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Unjust Rulers to Ruling in Justice

Majoring in the Minors  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  52:16
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Introduction

Corrupt leadership over the people leads to governing and ruling in injustice. In our country and in our government we see corruption and we cry out at the injustice around us. Our culture and way of life is permeated through and through with injustice. Evil seems to prevail and justice is hidden or impotent. Whats worse is that this injustice has permeated even the sanctuary
Our current situation and climate of injustice and evil is not unique to us and our time. The culture and sins of our time were prevalent in Micah’s day as well. The same sins and the same cultural thinking from back then is alive today. Micah’s hope was to point forward to the promised rule and reign of justice in the coming Kingdom of the Lord. Evil and injustice was prevalent and is still still prevalent - what is God going to do about it? Its painfully obvious by now hopefully that the answer is not found in another ruler or another form of human government. Who is Like Our God to take us from Unjust rulers and ruling to ruling in justice Himself. Lets go through Micah 3-5 and see how God is going to do that.
Micah 3:1–3 CSB
1 Then I said, “Now listen, leaders of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel. Aren’t you supposed to know what is just? 2 You hate good and love evil. You tear off people’s skin and strip their flesh from their bones. 3 You eat the flesh of my people after you strip their skin from them and break their bones. You chop them up like flesh for the cooking pot, like meat in a cauldron.”
Micah 3:4–5 CSB
4 Then they will cry out to the Lord, but he will not answer them. He will hide his face from them at that time because of the crimes they have committed. 5 This is what the Lord says concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who proclaim peace when they have food to sink their teeth into but declare war against the one who puts nothing in their mouths.
Micah 3:6–7 CSB
6 Therefore, it will be night for you— without visions; it will grow dark for you— without divination. The sun will set on these prophets, and the daylight will turn black over them. 7 Then the seers will be ashamed and the diviners disappointed. They will all cover their mouths because there will be no answer from God.
Micah 3:8–10 CSB
8 As for me, however, I am filled with power by the Spirit of the Lord, with justice and courage, to proclaim to Jacob his rebellion and to Israel his sin. 9 Listen to this, leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert everything that is right, 10 who build Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with injustice.
Micah 3:11–12 CSB
11 Her leaders issue rulings for a bribe, her priests teach for payment, and her prophets practice divination for silver. Yet they lean on the Lord, saying, “Isn’t the Lord among us? No disaster will overtake us.” 12 Therefore, because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become ruins, and the temple’s mountain will be a high thicket.
Micah 4:1–2 CSB
1 In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established at the top of the mountains and will be raised above the hills. Peoples will stream to it, 2 and many nations will come and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us about his ways so we may walk in his paths.” For instruction will go out of Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Micah 4:3–4 CSB
3 He will settle disputes among many peoples and provide arbitration for strong nations that are far away. They will beat their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nation will not take up the sword against nation, and they will never again train for war. 4 But each person will sit under his grapevine and under his fig tree with no one to frighten him. For the mouth of the Lord of Armies has spoken.
Micah 4:5–7 CSB
5 Though all the peoples walk in the name of their own gods, we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever. 6 On that day— this is the Lord’s declaration— I will assemble the lame and gather the scattered, those I have injured. 7 I will make the lame into a remnant, those far removed into a strong nation. Then the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time on and forever.
Micah 4:8–9 CSB
8 And you, watchtower for the flock, fortified hill of Daughter Zion, the former rule will come to you; sovereignty will come to Daughter Jerusalem. 9 Now, why are you shouting loudly? Is there no king with you? Has your counselor perished so that anguish grips you like a woman in labor?
Micah 4:10 CSB
10 Writhe and cry out, Daughter Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you will leave the city and camp in the open fields. You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued; there the Lord will redeem you from the grasp of your enemies!
Micah 4:11–12 CSB
11 Many nations have now assembled against you; they say, “Let her be defiled, and let us feast our eyes on Zion.” 12 But they do not know the Lord’s intentions or understand his plan, that he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor.
Micah 4:13 CSB
13 Rise and thresh, Daughter Zion, for I will make your horns iron and your hooves bronze so you can crush many peoples. Then you will set apart their plunder for the Lord, their wealth for the Lord of the whole earth.
Micah 5:1–2 CSB
1 Now, daughter who is under attack, you slash yourself in grief; a siege is set against us! They are striking the judge of Israel on the cheek with a rod. 2 Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; one will come from you to be ruler over Israel for me. His origin is from antiquity, from ancient times.
Micah 5:3–4 CSB
3 Therefore, Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of the ruler’s brothers will return to the people of Israel. 4 He will stand and shepherd them in the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord his God. They will live securely, for then his greatness will extend to the ends of the earth.
Micah 5:5–6 CSB
5 He will be their peace. When Assyria invades our land, when it marches against our fortresses, we will raise against it seven shepherds, even eight leaders of men. 6 They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with a drawn blade. So he will rescue us from Assyria when it invades our land, when it marches against our territory.
Micah 5:7–8 CSB
7 Then the remnant of Jacob will be among many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or linger for mankind. 8 Then the remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, among many peoples, like a lion among animals of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, which tramples and tears as it passes through, and there is no one to rescue them.
Micah 5:9–12 CSB
9 Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries, and all your enemies will be destroyed. 10 In that day— this is the Lord’s declaration— I will remove your horses from you and wreck your chariots. 11 I will remove the cities of your land and tear down all your fortresses. 12 I will remove sorceries from your hands, and you will not have any more fortune-tellers.
Micah 5:13–15 CSB
13 I will remove your carved images and sacred pillars from you so that you will no longer worship the work of your hands. 14 I will pull up the Asherah poles from among you and demolish your cities. 15 I will take vengeance in anger and wrath against the nations that have not obeyed me.

End of Injustice

Leaders Judged

Micah 3:1–2 CSB
1 Then I said, “Now listen, leaders of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel. Aren’t you supposed to know what is just? 2 You hate good and love evil. You tear off people’s skin and strip their flesh from their bones.
Micah 3:3–4 CSB
3 You eat the flesh of my people after you strip their skin from them and break their bones. You chop them up like flesh for the cooking pot, like meat in a cauldron.” 4 Then they will cry out to the Lord, but he will not answer them. He will hide his face from them at that time because of the crimes they have committed.
Listen leaders of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, you are supposed to know what is just. Yet instead of acting and ruling justly you instead pervert justice. You hate good and love evil. You have no love of the LORD and neither do you fear Him.
Psalm 97:10 CSB
10 You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of his faithful ones; he rescues them from the power of the wicked.
Proverbs 8:13 CSB
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech.
Instead of practicing justice they acted in opposite and perverse standards. Instead of leading the people they were like wild beasts tearing skin and stripping flesh of the people they are supposed to lead and serve. They eat the flesh of God’s people and then prepare them for meat for the cooking pot. Literally to chew them up and spit them out. It is because of this injustice and perverse treatment that when they call out for help to the LORD He will not answer them, instead He will hide His face from them. Israel will go into captivity despite the leaders thinking their prosperity would continue and thinking the Lord was pleased because they were blessed. When the captivity comes then they would finally see that God was indeed punishing them.
There comes a time when in rebellion when consequences must be endured for the choices and actions. God certainly listens to the prayers of His people but this does not mean that He will relieve them immediately from the consequences of their sinful actions.

False Prophets Judged

Micah 3:5–6 CSB
5 This is what the Lord says concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who proclaim peace when they have food to sink their teeth into but declare war against the one who puts nothing in their mouths. 6 Therefore, it will be night for you— without visions; it will grow dark for you— without divination. The sun will set on these prophets, and the daylight will turn black over them.
Micah 3:7–8 CSB
7 Then the seers will be ashamed and the diviners disappointed. They will all cover their mouths because there will be no answer from God. 8 As for me, however, I am filled with power by the Spirit of the Lord, with justice and courage, to proclaim to Jacob his rebellion and to Israel his sin.
Micah also speaks a word from the LORD concerning the prophets. They lead His people astray, prophets were supposed to proclaim the word to bring people back to the LORD and back into His covenant but they were also acting contrary to their place of position and calling. They proclaimed peace when they were bribed with food. The one who provided them nothing however received the word of no peace. Concerned not for the purity of God’s people and not concerned for the truth of God’s word the prophets only cared for their own self and their own desires. Beware the prophet who’s goal and desire is not God’s truth proclaimed but his own wants and needs met. Materialism is their master not God.
Therefore because of their contrary way and contrary word God declared it will be night for them. It would be dark. No vision and no divination the sun will set on these prophets. The seers will be ashamed and the diviners disappointed. They will cover their mouth because there will be no answer from God.
As for me - Micah - I am filled with power by the Holy Spirit of the LORD with justice and courage to proclaim to Jacob his rebellion and Israel his sin. A message people want to hear is easy to proclaim, but to proclaim the message they need to hear takes - the power of the Holy Spirit, justice and courage. The true prophet desires to see people change their ways and turn back to God in response to the message of their sin.

Zion Destroyed

Micah 3:9–10 CSB
9 Listen to this, leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert everything that is right, 10 who build Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with injustice.
Micah 3:11–12 CSB
11 Her leaders issue rulings for a bribe, her priests teach for payment, and her prophets practice divination for silver. Yet they lean on the Lord, saying, “Isn’t the Lord among us? No disaster will overtake us.” 12 Therefore, because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become ruins, and the temple’s mountain will be a high thicket.
Listen to this leaders and rulers. You abhor justice and pervert what is right. You build Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with injustice. Rulings are issued for bribes and religious leaders teach for a payment and prophets prophesy for silver. They all lean on the LORD and presume the LORD is among them and among all the people. In this presumption they also presume that they are not in danger and disaster is not coming. Just like most who rule and reign in injustice they think that because they prosper they will just continue. They see the prospering as a sign that God is ok with it and is even blessing it.
Deuteronomy 16:19 CSB
19 Do not deny justice or show partiality to anyone. Do not accept a bribe, for it blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.
Micah gives the devastating judgment from God, because of the leaders - governmental and religious - Zion will be plowed like a field and Jerusalem will become ruins. The temple mountain will be a high thicket. The land will be cleared, the slate will be cleaned. I am wiping out the injustice.

Zion Restored

The Lord Will Rule

Micah 4:1–2 CSB
1 In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established at the top of the mountains and will be raised above the hills. Peoples will stream to it, 2 and many nations will come and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us about his ways so we may walk in his paths.” For instruction will go out of Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Micah 4:3–4 CSB
3 He will settle disputes among many peoples and provide arbitration for strong nations that are far away. They will beat their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nation will not take up the sword against nation, and they will never again train for war. 4 But each person will sit under his grapevine and under his fig tree with no one to frighten him. For the mouth of the Lord of Armies has spoken.
Micah 4:5–6 CSB
5 Though all the peoples walk in the name of their own gods, we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever. 6 On that day— this is the Lord’s declaration— I will assemble the lame and gather the scattered, those I have injured.
Micah 4:7–8 CSB
7 I will make the lame into a remnant, those far removed into a strong nation. Then the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time on and forever. 8 And you, watchtower for the flock, fortified hill of Daughter Zion, the former rule will come to you; sovereignty will come to Daughter Jerusalem.
Micah’s prophecy now turns from the coming destruction and plowing of the land to looking forward to the “last days”. The “last days” is the End Times, the Day of the Lord, the Second Coming of Christ. These first eight verses of Micah’s prophecy are specifically speaking of the future promised Millennial Reign of the Messiah, of Christ.
The mountain of the LORD’s house is speaking of the kingdom and rule of the LORD’s house being established. This kingdom will be established at the top of the mountains and raised above the hills - it will be supreme, sovereign and known. Peoples will stream to it - all nations, all ethnos will stream to it to come desiring to go to the house of the LORD and the house of the God of Jacob.
God’s plans and promises are not nullified because of sin - they are established because of His Word.
Genesis 12:3 CSB
3 I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
Israel will be prominent above all the other nations in all the earth.
The temple site will be the center of the Millennial government, the place where Christ will rule from. A stark and striking contrast to the desolate condition of Jerusalem when it is plowed . The religious and political systems will be closely related (no separation of church and state). Moses’s day saw Israel’s government completely intertwined with the religious system. The king anointed by God to govern and the priest anointed to lead in worship.
In the Millennium the King will also be the High Priest. He will teach us His ways, that we would walk in His paths. From Zion instruction will go out and the Word of God from Jerusalem. He will settle disputes among many peoples and provide arbitration for strong nations far away. They will turn to piece and will no longer take up arms - nor need them. They will no longer train for war. Peace will reign with justice and fear will be unknown.
Also on that day - that day of the Lord, that day when the Messiah comes, when the King comes to rule and reign the people will be gathered together again. The lame, the scattered, those injured - they will be a remnant and a strong nation.
The LORD himself will rule over them from that day forever - sovereignty will come to Jerusalem in the Millennial reign.

The Lord Will Rescue

Micah 4:9–10 CSB
9 Now, why are you shouting loudly? Is there no king with you? Has your counselor perished so that anguish grips you like a woman in labor? 10 Writhe and cry out, Daughter Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you will leave the city and camp in the open fields. You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued; there the Lord will redeem you from the grasp of your enemies!
Micah 4:11–12 CSB
11 Many nations have now assembled against you; they say, “Let her be defiled, and let us feast our eyes on Zion.” 12 But they do not know the Lord’s intentions or understand his plan, that he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor.
Micah 4:13 CSB
13 Rise and thresh, Daughter Zion, for I will make your horns iron and your hooves bronze so you can crush many peoples. Then you will set apart their plunder for the Lord, their wealth for the Lord of the whole earth.
Returning now from the future hope and promise back to their present troubles and judgment. Micah proclaims their coming judgment will involve a great amount of distress like a woman in labor. They will be delivered to Babylon - but they will also be redeemed from their. Many nations have come up against them - Assyria. They seek to defile them but do not know the LORD’s intentions or plan.
These events must take place - the fact that they are taking place should give hope that what the LORD has promised in chapter 4 will also take place. The Lord will rescue them He is not done with them and He will again rise them in prominence under the rule and reign of their Messiah the Coming King.

Justice Will Reign

Coming King

Micah 5:1–2 CSB
1 Now, daughter who is under attack, you slash yourself in grief; a siege is set against us! They are striking the judge of Israel on the cheek with a rod. 2 Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; one will come from you to be ruler over Israel for me. His origin is from antiquity, from ancient times.
Micah 5:3–4 CSB
3 Therefore, Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of the ruler’s brothers will return to the people of Israel. 4 He will stand and shepherd them in the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord his God. They will live securely, for then his greatness will extend to the ends of the earth.
Micah 5:5–6 CSB
5 He will be their peace. When Assyria invades our land, when it marches against our fortresses, we will raise against it seven shepherds, even eight leaders of men. 6 They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with a drawn blade. So he will rescue us from Assyria when it invades our land, when it marches against our territory.
A ruler will come specifically the King. The ruler to come is prophesied with some specific prophecies. The ruler will comes from Bethlehem but not any Bethlehem it will be Bethlehem Ephrathah, the Bethlehem of David specifically six miles south of Jerusalem. The coming King will be of the tribe of Judah (the kingly tribe). The coming King is eternal - His origin is from antiquity and ancient times. There was not a time when this coming King did not exist. He will be deity.
Verse 1 is contrasted with verse 2 - the current situation is discouraging but all will be changed with the coming Messiah.
Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is labor has given birth and then the rest of the rulers brothers will return to the people of Israel. Micah again anticipates a future time partially fulfilled in the Babylonian exile and return but finally fulfilled in the Great Tribulation and restoration of Israel. Three stages of history are described here.
Rejection of their Messiah and the abandonment until that time. Present condition in the Age of Grace.
The time of travail that awaits the nation - the Tribulation
After the pangs Israel gives birth - the believing remnant out of the unbelieving nation.
The remnant will be gathered to be ruled by Christ. He will stand and shepherd them in the strength of the LORD and name of the LORD his God. They will live securely and He will be their peace. It isnt just the ruler from Bethlehem bringing peace; He is peace.
Ephesians 2:14 CSB
14 For he is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In his flesh,
Christ’s shepherd care for Israel and His worldwide dominion are set forth in verse 4. When the future Assyrian army strikes Jerusalem, the Messiah will raise up enough capable leaders to drive them back. 7 followed by 8 is the poetic framework meaning an adequate number, there will be an adequate number of leaders raised up. The point is that with the coming King, we have hope for deliverance. The King will be the administrator of justice - true justice.

Purified Kingdom

Micah 5:7–8 CSB
7 Then the remnant of Jacob will be among many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or linger for mankind. 8 Then the remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, among many peoples, like a lion among animals of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, which tramples and tears as it passes through, and there is no one to rescue them.
Micah 5:9–11 CSB
9 Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries, and all your enemies will be destroyed. 10 In that day— this is the Lord’s declaration— I will remove your horses from you and wreck your chariots. 11 I will remove the cities of your land and tear down all your fortresses.
Micah 5:12–15 CSB
12 I will remove sorceries from your hands, and you will not have any more fortune-tellers. 13 I will remove your carved images and sacred pillars from you so that you will no longer worship the work of your hands. 14 I will pull up the Asherah poles from among you and demolish your cities. 15 I will take vengeance in anger and wrath against the nations that have not obeyed me.
The final picture of what God is going to do is in regards to his remnant as he restores his people. Look at everything the Lord is cutting off from the people in verses 10-15. God is going to cause you to trust him by ripping from our hands everything that we depend on. The armies are cut off in verse 10 so they cannot trust in military might. The cities are cut off in verse 11 so that they cannot trust in the defenses of living in a city. The sorcery is cut off in verse 12 and the idols are cut off in verses 13-14 so that they cannot trust in any activity that they can do of themselves.
God will not only look after Israel’s purity; in the Millennial Earth the nations will also need to walk in purity before Him. He will ensure justice reigns in the final kingdom - His kingdom!

Conclusion

Micah’s message is simple - injustice will be judged by God - God will restore justice through His King - His Messiah and the future coming Kingdom. Justice will reign - peace and purity will be throughout the land in those coming days. Injustice will be judged and dealt with.
The encouragement is that we endure injustice for a time because of the promise of the coming justice. The hope for the future makes the present situation bearable. We must persevere lest we fall away.
Hebrews 4:1 CSB
1 Therefore, since the promise to enter his rest remains, let us beware that none of you be found to have fallen short.
Hebrews 4:11 CSB
11 Let us, then, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.
Future promises encourage and strengthen us for the days that lie ahead.
2 Peter 3:13–14 CSB
13 But based on his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found without spot or blemish in his sight, at peace.
Today, we have an advantage over the Israelites of Micah's day...
We have already seen much of his prophecy fulfilled with the first coming of the Messiah
As Peter wrote, "we also have the prophetic word made more sure" - 2Pe 1:19
Made more sure in its fulfillment, it comforts us and strengthens our hope regarding future promises of God
If God kept His promise concerning the first coming of His Messiah, we can have confidence He will keep His promise concerning His return!
Peter went on to say concerning "the prophetic word" (e.g., The Minor Prophets)...
2 Peter 1:19 CSB
19 We also have the prophetic word strongly confirmed, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
Who is like our God to remove injustice and replace with perfect justice in His promised King and promised coming kingdom that will last forever - reserved for those who receive the peace of their Messiah of the Christ as their Savior and Soon Coming King!
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