Summary: People learn from each other’s actions. Many of our skills and behavior come as a result of imitation. We learn both positive and negative things. While watching other people’s actions, we can learn vocational or recreational skills. But also we can l
One Person’s Misfortune is Another Person’s Warning
People learn from each other’s actions. Many of our skills and behavior come as a result of imitation. We learn both positive and negative things. While watching other people’s actions, we can learn vocational or recreational skills. But also we can learn negative behavior by observing others. A well-known expression goes, “One person’s misfortune is another person’s warning.” We could profit by observing the mistakes of others and avoiding the same.
Micah wanted Judah to learn from Samaria’s mistake. In 722 BC the northern kingdom of Samaria fell to the Assyrians. Samaria’s departure from the Lord evidently caused the fall. Micah saw that Judah moved in the same directions as Samaria. He called attention to Israel’s mistake in hope that Judah would learn.
God’s people could benefit from the mistakes of former generations, but some still continue to rebel against God. When will they learn? Let us learn some valuable lessons from Israel’s mistake.
I. We can learn the awesome reality of God’s judgment (vv. 2-4)
a. The reality of God’s judgment is applicable to every person.
i. Notice all the universal terms Micah used in verse 2. “all ye people,” “O earth,” “and all that therein is.”
ii. Micah’s message did not just apply to a small group of people in Judah; the Lord’s judgment applies to every person on the earth.
b. The reality of God’s judgment on the world is analogous to the verdict of a judge in a courtroom.
i. v. 3, “For behold, the Lord cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.”
ii. God’s universal entitles him to act as judge.
iii. When God acts as judge, he takes powerful actions
1. v. 4, “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.”
2. these images portray that the God who comes to judge his people has at his command all the powers of the universe.
II. We can learn that basic causes of God’s judgment. (v. 3)
a. The cause of God’s judgment is idolatry
i. v. 5, “For the transgression of Jacob is all this…What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samarian? What are the high places of Judah? Are they not Jerusalem?”
ii. From the beginning of Israel as a nation, God demanded absolute obedience to him.
iii. He prohibited allegiance to idols.
1. Exodus 20:3, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
iv. Even in a casual reading of Samaria’s history you will disclose allegiance to idols.
1. Israel kept some idols of Canaan.
2. They also utilized some of the idols of their foreign neighbors.
3. The Lord would tolerate no rivals,; he responded in judgment.
v. Idolatry is not outdated.
1. It does not belong to the superstition of ancient people
2. Anything that takes the place of God is an idol.
b. The cause of God’s judgment is sin
i. v. 5, “For the sins of the house of Israel.”
ii. God’s people had committed sins against the Lord.
iii. Micah did not name the specific sins; he simply accused both Israel and Judah of offending God.
iv. They deliberately rebelled against the Lord and failed to live up to his expectations.
v. Failing to attain God’s goal made the people liable to the prosecuting action of God.
vi. God’s judgment is not simply an outburst of rage.
1. His judgment is a settled disposition against transgression and sins.
2. When we rebel and choose to go our own way, we can expect judgment from the Lord.
III. We can learn the tragic effects of God’s judgment (vv. 6-7)
a. God’s judgment brings destruction
i. Micah referred to the destruction of the impressive city of Samaria in verse 6.
1. This impressive city, noted for its beauty and military strength, became nothing more than a hill.
2. The city wall toppled
3. Future generations used the site to plant vineyards.
ii. Human beings must beware of what they call security.
1. Feeling secure in wealth and military might can lead to destruction.
2. Armies can be bested.
3. Cities can be destroyed.
b. God’s judgment brings disappointed.
i. The Israelites gave allegiance to the idols, and the idols were destroyed by the Assyrians.
ii. They then had no place to turn.
iii. They were not only defenseless, but bitterly disappointed in their so-called gods.
IV. We can learn of God’s great grief in his judgment (vv. 8-9)
a. God discloses his aching in judgment
i. v. 8, “Therefore I will wail and howl I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the jackals, and mourning as the owls.”