Preacher for the People

Let me say this up front, then, you can and will decide if you want to finish reading this or not.  The preacher who preaches to please the people, the largest groups, does not please God.  The Preacher of God; the prophet of God preaches what God says, not what men say.  Having said that hear the prophet Micah…

“Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame. O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the Spirit of the LORD straitened? Are these His doings? Do not My words do good to him that walketh uprightly? Even of late My people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war. The women of My people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away My glory for ever. Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction. If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.” Micah 2:6-11 (KJV)

Micah lived during some of, if not most of the time of Isaiah (See Isaiah 1:1 and Micah 1:1); they were in the era of the same kings.  Isaiah had told the people…

Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceit… Isaiah 30:10

I have always heard that you can catch more flies with honey. I have always wondered why you would want to ruin good honey by catching flies in it.  Besides I am offended at the thought that a human being is thought of as a fly.  People with a mind, who can think.  People can see the peril they are headed toward if they are warned of it; and that is what a prophet/preacher of God actually does.  Remember this; God’s warnings are also God’s promises.  He does fulfill every word He speaks – the negative and the positive.

Let me give you a study note from the MacArthur Study Bible then I will close this lesson…

2:6-11  False prophets, commanding Micah to cease prophesying, would certainly not prophesy against the people’s evil doings; they would not confront them with the divine standard of holiness.  Rather their false message (v. 7) had stopped the mouths of the true prophets and had permitted the rulers to engage  in social atrocities (vv. 8,9), leading the people to destruction (v. 10).  They didn’t want true prophecies; therefore, they got what they wanted (cf. Is. 30:10). It is best to understand that Micah speaks in v. 6 and God in vv. 7-11.

Who will you listen to?

If you truly love Jesus the one who died for your sins, was buried and rose again; then you will listen to His words.  “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15

Christmas Day 6

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want all of those who claim to be “Christian” to love God’s Word, believe His Word and live, in the power of His Spirit, what He teaches us; remembering these things; “To love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves;” and also this “To do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God”.

Christmas Day One Hundred One

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want peace to reign always in my heart; and in my home, family, friends, and in the world; I want the world to know the peace that comes only through faith in Jesus and His death, burial and resurrection, and that He is coming again and all will be made right.

But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.’ For the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.  For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” Micah 4:1-5 (KJV)

Christmas Day Two Hundred Twenty and Five

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to walk with God, so that others may see His Son Jesus Christ living in me.

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3 (KJV)

“This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:9 (NKJV)

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8 (KJV)

Also see Genesis 5:22-24;

Day Two Hundred Fifty and Eight

Everyday as Christmas.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to be able to live so that I can always be a help and benefit to others; my family, my neighbor, and any who might not even like me, and might even consider me their enemy. I do not consider anyone my enemy, except the one called Lucifer.

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8 (KJV)

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7

 

Day Three Hundred and Thirteen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with the LORD Almighty; and I want that for all who follow Jesus; and if you do not, that you will.

He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 (NKJV)

“If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” John 12:26

What Do I Want For Christmas? Day 358

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to be more like Jesus in that I not be a “respecter of persons”, and to learn to be just, and merciful to all no matter their economic, living, health, or cultural situation in the world; to be faithful to the Lord in all situations dealing with them.

“My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.” James 2:1ff

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 (NKJV)

The One Who Delights in Mercy

Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy.  He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.  Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which Thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.”  Micah 7:18-20 (KJV)

The God of the Bible; Old and New Testament is now, has always been, and forever shall be the merciful GOD.  “He delights in mercy” are part of the words written above.

Every living being on earth in the past, present and future have experienced His mercy.  We have no right to His mercy.  We do not deserve His mercy.  We cannot earn it.  He gives it without us even taking note of it.

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

Someone has said, “Mercy is not receiving what we actually deserve.  Wrath.  Grace is receiving from God what we do not deserve.  Love, forgiveness of sin.”  That is pretty close anyway.  God loves His creation, and has sent His only beloved Son to die for our sins, and to raise Him to life again that we all might be made just in the eyes of God.  All who will believe on Him.

-T.A.

The Enemy Within

Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame.  O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? Are these His doings? Do not My words do good to him that walketh uprightly?   Even of late My people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war.  The women of My people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away My glory for ever.  Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.  If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.”  Micah 2:6-11 (KJV)

Someone once said, “We have found the enemy, and he is us.”  I do not remember where I heard that or who said it; however, it can be so true; for a nation, a family, community, State, church; and as in the above case; the people who are called by God’s name.

When those who call themselves by God’s name oppose the very Word of God; they become the enemy within, and wreak judgment upon their families, and rob God of the glory that belongs solely to Him.  These same people will begin listening, then, to anyone who will give them comfortable words, lifting them up emotionally; and deny the truth of the Word of God.

Listen people.

-T.A.

 

Day 65 – Who Is Like the LORD?

We hear many people speak of “Justice”, “Right” or “Rights”, and the world is filled with injustice, and unrighteousness; and none of us are completely innocent of either.  We love seeing the hungry fed, the poor and/or homeless given shelter and even finding prosperity in their paths of life.  Is it injustice that makes people poor; or unrighteousness that causes a family to go hungry or  without shelter?  My answer to that is NO!  Circumstances in life can have an affect on an individual’s misfortune; or that of a families homelessness and poverty.

One thing we can be certain of and that is that there is no injustice, or unrighteousness in or with our GOD, the Lord of creation.  My reading began in the Minor Prophet of Micah, and concluded with Habakkuk with Nahum in between.  My reading only consisted of 13 chapters today.  That is where those five extra days at the end will help make up the difference.

Micah is a prophet who calls for his listeners to “Hear”.  In verses 1:2; 2:1, 9; 6:1 the prophet Micah calls for the people to “Hear”.   He calls on the religious leaders to hear, the political leaders, and the people to “Hear”.  We need to hear what Micah has to say.  Micah’s name means, “Who is like the LORD?”

“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.  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.  For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of His place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.  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.” Micah 1:1-4 (KJV)

By the first verse we can tell that Micah was a contemporary with Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos.  The LORD is a witness against all injustice and unrighteousness.

How many times have you heard someone say, “Life is not fair”, or “That’s just not fair” or some other “fair” statement.  NO! Life is not fair.  God is however Just and Righteous; and we can depend on and trust Him to do what is right, just and holy.  He calls on His people to live that way too.  The LORD is not pleased when He sees injustice and unrighteousness, especially in those who call themselves “children of God”.

“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.  And many nations shall come, and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” Micah 4:1-2

Micah is a prophet with a prophecy of promise.  A day is coming when nations will “flow” unto the “Mountain of the house of the LORD”.  “Flow” seems like a thing that a river would do within its banks.  It is a natural thing for a river to flow.  It is a natural thing for the people of God to flow to the place where God is, yet it is by the power of God that we are able to flow there.  Who is like the LORD?

We can see this question; though not stated as we read Nahum and Habakkuk.

In Nahum we have written,

“The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.  He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.  The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.  Who can stand before His indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him.  The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in him.   But with an overrunning flood He will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue His enemies.” Nahum 1:3-8 (KJV)

The prophecy of Nahum is written to Nineveh, that same city that God had sent the prophet Jonah to about 100 or so years previous to Nahum’s prophecy; and the city had repented, and God withheld judgment.  However, now judgment was coming because of their sinful brutality and wickedness;

“Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not; the noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots.  The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses: because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.  ‘Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; ‘and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.  And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock.  And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, ‘Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?'” Nahum 3:1-7

Though Habakkuk asked the timeless question, “How can a holy God allow evil to continue?” he still comes to the conclusion like the others.  “Who is like the LORD?”  This prophecy is a debate, of sorts, between the prophet and the LORD.  Of course in a debate such as that there is only one winner of the debate; however the one who yields to the LORD’S wisdom is a winner too.

Habakkuk’s conclusion of the matter,

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  The LORD God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19 (KJV)

Habakkuk has reached the conclusion that all of God’s people will reach.  God is God.  There is no other.  I will trust in Him when there are no crops; when the blessings are all dried up; when the flocks and the herds are no more.  Who is like the LORD?   There is none like Him.

-Tim A. Blankenship

B F & M – The Christian and the Social Order

For the most part down through the history of Baptists we have been economically poor people.  That is not to say that we have not had well to do people in our churches.  We have been a hard working, devoted class of people, who would give to anyone in need.

In some cases, and maybe in many ways we still are.  Our National and State Conventions offer aid to victims of storms accross our Nation.  When our Nation was attacked on September 11, 2001; and there was cleanup work to be done of nearby appartments we had cleanup crews cleaning, at no charge, to the residents of those appartments in order for them to return to a somewhat normal life.  We also had crews feeding people, at the same time.

I heard the other day that the Southern Baptist Convention had the third largest Crisis Team in the United States with the Red Cross being number one, Salvation Army second.  Why do it?  Because we are caring people who care for other people.  Most of all, because we love Jesus Christ and want others to know our Savior.

Baptists people are also people who see problems in the society we live in and are quick to point out the dangers we see.  Things involving immorality; such as all forms of sexual sins, and things which cause harm to our families.

Here is our Statement of Faith:

“XV. The Christian and the Social Order

All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.

Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.”

As you can see by our Statement of Faith we are a people who cherish life.  We believe that life begins at conception.  I insert here that, if life is not sacred before the child is born, then, he/she will not be sacred after she/he is born.  God gives life and only He has the right to take life away, and sometimes that is done through human government, by way of capital punishment; for capital offenses.

In Micah 6:8 the God inspired prophet wrote, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of  you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”  That is the belief of faithful, committed Baptists.  That should be the attitude of all Christians.

-T.A.