Friday, February 19, 2016

Judgment Results From Their Sin

Micah 2:1-13

“Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand.  And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.” (Micah 2:1-2)

God’s law provided specific guidelines to protect the ownership rights of the Jewish people.  As time passed the Jews had become more focused on obtaining wealth.  They plotted ways to bypass those protections so that they could appropriate land they wanted, like Jezebel plottong to seize Naboth’s vineyard in I Kings 21.  They used fraud, unfair lending practices, unfair laws, and even murder to take people’s family property away.    God was angered by their actions. 
“Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.  In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields.  Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD.” (Micah 2:3-5)

Because of their disregard for God’s commands and the rights of other people, God was bringing punishment on Jacob’s descendants.  They will not be able to escape, and will be shamed by people talking about how God has taken away their lands and given them to other people.  They will reach a point where there is no one left to settle disputes. 

“Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame.  (Micah 2:6

They had reached a point where  they banned people telling them what God had said because they didn’t want to be embarrassed by being reminded that what they were doing was wrong.

“O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?” (Micah 2:7)

They needed to look back and remember how good things had been when they kept God’s laws.  The people who had obeyed him had been blessed, but the further they got from following God’s plan the worse things became. 
“Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war.  The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory for ever.” (Micah 2:8-9)

Criminals assaulted and robbed people because the people had become so opposed to war they would no longer defend themselves.  Widows and orphans had their property seized and were driven from their homes because they had lost respect for God.   

“Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.” (Micah 2:10)

This was not the kind of world God had promised Israel, but if they stayed in it, it would destroy them right along with everyone else.    

“If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.” (Micah 2:11)

They would follow a man who played on their emotions even when what he proclaimed was obviously a lie, accepting his statements without question.  One con artist said, “the bigger the lie, the more people will fall for it.” 

“I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.  The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.” (Micah 2:12-13)

The house of Israel had been broken up and were being scattered and driven away, with their king being led away captive, leaving their land.  It will affect the entire nation, even the areas that had been taken by other nations, and God will show his power in humiliating them.  

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