Sermon #12                                                                                                                                     Micah Series

 

      Title:                                   Halt, Driven Out

and Afflicted

 

      Text:                      Micah 4:6-8

      Subject:   The Incarnation and Birth of Christ

      Date:                    Tuesday Evening — December 27, 2011

      Tape:                    Micah #12

      Readings:           Don Raneri and David Burge

      Introduction:

 

Our text tonight is Micah 4:6-8. Halt, Driven Out and Afflicted. — That is the title of my message. Halt, Driven Out and Afflicted — Those words very accurately describe God’s people in this world. Halt, Driven Out and Afflicted — Those words describe God’s Church in every generation (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).

 

(1 Corinthians 1:26-31) “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

 

Halt, Driven Out and Afflicted — Those words very accurately describe how God’s people look upon themselves.

 

(Psalms 40:17) “I [am] poor and needy; [yet] the Lord thinketh upon me: thou [art] my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.”

 

(Psalms 69:29) “I [am] poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.”

 

(Psalms 70:5) “I [am] poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou [art] my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.”

 

(Psalms 86:1) “Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I [am] poor and needy.”

 

(Psalms 109:22) “I [am] poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.”

 

Proposition: The God of all grace promises salvation to the halt, the driven out and the afflicted.

 

(Micah 4:6-8) “In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; 7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. 8 ¶ And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.”

 

Ezekiel 34:11-17

 

There is a similar promise given by the mouth of Ezekiel in Ezekiel 34.

 

(Ezekiel 34:11-17) “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, [even] I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep [that are] scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and [in] a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. 16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up [that which was] broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. 17 ¶ And [as for] you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.”

 

Yes, the Lord God declares that He will destroy the fat and the strong; but He promises grace and salvation to the halt, the driven out and the afflicted. — Most of Joseph’s Harts most excellent hymns are almost altogether unknown in this religious age. They speak of things this generation cannot understand. Here’s one of his best…

 

“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.”

 

I repeat again the one thing I want you to get from this message: — The God of Heaven promises grace and salvation to the halt, the driven out and the afflicted. May He Who inspired His servant Micah to write out this magnificent prophecy of grace now inscribe His Word upon our hearts, for Christ’s sake.

 

Divisions: If the Lord will enable to do so I want to show you three things from these three verses.

1.    The Objects of Grace

2.    The Grace Promised

3.    The Tower of Grace

May God the Holy Spirit speak now to your heart by His Word through these stammering lips of clay.

 

The Objects of Grace

 

First, those sinners who are the objects of God’s mercy, love and grace are described in verse 6. — “In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted” (Micah 4:6).

Halteth

 

Those sinners to whom Jehovah is wed, those who are the objects of His grace, those Christ came to save are here called — “Her that halteth.” You will recall what the Angel of the Lord did to Jacob when he wrestled with him and compelled him to acknowledge “I am Jacob.” — “And when He saw that He prevailed not against him, He touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as He wrestled with him” (Genesis 32:25). As a result, Jacob “halted upon his thigh” the rest of his life. So it is with God’s elect.

Š      Smitten in Holy Spirit Conviction in the Process of Conversion

Š      Smitten in Holy Spirit Conviction in the Constant Experience of Grace.

Š      I am black, but comely” (Song of Solomon 1:5).

Š      What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies” (Song of Solomon 6:13).

Š      Romans 7

Š      Galatians 5

 

The halt are those who limp along, without strength, incapable of walking in a straight path or walking uprightly. The halt, the lame live in constant pain. That’s me!

 

(Psalms 38:15-22) “15 For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. 16 For I said, [Hear me], lest [otherwise] they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify [themselves] against me. 17 For I [am] ready to halt, and my sorrow [is] continually before me. 18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.”

 

“21 Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. 22 Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.”

 

Driven Out

 

The Lord God promises, “I will assemble her that halteth!” Next, God’s chosen are described as those who are “her that is driven out.” The God of all grace declares, “I will gather her that is driven out.” The holy Lord God never gathers any He has not first driven out. — “He gathereth together the outcasts of Israel” (Psalm 147:2). Yes, the Lord God has “devised means that His banished be not expelled from Him” (2 Samuel 14:14).

Š      Banished in the Fall

Š      Banished from the Womb

Š      Banished in Conviction

Š      Banished in Experience

 

“Where is the blessedness I knew,

When first I saw the Lord?

Where is the soul refreshing view

Of Jesus and His Word?

 

What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!

How sweet their memory still!

But they have left an aching void

The world can never fill.”

                  —William Cowper

 

————————————

 

“How tedious and tasteless the hours

When Jesus I no longer see;

Sweet prospects, sweet birds and sweet flowers,

Have all lost their sweetness to me;

The midsummer sun shines but dim,

The fields strive in vain to look gay.

But when I am happy in Him,

December’s as pleasant as May.

 

His Name yields the richest perfume,

And sweeter than music His voice;

His presence disperses my gloom,

And makes all within me rejoice.

I should, were He always thus nigh,

Have nothing to wish or to fear;

No mortal as happy as I,

My summer would last all the year.

 

Content with beholding His face,

My all to His pleasure resigned,

No changes of season or place

Would make any change in my mind:

While blessed with a sense of His love,

A palace a toy would appear;

All prisons would palaces prove,

If Jesus would dwell with me there.

 

Dear Lord, if indeed I am Thine,

If Thou art my sun and my song,

Say, why do I languish and pine?

And why are my winters so long?

O drive these dark clouds from the sky,

Thy soul cheering presence restore;

Or take me to Thee up on high,

Where winter and clouds are no more.”

                                                                                                                                                                                    —John Newton

 

Afflicted

 

Then, the Lord says, “and her that I have afflicted!” Yes, our afflictions, children of God, are afflictions wherewith our heavenly Father has afflicted us.

Š         Physically Afflicted

Š         Mentally Afflicted

Š         Spiritually Afflicted

 

Illustrations: The afflicted child is sure to get

  the most tender care!

 The vine that is pruned bears fruit.

 

“`Tis my happiness below

Not to live without the cross

But the Savior’s power to know,

Sanctifying every loss:

Trials must and will befall;

But with humble faith to see

Love inscribed upon them all,

This is happiness to me.

 

God, in Israel, sows the seeds

Of affliction, pain and toil;

These spring up and choke the weeds

Which would else o’erspread the soil:

Trials make the promise sweet;

Trials give new fife to prayer;

Trials bring me to His feet,

Lay me low, and keep me there.

 

Did I meet no trials here,

No chastisement by the way,

Might I not, with reason, fear

I should prove a cast-away?

Bastards may escape the rod,

Sunk in earthly, vain delight;

But the true-born child of God

Must not, would not, if he might.”

—William Cowper

 

God’s elect are the halt, the driven out and the afflicted. If you can find your place among them you will find His grace and find His grace sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:1-10).

 

(2 Corinthians 12:9-10) “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

 

The Grace Promised

 

Look at the grace God promises to perform for the halt, the driven out and the afflicted (vv. 6-7).

 

(Micah 4:6-7) “In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; 7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.”

 

What sweet promises these are to the weak and fearful! Halting and the trembling souls, under the thoughts of being cast off are here promised grace sufficient and strength in weakness. Christ is our Strength and our Confidence. He will both plead our cause and undertake our cause!

 

Notice how often that sweet word “I” is mentioned. — “I” the Lord will assemble. — I” will gather. — I” will make her that halted a remnant. All is His work; and when God works who can hinder?

 

What a great and gracious God our God is! He not only blesses obedience and blesses when we follow Him, He promises to bless us when we fall! He blesses by recovering us from our halting and falling! And of all the tokens of grace, that is the most endearing which is manifested over the aboundings of transgression. We have a passage similar to this in Isaiah 43.

 

(Isaiah 43:22-26) “But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. 23 Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. 24 Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. ————— 25 I, [even] I, [am] he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. 26 Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.” (Isaiah 43:22-26)

 

Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds! — God our Savior says, “I will assemble her that halteth, and gather her that s driven out, and her that I have afflicted.

Š      Gather My Sheep into Their Fold

Š      Assemble My People in Gospel Churches

 

God declares that He will make (make manifest that) “her that halted” is His remnant according to the election of grace.

 

Then He declares “I will make her that was cast far off a strong nation” (Ephesians 2:11-22).

 

(Ephesians 2:11-22) “Wherefore remember, that ye [being] in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

 

“14 ¶ For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:11-22)

 

 

Go back to our text — Micah 4:7. Here’s the next sweet promise of grace that our great God says He will perform for His chosen. — “The Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even forever!

Š      The Lord shall reign over all things for them.

Š      The Lord shall reign over them by His grace.

Š      The Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion, in His Church by the Gospel.

Š      The Lord shall reign over them forever!

 

The Tower of Grace

 

What great, magnificent promises! But can we rely upon them? Are they sure? Let’s see. In verse 8 Micah speaks of the Tower of the flock as the Stronghold into which the daughter of Zion flees, the Stronghold of God’s Kingdom. That Tower, that Stronghold is Christ our Savior.

 

(Micah 4:8)  “And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.”

 

(Psalms 18:2) “The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, [and] my high tower.”

 

(Proverbs 18:10) “The name of the LORD [is] a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”

 

(Zechariah 9:12) “Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare [that] I will render double unto thee.”

 

Application

 

Poor, tried, halt, afflicted, limping soul, the Good Shepherd has not forgotten you. He will gather all His sheep, and they shall pass again “under the hands of Him that telleth them” (Jeremiah 33:13). There shall not be one missing.

Š      At the Appointed Time of Love

Š      When Storms of Darkness Arise

Š      At Our Appointed Departure Time

Š      At the Resurrection

 

Here is good news for sinners. The Lord Jesus Christ saves sinners! — The Halt! — The Driven Out! — The Afflicted!

 

Sinners Jesus will receive!

Sound this word of grace to all

Who the Heavenly pathway leave,

All who linger, all who fall!

 

Christ receiveth sinful men,

Even me with all my sin;

Purged from every spot and stain,

Heav’n with Him I’ll enter in!

 

The fat and the strong He will destroy and feed with judgment!

 

(Ezekiel 34:11-17) “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, [even] I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep [that are] scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and [in] a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. 16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up [that which was] broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. 17 ¶ And [as for] you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.”

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com