Journal Micah 6-7 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “With what shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? (Pause reflectively)
He has told you O Man what is good; and what does the Lord require of you—but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:6-8
“Who is a God like you; pardoning iniquity and passing over transgressions for the remnant of his inheritance. He does not retain is anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.
He will again have compassion on us. He will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You (O Lord) will cast all our sins into the depth of the sea!” Micah 7:18-19
Observation: There is a conviction in the words of the prophet Micah that is sorely missing in my heart AND mouth on a consistent basis. I know why, though. It is because I forget the Gospel.
Analysis: I don’t really forget the Gospel. What I do is forget to consider the full impact of the Gospel in every part of every day of my life.
I have heard that Spurgeon was asked why he hammered (my word) on the Gospel every time he preached? His answer was, “Because we daily forget” or something like that. And this from a guy who probably preached 10 times per week to a packed house for years.
I first read the term, “Preach the Gospel to yourself daily”, from “Discipline of Grace” by Jerry Bridges. When I initially came across that term it didn’t mean much to me—I read right over it maybe thinking “That’s catchy, I ought to use that…”
It wasn’t until years later that I started to understand the depths of actually DOING that statement and I didn’t come to that understanding unilaterally, it had to be preached and explained what that meant (again and again).
Micah is explaining a significant part of the Gospel in these two passages. In the first one, he is asking (sort of rhetorically, sort of not) what payment, what sacrifice, is necessary to bring me into good graces with God? I notice that all the offerings are EXTERNAL VALUE—nothing is being offered of himself, except temporary losses of property, bank accounts, and family.
Micah does indicate what is acceptable (should he care to do it): Change of the inward part of a man, change of character, change from pride to humility.
In the second passage, Micah defines (in part) the Sovereignty of God concerning the Gospel: God will do this, God will do that, God will pardon iniquity and will set aside his anger toward sin to delight in steadfast love.
That implies I am in the middle of responsibility of decision: Shall I try to give my way into His good graces (which is not possible)? Or shall I capitulate (surrender, relent, cede, submit, yield) to what He says and accept that He made the atonement for my sin?
While this is pretty good for someone who doesn’t know Christ, the emphasis is not for that guy. It is for the guy who remembers all of this in the morning and forgets it all by lunch time.
Prayer: Father, you are not impressed by gobs of materials or wealth. You are impressed by a humble heart bowed before you constantly as I go along my daily work, relationships, commerce, recreation, and all that.
I want to learn to pray unceasingly—always keeping a running dialog (not monologue) going with you, Holy Spirit. I want to hear your voice and see your hand in everything I do and particularly have a heart of flesh, not of stone.
Bring revival. AMEN