Accessing Grace By Faith - Micah 4:8-13
Micah 4:1-8 was a text that revealed so much grace. Virtually every line of that text contained expressions of grace. I narrowed down what we discussed last week into five expressions of grace. They were as follows:
God’s promises provide grace. God promised that these things would happen so we are to know that they will occur because of the grace of God. They will not occur because God stumbles upon the right people with the right talents or abilities to bring these things about.
Grace is also seen in the fact that it is the Lord who will assemble, gather, make a remnant and reign over them. It is the Lord who calls and gathers His people.
Grace is seen in who the Lord saves. He saves the lame, those who were driven away, and those who were cast off. These are the most unlikely people to have the ability to be saved. These are the most unlikely of people to receive grace; but God grants them grace as a gift.
There is grace seen in how he saves them. He saves the very people who have sinned against Him. He saves the very ones who were cast off and who were driven away from the promised land. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33)
Finally, we discussed how there was grace seen in the fact that God was King of this people and that his reign would be forevermore. God has the right and the authority to reign over this remnant. God has the will and desire to reign over this people. God has the grace to heal and to help this remnant.
When I consider last weeks text I cannot help but think that there is more that needs to be said. I cannot help but to consider that there is something more that needs to be understood and even responded too. Perhaps there is a caution to consider or a truth to recognize. This is what we will see in our text today.
Let me try to explain it in this way. Look with me at verse 8 which is where we ended last week. “And you, O tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, the former dominion shall come, kingship for the daughter of Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:8)
In the first eight verses of Micah 4 there is so much grace and goodness that the message of the first three chapters can be quickly forgotten and dismissed. It seems to me that when Micah speaks of a future dominion and kingship that most people would want to get in line to be a part of this kingdom.
When I was graduating from High School a friend of mine invited me to go to a university where he was being recruited to play football. While I was there with him they treated me as if I was one of the recruits that they wanted to sign. After a while I came to believe that I too was part of that group who was going to get to play football in college, even though I clearly not going to achieve that level of play. So too, everyone would read Micah 4:1-8 and may conclude that they were automatically tied too and a part of this kingdom and this remnant.
In the ministry of Jesus we find that there is a price to be paid to be part of Christ’s kingdom. For example, we see this in a mothers request that her two sons sit at Jesus’ right and left hand in the kingdom in Matthew 20:20-28. Jesus hears this request and then says to her sons, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” (22) HE was speaking of His rejection and His suffering.
Some who would get in line to participate in the kingdom of which Micah speaks would be the very ones whose sins have brought Israel to the brink of ruin and disaster in Micah’s day. After the presentation of the ‘Good News” by Micah in the opening verses of this chapter these very people may forget the message concerning the coming judgment upon this nation. Messages like we read about in Isaiah 10,
“Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!” Isaiah goes on to say, “What will you do on the day of punishment, in the ruin that will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth? Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain.” (Isaiah 10:1-4)
Micah’s words of grace in chapter four have not negated the destruction that he has said is coming. His words have not been a contradiction to the message that he has been preaching. Nor are these words of grace be taken as a mere bandage on a bigger problem as the false prophets would do. The entire message that Micah has preached is intended to provoke true repentance, trust, hope and a growing faith in the Lord and His promises.
In our text today Micah intends to remind this people that the future is going to be difficult, painful, severe, troublesome and desperate; and yet, God will accomplish the promises that He has made even though it may appear that he has hidden His face from them.
It is not always easy to see the hand of God when difficult times come. It is not always easy to see the face of God when dark times come. It is not always easy to know that God is with you when you go through the valley and the shadow of death.