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36 Micah (8 / The last inning

Let's share confession to the Lord

Micah 7:14-20
Herews 10:22-24
T Prayer of Micah

 It is the last inning of Micah. I have talked that this prophet shifted eyes from the Northern Kingdom to south kingdom, for seven times till now; and in particular, he accused a crime of Israeli leaders and talked the severe judgment of God. Micah who told a message in a street and did public speaking at a place of the judgment of Sunedrion and preached it friendlily to Israeli people with "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?" (6:8). However, Israeli people were not going to change their way of life and charged through a way of oneself rigidly. For these past several weeks, we have watched Micah who told faint expectation which such they, the people of the Lord, would be invited to the hope of the Lord before long.

 This seems to be a thing of Micah in his later years. He lost expectation to Israel and was not going to tell a message anymore in a town. However, he noticed it that this was serious responsibility of a prophet, and stood before the Lord again. But people do not change, therefore he would depend on and ask for pity of the Lord. Such his thought, it is transmitted to us only looking through 7:6-7 enough. "For son treats father contemptuously, daughter rises up against her mother, daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies are the men of his own household. But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me." (6-7)

 And prayer of Micah began. "Shepherd Thy people with Thy scepter, the flock of Thy possession which dwells by itself in the woodland, in the midst of a fruitful field. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old." (14) Bashan and Gilead; both were in the territory which belonged to the Northern Kingdom, and in particular, Bashan seems to have been known as fertile land. Micah would pray that Israel would be able to return in the shined times of the past when Israel was divided in the north and south. Here, it seems that the state of ancient times is indicated, but Israel ever had a relation of a sheep and a pasture employee with God. I had seen a genuine shepherd in Israel; but a shepherd was droving away a sheep of dozens of to meadows while using a long stick skillfully, there were sheep which sometimes protrude from a crowd, but the sheep seemed to be relieved by the stick. Would Micah wish God to remember that Israel was like it once, too? Israel might have lost a sight of such a stick of guidance of God.

U Glory to exceed our expectation

 Micah inserted words of God in Verse 15, "As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show you miracles.". Now here, eyes of Micah are turned to God, and only a figure of his prayer is seen here; but he declares that, in fact, there is God answering our prayer really near. The answer of God was that "As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt,". It would show a surprising God's work; when Israel who was a wretched slave gave a cry of a suffering towards God in Egypt, God heard their cry and by leader Moses, He prepared a way into Red Sea and let them get away from Egypt. And it was the time when they learned again that there was so powerful God for them, though they did a sojourn in Egypt for 430 years, and forgot God and had left God far-off. Israel of the times of Micah had to remember the same God, too. This message of God, we can hear it takes citizens of the Lord to glory to exceed far from David and the kingdom times of the Solomons; as Micah prayed thus, "Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old.". And it will be a message which we of the present age must hear, too.

 "Thy scepter" of Verse 14 seems to point at a hand of the guidance of such God, but, as for the hand of God, it was extended towards foreigners who were going to fall Israel, too. "Nations will see and be ashamed of all their might. They will put their hand on their mouth, their ears will be deaf. They will come ... to the Lord our God they will come in dread, and they will be afraid before Thee." (16-17) Micah may have taken Assyria which destroyed the Northern Kingdom into his consideration. This "Nations"; we may hear it is the power going to separate us from love of Jesus (Romans 8:31-39). I do not understand what kind of thing it is, but if we hear it is a person who interferes with a way to go towards our Lord, a hand of God removes them for us. We want to hear it at the center of our faith, it is promised like thus; "For I am convinced the neither death, nor life, ..., nor things present, not things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39).

V Let's share confession to the Lord

 I want to finish this "genealogy of prophets", after we have watched over last three verses (7:18,19,20). It is here, "Who is God like Thee, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love. He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt give truth to Jacob and unchanging love to Abraham, which Thou didst swear to our forefathers from the days of old.".

 40 years from when he was called as a prophet; now, Micah has been already later years. During these 40 years, the Northern Kingdom was ruined, and the Assyria armed forces surrounded Jerusalem, and south kingdom underwent a crisis of extinction, too. Perhaps it would seem to his eyes that Israel satisfied a division of a crime hard. Between most periods of the activity, he sometimes stood in a street in hometown Moresheth-Gath and Jerusalem and in an assembly and impeached a crime of the Israel leaders who conspired with false prophets intensely. Most of Prophet Micah overflow with such an accusation and a message of judgment from God. However, to Micah who told a message of hope in Chapter 4, indeed, he would understand that God, who is going to judge an Israeli crime strictly, regretted His own people Israel than anyone else clearly.

 "Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love. ..." This is confession of faith of Micah, I hear it. He felt God who is full of love, but not anger of God, closely. To that God, he offered his full prayer and praise as hard as possible. It tells us that our confession of faith is not a thing of only words but it is also praise which devoted all of our character, from faith of Micah. Even if he worried about the Israeli future, but he could not do anything for them. But he asked God full of love. Will it be able to say the same thing on this present age which is filled with uneasiness in every area, too? "The remnant"; the One who is connected hope when the Messiah (Christ) will come, in Chapter 4, is repeated here. A name of Jacob and Abraham is given here, but it must be heard that this is a message not only to Israel, but also us of the present age in Japan. The message which the Messiah comes out of Bethlehem Ephrathah in Chapter 5 would hint at it. This is confession of faith and prayer and praise of Micah, and I think that this will be the last message to us of Micah which offers like this "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;" (Hebrews 10:23).