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Date: 15 July, 2019
Text: Micah 7:1-9
Title: Our Day: The Day In Which We Live
Last time our family traveled to the States we had a meeting in Florida at a supporting church - Gospel Baptist in Bonita Springs - Pastor Bill Lytell "Sermons that will knock your socks off."
The Lytells took our family out to eat and invited Tom and Ginny Chricton to join us.
These men told me that when they began their churches in the late 1970's. You had a property and a building after 1 year.
- Pastor Crichton's church in New Engand - several hundred members.
- Pastor Lytell's church in Bonita Springs, several hundred members, large christian school....
They didn't tell me that to discourage me. We were talking about what God was doing back in that day. THAT WAS BACK THEN.... Times change and these men realize that the day in which we live is a tougher day to start a church.
It is a tough day to be a Christian, when we look back on what used to be and what now is. OUR DAY IS A DIFFERENT DAY.
Micah is living in a day like this. In our text - Micah 7 -
- he laments what is WOEFUL about his day.
-But, then he also presents what is hopeful about his day.
I'm going to preach this morning on THE DAY IN WHICH WE LIVE. We don't get to chose the day in which we live. But we can chose what we focus on in the day in which we live. What are you focusing on? We can't help but see the world, but it doesn't have to consume us.
The day in which we live....
I. We can't help but see what is woeful in our day.
exp. There are times when it is good to evaluate the situation in which we find ourselves as believers.
ill. Nehemiah 2 - Nehemiah was burdened to rebuild Jerusalem. But, before he got started he had to honestly evaluate what was there.
12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.
13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.
14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.
15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.
16 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.
17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.
18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
exp. Nehemiah was motivated by what he saw. He was burdened to change the situation for God's glory. But, he couldn't help but acknowledge the reality of the MONUMENTAL TASK IN FRONT OF THEM BECAUSE OF THE DEPLORABLE CONDITION OF GOD'S CITY.
note: He wasn't being negative by saying that the gates were burned with fire and the walls knocked down. He was just observing the obvious.
app. We aren't being negative this morning when we look at the things that are woeful in our day. We're just observing the obvious as Nehemiah did and as Micah does in our text. May God motivate us by what we see.
A. The harvest is hopeless.
1 Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit.
exp. Micah's disappointment is like someone who's mouth is watering for a fresh cluster of grapes. However, the harvest is past and he can't find anythin to satisfy that hankering.
ill. Tuesday - enjoyed the day of prayer with some fellow ministers.
- Pastor Carl Miller (Inverurie Baptist Church) offered me some Fritoes. American corn crips. A little taste of home.
(He told us he trades canned Haggis with someone in the States for Texas baked beans.)
- Pastor Rick Demastus - Velveeta Chese - said his mouth watered just thinking about it.
exp. We can get homesick thinking about how things used to taste, feel, smell, sound.... back home. THE WAY IT USED TO BE WHICH WE LOVED.
question: What was Micah longing for - the way things used to be with the people of God.
- the smell of the incense of the offerings offered to God
- the sound of the people singing in worship.
- the joy of a people blessed by God for their consecration to them.
exp. BUT THEY DAY OF THE HARVEST WAS PAST AND IT WAS HOPELESS.
Jer 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
exp. God's servants would get on their knees at this point and weep for what is not being done for God's glory. It seems so hopeless.
ill. Another OT prophet was given a vision of just how bad things were with Israel.
Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones.
1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
app. We have searched for a harvest, in Loanhead, Bilston, Roslyn.... WHERE IS THE FRUIT FROM GOD'S VINEYARD? "My soul desired the firstripe fruit" But, the harvest is hopeless!
B. The faithful have failed.
2 The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men:
exp. Micah wanted someone to lift up his hands and encourage him as a prophet of God. But, there was none to come alongside and encourage him in what He was doing for God! HE LOOKED ON EVERY SIDE AND SAW NO MAN.
note: If you stand for God as a faithful and godly individual - you will at times feel isolated.
King David - Psalm 12:1 Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
exp. God's prophets knew what it was like to stand when no one else would stand.
1Ki 19:14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
note: God had a remnant - 18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
exp. God reminded him that he had 7,000 standing. But, he felt like no one else was standing and HE HAD TO STAND.
app. If you stand for God, you are going to rightly feel at times that you are in the insignificant minority.
C. The wicked are winning.
exp. This is overstated - because the wicked will never win - but it seems like they are winning.
ill. Like Asaph states is Psalm 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
BUT THEIR DAY OF JUDGMENT IS COMING.
17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.
exp. Right now it seems like they are on the increase.
1. They have blood on their hands.
they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.
ill. Scotland - highest per capita drug deaths in the EU and possibly in the world in 2018.
1200 recorded deaths. (60,000 problem drug users in Scotland.)
Jacquie - Glenrothes - lost her mum, dad, two sisters and brother to drugs.
13,286 babies murdered in their mother's wombs
ill. Last Sunday night a young man died at Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh
1,136 Alcohol - specific deaths.
app. Publicans, drug dealers, Bookies - who rob men of hope - false teachers (who've taken away hope by teaching evolution) governments who have legistlated abortion or people who voted to legalize it - have blood on their hands. THEY HUNT EVERY MAN THEIR BROTHER WITH A NET.
2. They have sin on their minds.
3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly,
exp. They are not just sinners. They are greedy sinners.
note: This encompasses two things which God hates.
Pro 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
ill. When Ireland voted to legislate the murder of babies and when NYC changed their law to allow for late term abortions - they didn't just get their way - THEY GOT THEIR JOY.
ill. Washington Examiner - 23 January, 2019
"On Tuesday, coincidentally the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the New York State Senate passed the Reproductive Health Act, and it was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The law, which is likely the most expansive abortion bill in the country, allows late-term abortion until the baby’s due date if it meets certain requirements. Not only is this kind of legal protection of late-term abortion an affront to the humanity of the unborn and the dignity of society, but New York celebrated it publicly, as if it had just won the Super Bowl."
"Per the CDC, about one in three unborn babies are aborted in New York City. Statistics also show more black babies are aborted than born alive in New York City."
ill. Our world uses the term PRIDE when they should use the term SHAME. They call it love and God calls it SIN.
Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
ill. As has been the case of past societies, mankind are wicked and unashamed.
- Jer 4:22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
- Jer 6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
app. We don't just live in a sinful society - we live in a society that earnestly does evil.
3. They are corrupt.
the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up. 4 The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.
exp. Where people would look for help, (government, justice system) they find no help. Everyone is corrupt. Those that were made to protect instead pierce those they were sworn to keep.
ill. How many murdered babies are going to stand at God's judgment throne and point at the Dr. who killed them, the politician and judge who legalized their murder?
note: prohibition was a good thing - those who were in power RULED RIGHTEOUSLY AND PROTECTED LIVES AND FAMILIES.
ill. Scotland has a massive drug culture - what about the politicians the pushed methadone which has been found to be more lethal than heroine - what about making a clinic in Glasgow for heroine addicts to shoot up instead of helping them get set free?
ill. Hate crime legislation, antismacking legislation, victimizing Christians for believing and obeying the Bible.
BUT GOD'S JUDGMENT IS COMING.
1 Thes. 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
D. The trustworthy are not to be trusted.
exp. Our world is wicked. Government and the justice system are not be trusted. What about family and friends....
5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.
6 For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.
exp. But, these are family who are unbelievers - surely they will respect my position as a follower of Jesus? Surely they are to be trusted? But, family members in Micah's days would turn against you.
ill. Young man in Inverurrie saved out of homosexuality and drug addiction. God has transformed his life. His family wanted him to get God - BUT NOT THIS MUCH OF GOD and now they are opposing him.
ill. Jesus warned about the opposition of family who hate Jesus and his followers.
Matthew 10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
app. Is not our day like the day's of Micah's? - No wonder Micah says - Woe is me! This is a woeful day indeed. (We can't help but see that - but we aren't to focus upon it. Micah says next, "THEREFORE I WILL LOOK UNTO THE LORD."
II. We must put our eyes on what is hopeful in our day. (Jesus)
ill. Finished the OT in my Bible reading and started reading Matthew - Jesus is constantly being harrangued by the wicked false religions leaders. Every time he tries to teach they are baiting him and trying to trip him up.
Hebrews 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
exp. He's been through it - WE NEED TO KEEP OUR EYES ON HIM.
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
A. Look to Jesus.
7 Therefore I will look unto the LORD;
ill. Ezekiel had to look to the Lord when asked about the impossible situation in front of him.
Ezekiel 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
app. It is a hopeless harvest - BUT THE SPIRIT OF GOD CAN BRING LIFE BACK INTO THE VINE! Determine to look to Jesus!
B. Wait for Jesus.
I will wait for the God of my salvation:
ill. Choir at BJU - singing in the Founders Memorail Amphitorium - FMA. Seated 5,000. I always felt bad for the girl standing next to me as I held the book with shaking hands. For Bible Conference - preacher boys were the choir. We would stand and sing - former preacher boys would stand up - I remember singing, "Hold the Fort for I am coming...."
app. Are you going to hold the fort for Jesus?
C. Cry to Jesus.
my God will hear me.
exp. The world laughs when they hear you. The judges won't listen. Unsaved family will oppose you. But, God will hear your cry.
ill. David cried to God in his wicked day.
Psa 119:126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law.
The early church cried in their wicked day....
Acts 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
app. God isn't going to hear you if you don't cry out to him. I don't think you will cry if you don't agree with God in what we've already considered.
example - Those who agree with the world about sexual sin, abortion, liberalism, evolution - have no reason to cry to God.
app. But, those who see it AS GOD SEES IT - have every reason to get to the place of prayer and seek the face of God!
D. Get help from Jesus.
8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.
exp. Don't get excited
- wicked majority
- corrupt government and judges
- opposing family
WHEN I FALL I SHALL ARISE. TRY TO TURN THE LIGHT OUT - GOD WILL TURN IT ON!
Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
Ill. Elijah on the mount thinking he was all alone - the still small voice came - God encouraged him with his still small voice, God had already, fed him and helped him get some sleep, he then sends him to annoint another prophet (Elisha) who he would train to be his successor.
app. Christian soldiers who feel isolated - GOD WILL HELP YOU! You will not put your trust in Him in vain.
E. Confess to Jesus.
9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me:
exp. Micah acknowledged that the spiritual downfall of Israel was because of their sin and he would humbly admit his guilt and need of God's mercy.
ill. Daniel - when pleading for God's mercy does not just say, "Israel deserves this because of her sin."
Daniel 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
exp. Micah says - GOD WE DESERVE TO BE IN A LOW DAY AS THE PEOPLE OF GOD. It is because of sin and I'm a sinner. I don't deserve your mercy. BUT I WILL BEAR THE REPROACH OF THE LORD UNTIL YOU SEE FIT TO TAKE IT AWAY.
app. Do we deserve as a church to be in a better position than we are in? Is not the condition of the world due to the condition of the church? Is God not rightly indignant at the sin which robbed his church of her glory? Should we not get on our knees with Micah and Daniel confessing our sin.
F. See Jesus.
9 ...he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.
exp. Micah would let God bring him into the light of his righteousness and Micah would walk in the light of God.
question: Are you walking in the light?
Psa 36:9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.
ill. Funny video - caravan - parked at a church in WI. Logan and Benson as little boys - come up the camera, heads down looking "guilty as sin" as they say. Dirt all over their faces.... they didn't want the light to expose their transgression - but when they drew near to mum and dad they got cleansed.
app. You've got sin dirt on your face today if you are ashamed to draw close to God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
app. If you want to get cleansed, come to the light. Let God illumine you and show you how bad it really is and let Him cleanse you.
conclusion: We live in a woeful day - wicked, corrupt, even familial love is tested.
BUT - LIKE MICAH - WE SHOULD SAY - Therefore I will look to God!
1.) Can you agree with God about how woeful things have become?
2.) Are you ready to cry out to God to change things? ARE YOU BURDENED TO PRAY?
3.) Are you willing to get in the light of Jesus?
- As a sinner confessing your need for salvation?
- As a christian confessing your sin in the LIGHT OF HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.