Sermons

Summary: God takes Israel to court.

A. “Can you HEAR me now?”

1. That’s one of those COMMERCIAL CATCH PHRASES everyone knows.

ILLUSTRATION:

In 2001 Verizon Wireless hired 50 people to travel the country and test the company’s CELLULAR NETWORK. They each averaged 100,000 miles a year to ensure that the Verizon

Network was as FAR-REACHING as they ADVERTISED.

In 2002 Verizon hired thirty-four-year-old Paul Marcarelli of New York City to be the “personification” of those 50 testers. (And yes, those are his own glasses!) He became simply known as the “Test Guy” and in the Verizon commercials you would see him, on his cell phone, in a variety of places and situations testing the Verizon network uttering the phrase, “Can you hear me

now? Good!”

(As a side note: Verizon quit using Paul Marcarelli in their commercials back in 2011. And now, starring just this month, he is doing commercials for SPRINT. When Verizon quit listening, Sprint took over.)

2. “Can you hear me now?” is a question that God could be asking the kingdoms of Israel and Judah

because they certainly haven’t been listening to God.

a. From Micah’s writings it seems that the Northern Kingdom of Israel is either undergoing attack by

the ASSYRIAN ARMY or has already been CARRIED off into CAPTIVITY. Israel was taken CAPTIVE about 722-721 BC.

b. In 2 Kings 18:9-10 we learn that “Israel was taken captive during the reign of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, and that it took 3 years for Assyria to defeat and overtake the city of Samaria, the capital

of Israel.”

COMMENT:

God WARNED Israel time and again that this would happen unless they repented of their wickedness and idolatry and RETURN to Him, but they didn’t LISTEN. While the Assyrian army is viscously ripping their NATION APART killing people by the THOUSANDS, I wonder if God is sadly asking, “Can you hear me now, Israel?”

B. This is certainly the question that the Prophet Micah is now asking of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

1. He uses the words “HEAR & LISTEN” throughout this book to stress the importance of God’s Word.

2. Micah was written around 735-700 BC.

a. Micah was a contemporary with Isaiah, prophesying during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and

Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

b. There is a reference of him in Jeremiah 26:18 pronouncing “DOOM on Judah”.

COMMENT:

Micah was a resident of Judah from Moresheth-Gath, about 20-25 miles southwest of Jerusalem. He, even as Amos, was a prophet to the POOR and DOWNTRODDEN. He was especially indignant over the CORRUPTION and HEARTLESSNESS of the inhuman RULERS and money-serving PRIESTS and PROPHETS. Micah is said “to have Amos’ PASSION for JUSTICE and Hosea’s HEART for LOVE.”

3. Micah’s name means: “WHO IS LIKE THE LORD” (Yahweh)

MESSAGE:

I. MESSAGE CONCERNING JUDAH’S SINS (JUDGMENT)- chapters 1-3

A. Micah begins by letting his readers and listeners know that what he is about to say does not come from

him, but are the “WORDS of the LORD”- v. 1.

1. His prophecies concern the CAPITAL cities of Israel and Judah—“Samaria” and “Jerusalem.”

a. He begins with the word “HEAR” in v. 2- (READ).

b. Micah wants to know, “OKAY SAMARIA, JERUSALEM, EARTH. CAN YOU HEAR GOD NOW? GOD HAS SOMETHING TO TELL YOU, SO LISTEN UP.”

2. God has had enough with the IDOLATRY and WICKEDNESS of His people, so He is coming in

JUDGMENT against Israel and Judah- v. 3 (READ)

a. The “HIGH PLACES” are the SHRINES to the IDOLS that have been ERECTED.

COMMENT:

It was customary for nations to erect ALTARS and PLACES of WORSHIP on elevated spots

to give their gods and goddesses places of HONOR.

Of course, “the building of these HIGH PLACES were forbidden by God”- Deut. 12:11-14.

b. Micah pictures God as being much HIGHER than these HIGH PLACES. He said, “The Lord is

COMING DOWN from His dwelling place to DESTROY your HIGH PLACES.”

COMMENT:

The Jews had forgotten how GREAT and MIGHTY the Lord really is. But how often do we FORGET when we allow PEOPLE, THINGS and PLEASURE to have a HIGHER PLACE in our lives than Almighty God?

3. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was the first to be destroyed- vv. 6-16

a. God says, “I am going to make Samaria a heap of RUBBLE”- v. 6.

COMMENT:

After multiple WARNINGS and PLEADINGS that God would DESTROY Israel unless they REPENT and RETURN to Him, God finally sent the mighty and vicious Assyrian Army to carry out His JUDGMENT against the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

b. Samaria will be LAID to WASTE and all of her IDOLS and HIGH PLACES will be DESTROYED.

4. Micah knows that it’s only a matter of time that JUDA— his HOME NATION—is next.

a. “So he WEEPS and WAILS over Israel’s destruction and Judah’s impending judgment”-

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