A Sheep’s Tranquility

“This One will be our peace.” (Micah 5:5)

Our peace isn’t found in circumstances, it is found in Jesus.  Micah prophesied that Jesus’ coming would bring peace to His people because He was their shepherd.  It won’t matter how dark the valley is or how worrisome the circumstances – Jesus’ calming leadership is our comfort.

A Christian’s tranquility is found in knowing our Shepherd would die for us, and that He watches over us every day.

“And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

The Plan All Along

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” (Micah 5:2)

Almost 800 years after this prophecy was made, a Child would be born, his mother laying him in a manger because the inn was full.  A small Child, born in a humble dwelling, to poor parents, in a simple village.

And yet, He came from heaven and would return there our Savior.  If you have any doubt of your importance in the mind of God, look no further than Micah 5:2.  Micah wrote to Israel, when their darkest and worst rebellion was still ahead – and yet, Jesus had already committed to come, knowing all the wickedness history would wrought.

Christianity isn’t a momentary outburst of God’s love.  Jesus was the plan all along.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

A Pain Worth Enduring

“Writhe and labor to give birth, daughter of Zion, like a woman in childbirth; for now you will go out of the city, dwell in the field, and go to Babylon.  There you will be rescued; there the LORD will redeem you from the hand of your enemies.” (Micah 4:10)

Micah knew that dark days lied ahead for Israel.  They were soon to go into Babylonian captivity and be torn from the land that they loved.  They would become refugees in a foreign land for seventy years and a whole generation would live exiled from the Promised Land.

So God gave His faithful hope for the impending trial – these pains would be like labor pains.  They would be terrible, but they wouldn’t be forever.  They would also produce something.  These years of exile would produce a generation purged of idolatry and full of reverence for the one true and living God.  These painful years would give birth to a nation prepared for the coming of the Messiah.

Sometimes, the pain you are in now is preparing you for the joy you aren’t ready for yet.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

They Devour Widows’ Houses

“Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, her priests instruct for a price and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the LORD saying, “Is not the LORD in our midst? Calamity will not come upon us.” (Micah 3:11)

It is a sad truth that religion is full of greed.  Televangelists devouring the fixed incomes of the elderly to pad their own pockets and fund their private jets.  Mega-churches pronouncing that God will bless you if you will just have enough faith to give more to their massive coffers.

They use the LORD’s name as leverage for their covetousness and materialism.  They parade their money-grabbing as an act of worship instead of the idolatry that it really is.

This is not Christianity, nor has it ever been.  The leaders we read about in the New Testament were often the poorest and the work was a labor of love, not a business scheme.  The religion of Christ is free from the love of money.  Accept no substitute.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

See Something, Say Something

“ ‘Do not speak out,’ so they speak out, but if they do not speak out concerning these things, reproaches will not be turned back.” (Micah 2:6)

After 9/11, the police began to tell citizens, “If you see something, SAY something.”  We cannot protect against secretive terroristic activities if we are not all diligent to sound the alarm if something looks awry.

Christians are likewise told to speak out.  Speak out against sin and injustice, against lies and immorality.  If we don’t, we cannot rightfully say we are the light and the salt of the world.  Micah understood this long beforehand Christ proclaimed it in the New Testament.  The world wants Christians to mind our own business, but we understand that the house is on fire, and the call to escape the world and enter into life through Jesus is everyone’s only hope.

We must say something because we’ve seen the problem and we’ve also found Him who is the solution.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Scheming and Dreaming

“Woe to those who scheme iniquity, who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, for it is in the power of their hands.” (Micah 2:1)

Systemic sin is a heart problem before it is a behavior problem.  It begins with scheming: making plans with the intent to do something we ought not.  We know it is wrong, but we also know we want it.

When we make plans, we very often follow through with them.  The man that begins to plot for how he might view things on the internet that he shouldn’t, will find a way to do so.  The woman that prepares for how and when to divulge secrets to others, will inevitably gossip.

The power to sin is within the power of the hands of the sinner.  We are free moral agents.  Whatever we scheme, we are likely to accomplish.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

A Time to Listen

“Hear, O peoples, all of you; Listen, O earth and all it contains, and let the Lord God be a witness against you, the Lord from His holy temple.” (Micah 1:2)

Many of the prophets begin their messages with the words ‘hear’ or ‘listen’ and Micah is no exception.  What good does the Word of God do if we do not listen to it?  What change can be affected if our hearts are not open to His instruction?

The Scriptures are of no use to the man who is too busy or too proud to drink from their waters… but to a man that hungers and thirsts for righteousness, they are life-changing.  There is no end to what God’s transformative power over us if we will listen to the message from above.  If we are ready for a new life, His Word will take us there.  It is His love letter to His children who’ve wandered far from home.

Listen, O earth, your Father speaks.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

The Light of Gratitude

“And in that day you will say, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name.  Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted.’ ” (Isaiah 12:4)

Nothing is more evangelistic than gratitude.  When we are thankful for what He has done for us and remember it was God that gave us the good things that we have, we can’t help but speak of it.  Gratitude pours the good news of the gospel over the brim of our cup and overflows into our interactions with others.

A grateful Christian is a light to the world.  They simply can’t help it.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

His Song in Our Hearts

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)

When the times seem truly scary, make God your song and your strength… and then sing in the darkness.

He’ll be glorified, and you’ll be safe.

“Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; let this be known throughout the earth.” (Isaiah 12:5)

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Character Goals

“And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear;” (Isaiah 11:3)

In Jesus we see the perfect standard of fairness.  He doesn’t judge people by how they look or by whatever others say about them.  He is no gossip, nor is He a snob that looks down on those who look different than Him.

He doesn’t ask, “How do I feel about this?”

Instead, He asks, “What would My Father have Me do?”

#charactergoals

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

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