Sermon: Five Reasons Why Micah Has Not Lost His Temper With The Ungodly
This morning I have fresh on my mind an interaction between me and three people down at the city square last night. For quite some time I talked to a woman named Melissa and we had a wonderful conversation. I got to hear a little bit about her life and we were able to talk about faith. Then a man named Michael came over and he joined into the conversation. Again, we had a wonderful conversation as well. I got to hear about his life and we were able to talk about his knowledge of the faith.
But then a third friend of their rode up on a bike. Initially he did not say anything. In fact, he seemed to have no desire to engage any way. And to be honest, I did not engage him in conversation. At that point I was too focused in on my discussion with Michael. But at some point Joe spoke up and there was anger in his eyes. He made it clear that he did not think Christianity was real, he thought it was foolish and he spoke of Christ in very blasphemous ways.
Initially I tried to talk with him. He would ask me questions and I would try my best to answer them but Joe would not let me finish one sentence. I have to admit that I became very frustrated. There was part of me that wanted to simply stop talking to him but there was another part of me that really did want to talk with Joe and to answer any questions that he might have. There was part of me that would even want to just listen to him and to show him that a Christian can love him even when confronted by someone who thinks this is all so foolish.
As time went on there were times when I found that my responses were not always done in the way that I would have liked. I found that it was getting harder and harder to talk to Joe without raising my voice or responding in a manner that was, quite frankly, more Chris, then it was Christ-like. And at that point Joe and I walked away from each other.
I mention all of this because this illustrates the very thing that I was wanting to talk about in the sermon today. I wanted to take this sermon and to appreciate Micah for ministering the way that he did to the culture he did, under very difficult circumstances.
So as we get going this morning I will tell you up front that this will be a two part sermon. This week we will see how Micah is a great example of a man who was led by the Spirit to interact with leaders who were godless and wicked. And in doing so, Micah would eventually come to the end of his abilities and have to draw upon the grace of God to continue to minister in a way that would be Spirit empowered and God glorifying. Micah can show us how to interact with men and women who have come to love evil and hate the good.
Next week we will go farther into this text, and perhaps into the next text to see the comfort that we can have even in hearing Micah talk about such things as we find in verses 2-3. A believer can be filled with hope when evil men are in power. A believer can be filled with hope even when God responds to these evil men with great judgment and discipline in which the believer gets caught up in.
In chapter three Micah is addressing the wickedness of the political, social and religious leaders in Israel and Judah. He is addressing the king and his household, political leaders, religious leaders and the false prophets of his day. Micah lived during a turbulent and chaotic time and it would have been so easy to have been caught up in all of the chaos and confusion. Micah was called to minister with a level head and heart of boldness through it all. In doing so, Micah becomes a good example for us.
We too are called to go into all the world to preach the gospel. Consider Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
So when we go out and we encounter all sorts of reactions and when we are put into difficult situations; what should our reaction to all of this be? What should our disposition and demeanor consistently reflect as we draw upon the presence of Jesus and the graces that He alone can provide?
Micah will give us a good example in Micah 3 of what this can look like.
In Micah 2:6 the leaders of Micah’s day had very little patience for Micah and others like him. They said to him, “Do not preach, (You all) should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us.”
How would Micah respond to such opposition and to the rejection of the message he preached? (Persistence, Power, and Patience)
Notice the very first words of our text today, “And I said”.
- Micah does not yell, scream, shout
- He does not insult, show contempt, disgrace them, disrespect them
There are two things that we can hardly talk about in our culture anymore without seeing major rifts occur, feuds and fights break fourth, and broken-fellowship occurs. We cannot discuss politics or religion without there being fights, ugly disagreements and conflicts.
And these are the very two things that Micah is continuing to put as the central part of his message before the leaders and before the people. And with all of the tension and stress that this can create our text begins with three simple words, “And I said”.
I will admit to you that in the context of this book, and even the context of these verses, these words seem mild, anticlimactic, soft and weak. To be honest, given the context, these words seem to be inappropriate.
Why? These leaders hate the good and love the evil. They are not indifferent to good or evil. They are not lukewarm in regards to good and evil.
- They passionately love evil with an insatiable appetite
- They despise, hate and utterly reject whatever is good, right and godly.