He has elected to save. He opens the breach, He leads His people out, He is our king.
How not to be a leader
who eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones in pieces and chop them up like meat in a pot, like flesh in a cauldron. (Micah 3:3, ESV)
This imagery is of leaders who use people for their own advantage and neglect their duty as leaders.
Don’t be full of yourself
But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin. (Micah 3:8, ESV)
Micah was not like the other prophets, he was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, the others were just full of themselves.
Don’t try to profiteer from your gift
Its heads give judgment for a bribe; its priests teach for a price; its prophets practice divination for money; yet they lean on the LORD and say, “Is not the LORD in the midst of us? No disaster shall come upon us.” (Micah 3:11, ESV)
This is the disgusting practice which is becoming more popular today of profiteering from our gifts.
The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. (Acts 13:17, ESV)
Paul relates to the people’s history and sense of identity by reminding them that God elected them from among all the nations. The short history that follows is Paul’s foundation to point to Jesus as the Davidic Messiah prophesied in the scriptures.
We hear Ken ham teach on the Biblical / historical foundations needed to effectively present the gospel in the following video
“Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. (Acts 13:26, ESV)
Again Paul appeals to his brothers in the flesh, the people of Israel as fellow descendants of Abraham. It is likely that Jewish converts were also in the synagogue because he mentions those who fear God as a separate group.
For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. (Acts 13:27, ESV)
I saw on the BBC Documentary on the Jews (in 2013) that they mock our claim to Jesus as Messiah and this is all based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the prophecy of the Old Testament. Paul picks up this point here and says that this misunderstanding led them into fulfilling the very same prophecy.
We must pray for the Jews today that they would recognise Jesus and have a new understanding of their scriptures.
God raised Jesus from the dead
But God raised him from the dead, (Acts 13:30, ESV)
This is crucial to the proclamation of the Gospel message which Paul has given a summary of in this verse. This is a mind blowing truth… God raised Jesus from the dead.
Evidence of the resurrection
and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. (Acts 13:31, ESV)
Jesus appeared to his elect messengers and they are now impacting the world as witnesses of the resurrection. The radical change of the disciples from cowards to martyrs is evidence that the resurrection actually happened.
The Gospel Summarised
Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:38-39, ESV)
This is one of the best summaries of the Gospel in all scripture.
A successful mission
And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. (Acts 13:43, ESV)
This was a successful mission, many Jews and converts to Judaism became disciples of Jesus Christ. Paul boldly declared the truth but not without wisdom and God gave amazing results by His Spirit. They even asked them to come back.
God’s plan to save all nations
And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. (Acts 13:46, ESV)
This is because Israel are God’s chosen people to whom belong the promises and covenants as Paul says in one of his letters, salvation is of the Jews.
Many take this statement by Paul to be anti Semitic which is complete nonsense in its true context. They were resisting and God was leading Paul to the nations, but at the same time thousands of Jews have already been converted, all the original Christians were Jews, so this is an accusation without foundation.
And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:48, ESV)
This so clearly upholds the doctrine of election, God appoints, draws, calls and chooses those He will save and give eternal life to. We should find confidence and increased faith in light of this truth. God will accomplish all of His holy will and WILL save His people, the ones appointed to eternal life whom He has already written in the book of life.
Our salvation is not based on God looking into the future to see if we will chose Him or on any quality we possess, it is solely based on God’s electing love and grace. To God be ALL the glory.
Be filled with Joy
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:52, ESV)
Even in the midst of resistance, God is victorious and His people, the true disciples will be filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. As Christians we should not be depressed, anxious or worried, we should be filled with the joy of the Lord by the Spirit of the Lord.
Jews and Greeks saved
Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. (Acts 14:1, ESV)
Notice both Jews and Gentiles are coming to faith.
So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. (Acts 14:3, ESV)
God backed up all they were saying in the proclamation of the Gospel with signs and wonders.
they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, (Acts 14:6, ESV)
Sometimes it’s time to run away, we must be led by God and use the wisdom He has given us to have maximum impact.
Jesus brings peace
“Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you. (Job 22:21, ESV)
In the midst of this friend’s (Eliphaz) bad council there are some nuggets of truth and this is one of them.
The reason Jesus came was to bring agreement between God and His people, to bring peace. When we submit to God it brings us peace. Submission and obedience bring peace and freedom.
Treasure God’s word
Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart. (Job 22:22, ESV)
This is also true, we should lay up God’s word in our hearts, this involves meditating on His word. There is so much good in His word. If we rush through it we will miss the savour and nutrition, ultimately ending up with spiritual indigestion.
God our treasure
then the Almighty will be your gold and your precious silver. (Job 22:25, ESV)
God must be our greatest treasure, we should forsake the riches of this world for Him as Jesus commanded.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.