Sermon #2                                                                                                                                  Micah Series

 

      Title:                                 The Incurable Cured

 

      Text:                                  Micah 1:1-16

      Subject:               The Goodness of God in Judgment

      Date:                                Tuesday Evening — July 12, 2010

      Tape:                                Micah #2

      Readings:           Merle Hart and David Burge

      Introduction:

 

The title of my message is The Incurable Cured. My text will be Micah 1:1-16. But before we read our text in Micah, I want to lay the foundation of my message before you in…

 

four statements.

 

1.    You will never understand this Book until you understand that the message of this Book is redemption, grace, salvation, and eternal life in Jesus Christ, the sinner’s crucified, risen, exalted Substitute and Savior (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11-14).

 

2.    You will never be able to make any sense out of the history of this world until you understand that history is “His story.” History is the story of God’s providence accomplishing the salvation of His elect scattered among the nations of the world (Ephesians 1:11).

 

3.    You will never be able to make sense out of your own life, your ups and downs, your joys and sorrows, your blessings and burdens, your days of joy and your nights of weeping, and those of your family, until you realize that God works all things together for good to them that love Him and are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28-31).

 

4.    You will never be able to make sense out of God’s providential judgments (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, moral decadence, spiritual apostasy, civil unrest, wars, famines, earthquakes, and pestilence) until you understand that God judges men and nations for the salvation of His elect, that He might save His chosen out of the people He destroys (Romans 11:1-36).

 

(Romans 11:1-2) “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. —— God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.”

 

(Romans 11:5) “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

 

(Romans 11:7) “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.”

 

(Romans 11:11) “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.”

 

(Romans 11:22) “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness.”

 

(Romans 11:25-27) “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

 

(Romans 11:29-30) “For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief.”

 

(Romans 11:32-36) “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.”

 

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.”

 

God has done all that He has done, in order to have mercy on His elect in Christ Jesus. He deals with nations the way He does to accomplish His purpose of grace upon His chosen. When we read the newspaper and learn of the rise and fall of political leaders and societies, we may not see how these things have anything to do with God’s eternal covenant of grace for His people, but that is only because we are so shortsighted. Make no mistake, this world exists and spins as it does for the glory of God in the salvation of chosen, redeemed sinners.

 

Did not He say, in Isaiah 43:3For I [am] the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt [for] thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 5 Fear not: for I [am] with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7 [Even] every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

 

God used earthly Israel to have mercy on spiritual Israel. He raised up the carnal nation that He might have for Himself “an holy nation.” He cast off the Jews, Abraham’s physical seed because they deserved to be cast off and because He has a chosen, spiritual seed whom He is determined to save, Abraham’s spiritual seed, an elect remnant scattered among the Gentile nations of the world.

 

With that as the background, let’s read Micah 1:1-16 together.

 

(Micah 1:1-16) The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

 

2 Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.

3 For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.

 

4 And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, [and] as the waters [that are] poured down a steep place.

 

5 For the transgression of Jacob [is] all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What [is] the transgression of Jacob? [is it] not Samaria? and what [are] the high places of Judah? [are they] not Jerusalem?

 

6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, [and] as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof.

 

7 And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered [it] of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot.”

 

8 Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.

 

9 For her wound [is] incurable; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the gate of my people, [even] to Jerusalem.

 

10 Declare ye [it] not at Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust.

 

11 Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel; he shall receive of you his standing.

 

12 For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem.

 

13 O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she [is] the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.

 

14 Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moreshethgath: the houses of Achzib [shall be] a lie to the kings of Israel.

 

15 Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel.

 

16 Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.”

 

It is written, “Judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17).

 

Proposition: I told you before that the title of my message is The Incurable Cured. The one thing I want you to see is this: —— God our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ cures the incurable. He saves sinners who without Him could never be saved!

 

Illustration: The Rich Young Ruler — “Who then can be saved?” — “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible!

 

God will perform the intents of His heart (Jeremiah 30:24). And the intents of His heart are the salvation of His elect and the glory of His own great name in and by Christ Jesus.

 

Let me show you five things in these sixteen verses, and I will send you home with reasons to trust, worship, love, adore, and praise our great God and Savior.

 

1.    God’s Prophet

 

God’s prophet is a man sent with God’s message to His people.

Š      A Personal Revelation — “The word of the LORD that came to Micah!

Š      A Clear Understanding — “Which he saw!

Š      A Present Need — “In the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah!

Š      A Specific People — “Concerning Jerusalem and Samaria!

 

(Micah 1:1) “The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.”

 

2.    God’s Witness

 

(Micah 1:2) “Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.”

 

Micah faithfully declared to his generation, and particularly to Israel and Judah, God’s professed people, the church and kingdom of God in his day, that it is God almighty, the holy, triune Jehovah, who bore witness against them. —— Blessed are those sinners to whom God sends a faithful prophet!

 

Micah, as God’s prophet, boldly declared the low estate of God’s Church. He called in the neighboring nations as if to witness it.

  • Gath was one of the chief cities of the Philistines.
  • Aphrah means the land of dust, from its lowness and poverty.
  • Saphir, though beautiful, shall know her shame.
  • And Zaanan, which means a country of flocks, shall also be judged.

 

Micah declared God’s judgment upon all the neighboring nations, as well as upon Israel and Judah. All who are in the earth are sinners, under the wrath and impending judgment of God!

 

O children of God, when we read of such things and tremble for this generation, how blessed it is for us, as we see our God going forth in judgment, to have the chambers of His covenant for our refuge (Isaiah 26:20-21).

 

(Isaiah 26:20-21) “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”

 

3.    God’s Wrath

 

In verses 3-8 Micah describes God’s indignation and wrath upon Israel and Judah, indeed upon all the earth, for idolatry.

  • Idolatry is the great crime of humanity in all ages.
  • Idolatry breeds moral decadence (Romans 1).
  • When the Church of God follows the counsel of men rather than the counsel of God she always falls into idolatry!

 

(Micah 1:3-8) “For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth. 4 And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, [and] as the waters [that are] poured down a steep place. 5 For the transgression of Jacob [is] all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What [is] the transgression of Jacob? [is it] not Samaria? and what [are] the high places of Judah? [are they] not Jerusalem? 6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, [and] as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof. 7 And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered [it] of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot.”

 

Micah’s was crushed! His heart broke for the very people upon whom he pronounced the wrath of the Almighty (v. 8; Romans 9:1-3).

 

(Micah 1:8) “Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.”

 

People often object to plain preaching that exposes their depravity and sin, preaching that leaves man stripped, naked, without excuse, doomed and damned without Christ. But you ought to bless God for such a preacher and such preaching. It is by the exposing our sin that sinners are brought to seek the Savior. You will never come to Christ until you need Him.

 

By what means can we be more persuasively convinced that we must have Christ? Without Him we are ruined!

 

Robert Hawker wrote, “When you and I are taught feelingly and experi­mentally what sin is; and that in us, that is, in our flesh, dwelleth no good thing; surely it must endear Christ, and induce a sense of our want of Him. Oh! how much will a soul long for Jesus, when led to see that without Him we are lost forever! Hence the Prophet's vision is not confined to Samaria and Jerusalem. All people, yea, all the earth is called upon to the charge.”

 

It is by the conviction of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment that sinners are taught of God to trust the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:7-11).

 

4.    God’s Chosen

 

We hear much about God’s elect and the election of grace. We know that all the elect shall be saved, and only the elect; but who are God’s chosen? Who is that elect remnant God is saving? Read verses 9-14 and you will see them described by God’s prophet Micah.

 

(Micah 1:9-14) “For her wound [is] incurable; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the gate of my people, [even] to Jerusalem. 10 Declare ye [it] not at Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust. 11 Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel; he shall receive of you his standing. 12 For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem. 13 O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she [is] the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee. 14 Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moreshethgath: the houses of Achzib [shall be] a lie to the kings of Israel.”

 

God’s elect are those people who are made, by the blessed operations of God upon their hearts, by His Spirit and by His Word, to know themselves sinners before God! Are you a sinner?

  • Sinners know that they have an incurable wound (v. 9).
  • Sinners take their place in the dust before God (v. 10).
  • Sinners, like Adam in the Garden, sense their nakedness before God (v. 11).
  • Sinners in the bitterness (Maroth) of painful conviction, look for good, but evil comes down from the Lord (v. 12). — This is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” in Jeremiah 30:7.
  • Chosen sinners, when called by grace, flee from Lachish, which represents every false way (1 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Revelation 18:4). Lachish was the first of the cities of Judah to embrace and teach idolatry.

 

“When Adam by transgression fell,

And conscious, fled his Maker’s face,

Linked in clandestine league with hell,

He ruined all his future race.

The seeds of evil once brought in,

Increased and filled the world with sin.

 

But lo! The Second Adam came,

The serpent’s subtle head to bruise;

He cancels his malicious claim,

And disappoints his devilish views;

Ransoms poor sinners with His blood,

And brings the sinner back to God.

 

[To understand these things aright,

This grand distinction should be known:

Though all are sinners in God’s sight,

There are but few so in their own.

To such as these our Lord was sent;

They’re only sinners who repent.]

 

[What comfort can a Savior bring

To those who never felt their woe?

A sinner is a sacred thing;

The Holy Ghost hath made him so.

New life from Him we must receive,

Before for sin we rightly grieve.]

 

This faithful saying let us own,

Well worthy ‘tis to be believed,

That Christ into the world came down,

That sinners might by Him be saved.

Sinners are high in His esteem,

And sinners highly value Him.”

—Joseph Hart

 

5.    God’s Determination

 

(Micah 1:15) “Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel.”

 

The Glory of Israel is our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s darling Son, our omnipotent Savior! Just when all hope appears to be gone, the God of all grace, the Father of mercy, brings His chosen as a rightful heir to Mareshah (The Head Place, The Crest of the Hill, The Place of Triumph and Dominion).

  • In Christ we are the rightful heirs of the glorious liberty of the sons of God!
  • In Him, we are made to be more than conquerors!
  • Though sinners wounded with an incurable wound, it is God’s determination to cure the incurable wound of His chosen; and, blessed be His name forever, He has done it, He is doing it, and He shall yet do it!

 

(Jeremiah 30:12-17) “For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise [is] incurable, [and] thy wound [is] grievous. 13 [There is] none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines. 14 All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; [because] thy sins were increased. 15 Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow [is] incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: [because] thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee. 16 Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey. 17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, [saying], This [is] Zion, whom no man seeketh after.”

 

(Jeremiah 30:24) “The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done [it], and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.”

 

When Christ, the Glory of Israel, reveals Himself in His chosen, He presents us with Himself as one with Him, and declares, — “Behold I and the children whom the Lord hath given Me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion” (Isaiah 8:18).

 

How are we to respond to such grace? How are we to respond to such wonders? How are we to respond to such judgments? Read verse 16. The only way to respond is with repentance and humility before the throne of God our Sovereign and our Savior (v. 16).

 

(Micah 1:16) “Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.”

 

The shaving of the head was, in ancient times, a display of shame, humility, contrition, and servitude. — “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness!

 

AMEN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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