If you would like to listen to this sermon, please click on this link.
If you would like to watch a video of this sermon, please click on this link.
Date: 13 February, 2020
Text: Micah 7:
Title: What to do when....
Preparedness: is a good thing. You have to know what to do if....(certain circumstances.)
ill. Brexit - The Governement was critisized for spending a lot of money investigating what to do in the case of a no deal Brexit. But, they wisely pursued a range of possibilities.
- Including long back ups at the ports of entry.
- Possible riots from people who were anti-brexit
- Food shortages or medical shortages.
exp. It hasn't happened yet - but we are preparing in case it does.
ill. Y2K - I remember back in 1999 there was a fear that computer code would not be able to handle the change to year 2000 and that everything would shut down.
- People stock piled canned goods and water.
- They bought generators and stored fuel.
exp. It didn't happen, but we were prepared in case it did.
exp. Many things in life are like that, what to do if.....
Other things in life are more - WHAT DO DO WHEN....
ill. Fire drills - How to get out of the building, where to meet, If fire catches on your clothing, "stop, drop and roll." (Fires are happening now and preparedness helps people safely get through a fire.)
ill. Learner drivers - Hazard perception - being able to identify a hazard and make necessary adjustments to speed or maneauvering. (There are many hazards are all over our roads - (hopeful not you and me) preparedness helps us get ready.)
text: Micah 7 - is a preparedness text. It is Micah sharing with us what he had determined to do when living in difficult days spiritually. IT IS WHAT TO DO....
1. When you expect fruit and there is none.
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 as a prophet has been preaching to Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and Judah (the Southern Kingdom.) Like other prophets, he wanted fruit from His labours and it was few and far between.
- Maybe some overlooked fruit high up on the vine.
- Or some unripe fruit.
- Or some fruit that had fallen off and was wasting on the groun.
- The vine of God's people wasn't overflowing with fruit for a harvest.
app. We can relate to that in our day - we put in a lot of effort and see a low return.
2. When there are no good men.
2 The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men:
exp. Remember - "good" and "upright" does not mean that they appear kind and nice.
question: Is a person good and upright....
- Who approves of mother's murdering babies in their wombs?
- Who rejects the creator God and give His glory to evolution and man?
- Who exhalts what is right in his eyes and cares not what God says?
- Who justifies wicked language, wicked actions, wicked thoughts?
- Who continues in sin which killed the Son of God?
app. Few would agree with this in our day, because they are not good or upright.
3. When men in power are corrupt.
....they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.
3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.
exp. While we rejoice in a democratic government and pretty good judiciary.
- Government and judges have opposed God on the sanctity of life.
- Government and judges have opposed God on the sanctity of marriage.
- Government and judges are beginning to oppose Christian parents and the family.
- Many governments and judges around the world are opposed to Christianities' Bible, Beliefs and practices.
app. Micah is a prophetic book which does see into the last days and when Antichrist reigns this corruption will be complete.
4. When God's judgment must inevitibly come.
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. It was so bad that Micah said it was inevitible that God's judgment would come. Obviously the tribulation will be the final fulfilment of this. However.... was the flood the last time God judged the world by divine wrath?
- What about pandemics? wars? earthquakes? storms?
app. In a wicked day we shouldn't be suprised when it seems like God is upset. Surely when men are so against God, they will feel the wrath of God.
5. When friend and family can not be trusted.
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. Jesus preached about this day....
Matthew 10:21 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.
ill. Jesus himself was betrayed by a friend. - Mat 26:50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
app. Would you be suprised in our day to find some whom you should expect to stand with you standing against you? Praise God - we haven't fully found this day and yet this day is coming.
The message this morning...
WHAT DO DO WHEN LIVING IN DIFFICULT DAYS SPIRITUALLY.
You do realize that we are living in days which are increasingly more like this?
I. Determine to focus on the LORD.
7 Therefore I will look unto the LORD;
exp. Where you focus (your spiritual eyes) in time of trial makes all the difference.
ill. Having emergency surgery as a child - blood vessel had constricted the tube that goes between the kidney and bladder - my kidney was swelling. I spent a couple weeks in the hospital. As part of that I remember getting an MRI. It can be a little scary - going back into the center of that donut shape - I remember my dad being there and just keeping myself focused on him.
ill. The deacon preacher Stephen had His eyes focused on the Lord - Acts 7
52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
exp. It seems that Stephen wasn't scared though the whole world was against him and he was being martyred. Why? Because His eyes were seeing HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE.
ill. Moses had that kind of spiritual eyesight in His day when the King of Egypt was against him.
Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
app. Where are your spiritual eyes focused today? Do you see the Lord Jesus standing in the position of power beside God? Determine to focus on the LORD.
II. Determine to wait on God's salvation.
I will wait for the God of my salvation:
exp. God is not just the God of eternal salvation from sin and hell. He is the God of daily and moment by moment salvation.
ill. Have you enjoyed the weather lately? Named storms every weekend?
ill. I told brother Tommy last week that - the day we first arrived - it was raining and I was running into buildings - everyone else was just walking. A few days later we had sleet going straight sideways and Scots were running and I thought - "Ok, now the weather is bad."
ill. Our weather can be fierce in Scotland - 4 tourists decided to climb Ben Nevis last week during the horrible weather. Three of them were wearing trainers. They had no winter safety kit or proper clothing. Thankfully they were able to get a mobile phone signal and give their exact location to rescue workers. One was suffering from hypothermia when they were SAVED.
exp. It was their fault this time - other times it is now ones fault - but the job of the mountain rescue team is to save men's lives.
question: Are you aware that we have someone who is willing and able to save us from every predicament in life?
Isa 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
2Sa 22:3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
2Sa 22:47 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.
ill. Those 4 tourists at the top of Ben Nevis needed to wait after letting the mountain rescue team know of their need of salvation. To try to affect their own deliverance would have been at great hazard to their own lives.
question: Have you determined to wait DAILY and CONTINUALLY on the God of your salvation?
Psa 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
transition: Determine to wait on God's salvation, to focus on the Lord.
III. Determine to trust in God.
my God will hear me.
exp. Here is the part of the verse that really attracted me to this text. I love this simple statement of trust in God. "My God will hear me."
ill. God has blessed us with several more meetings scheduled for our trip to the United States. Two scheduled this week were a special blessing to us when Logan needed major surgery.
- Open Door Baptist - Prattville.
- Pastor's wife if you ever need prayer for anything just call - her sister was a nurse who assisted Doctor's who do cranio facial surgeries.
- Falls Baptist, Menomonee Falls -
- Pastor's wife - son had major surgery with a very skilled surgeon.
- Here is his home phone number - just give him a call.
note: It is a blessing to pick up a phone and have someone listen on the other end and help meet your need.
Isa 59:1 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
Psa 139:4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
note: The phone line to heaven reaches everywhere.
ill. Jeremiah in prison was told.
Jer 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
ill. Jonah was in a fish's belly.
Jon 2:2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
app. No matter if it seems if God doesn't hear - determine to trust in God, "My God will hear me."
transition: Determine to trust in God, to wait on God's salvation, to focus on the Lord.
IV. Determine to get up every time you fall.
quote: "Down but not out."
8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise;
ill. Do you remember the weeble wobbles - egg shaped with weight at the bottom - you knocked them over and they would come back up - we had a plastic punching bag like that - you punched it and it would always come back up.
exp. Micah wasn't going to stay down and lose the fight. He had determined that when he fell he would arise.
note: There will be times when we will fall.
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. Did my internship in Tucson, AZ - had assigned reading - Charles Spurgeon's, "Lectures to My Students." I've shared with you often a poem from that book. I memorized it because I needed it.
"They on the heights are not the ones, who never erred nor went astray, who strode unswerving to their goals, along a smooth rose bordered way. NAY, those who stand when first comes dawn, are those who stumbled but went on."
exp. It is impossible to think that any Christian will never fall. But, some fall and get up and some fall and stay down.
Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
app. What do you do when you fall? Do you quit? Or get back up and fight on?
transition: Determine to get up every time you fall, to trust in God, to wait on God's salvation, to focus on the Lord.
V. Determine to let the LORD illumine your darkness.
...when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.
exp. In darkness, Micah would sit with confidence of God illuminating the darkness.
ill. Have you ever been in a really dark place? Cave of the Mounds in Wisconsin
Take you down and show you - stalactites, stalagmites, columns and other formations.
exp. I remember that during our tour they would turn off the lights. You couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Now days everyonoe carries a torch in their pockets.
note: We don't like darkness - physically - it's hard to navigate.
ill. I have some ideas for youth activities that we can't do. One is.... Put dangerous obstacles all over the room, (snake pit, high voltage shock points, razor wire) make the room completely dark and see who can most quickly get to the other side.
exp. Where that is a "not so fun" unrealistic idea - it isn't far off from what we face at times spiritually. WE HAVE TO NAVIGATE THROUGH DARKNESS WITH DANGEROUS OBSTACLES.
NOTE: We need to determine to trust in God's illumination.
Psa 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
exp. A lamp shines down and a light shines forward.
GOD'S WORD GUIDES US THROUGH DARKNESS.
Isa 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Psalm 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
app. When you are faced with the dangers of darkness, are you determined to let the LORD illumine your darkness?
transition: Determine to let the LORD illumine your darkness, to get up every time you fall, to trust in God, to wait on God's salvation, to focus on the Lord.
VI. Determine to accept hard times as being deserved.
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 accepted any difficulty he faced as being no better than what he deserved. He was a sinner and as a sinner life ought to be tough.
ill. Job succeeded in going through his incredible trial with this mindset.
- His cattle and donkeys were stolen and servants killed.
- His sheep and shepherds were destroyed by fire from heaven.
- The camels were stolen and servants killed.
- A tornado destroyed the home where his children were and they were all killed.
exp. That's just chapter 1 - now chapter 2
7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.
9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
question: Why do you deserve better than what you have? Why is it unfair? What right have you to complain to God for any trial that you are facing?
exp. When God spoke with Job after his trial, God didn't repent - but Job did.
Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
exp. Satan is quick to try to encourage us to think that we deserve better. If we got what we deserved we would have been sent to hell long ago.
app. Have you determined to accept hard times as being deserved? Can you receive good and evil from the hand of God with gratitude?
transition: Determine to accept hard tims as deserved, to let the LORD illumine your darkness, to get up every time you fall, to trust in God, to wait on God's salvation, to focus on the Lord.
VII. Detemine to hope in Jesus' coming and victory.
...he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.
10 Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.
exp. When God came then the enemy who mocked Micah would be defeated. Micah had steadfast hope that God would come and give victory.
ill. Documentary of the 1973 Syrian Israeli tank battle for the Golan Heights in Northern Israel. - Israel was outnumbered 7 to 1
- It was Yom Kippur and most Israeli's were fasting.
- The Syrians estimated it would take 20 hours for reservists to mobilize.
- But, Israel had their reservests in battle in 10 hours.
- Once they arrived Israel - against all odds defeated her much bigger enemy.
exp. We feel vastly outnumbered and needing reinforcements, but Jesus is coming and with His coming is victory.
song: Ho my comrades, see the signal waving in the sky, reinforcements soon appearing, victory is nigh. Hold the fort, for I am coming, Jesus signals still. Wave the answer back to Heaven, by thy grce we will.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
app. Are you determined to hope in Jesus coming and victory?
Preparedness is good. It's good to know what to do when....
Micah helps us this morning know....
What to do when living in difficult days spiritually.
1) You expect fruit and find none.
2) When there are no good men.
3) When government and judges are corrupt.
4) When God's judgment must inevitibly come.
5) When friends and family can't be trusted.
exp. These days are coming and for many in our world they are here.
question: What should we determine to do?
1) Determine to focus on the LORD.
2) Determine to wait on God's salvation.
3) Determine to trust in God.
4) Determine to get up every time you fall.
5) Determine to let the LORD illumine your darkness.
6) Determine to accept hard times as being deserved.
7) Determine to hope in Jesus coming and victory.