by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Micah 2:1-5
I. I was giving a young pre-teen some instruction in Tae Kwon Do. I told her how the move was to be done, I showed her how it was done, and I explained why this method worked better. Exasperated with me, she put her hands on her hips and said, “I know how to do this; you don’t have to repeat yourself; once is enough for me!” Funny thing was that I was repeating the instruction from different directions precisely because she continued to do the move wrong.
A. Micah brought warnings to Israel from God - Micah 2:1-5
B. The result was an outcry against the crier - Micah 2:6
1. They spoke out against Micah, telling him not to speak out
2. (Notice the inequity?)
C. But God points out that if the prophets don’t speak out, there will be no change in the bad behavior.
II. People don’t like to hear rebukes
A. The wise learn, but fools scoff at rebuke - Proverbs 13:1
B. Duty of a preacher, but there are people who prefer myths - II Timothy 4:1-4
1. Isaiah 30:9-11 - People who rather be comforted by lies
2. Jeremiah 5:30-31 - Astonishing that people prefer lies
3. Micah 2:11 - A man advocating drinking would be popular, though it would be useless teaching
4. With no love for the truth, they accept lies - II Thessalonians 2:10-11
5. To show how far people will go - Jeremiah 26:20-23
C. Some want no conflict
1. The “can’t we just get along” crowd
2. Unity is important - Ephesians 4:1-3
3. Peace is needed - II Corinthians 13:11
4. But true unity and true peace only comes in obedience to God
a. Jeremiah 6:14 - Superficial healing by claiming a peace that did not exist
b. Jeremiah 8:11-12 - Claiming peace while continuing to sin
c. Jeremiah 23:17 - Claiming peace while living by their own standard
5. Woe to those altering the difference between truth and lies - Isaiah 5:20-24
III. Instruction involves repetition
A. Peter sought to constantly remind the brethren - II Peter 1:12-15
B. Now in case you didn’t get the message, he reminds us again - II Peter 3:1
C. Even the knowledgeable need reminders - Romans 15:14-15
D. Reminders help keep us safe - Philippians 3:1
IV. But what if they disagree?
A. A young man wrote because he was told that if a Christian disagrees with you and then you bring the subject up again, then you are not accepting him as a weaker brother.
1. The allusion is to Romans 14:1
a. People should be received with the idea that we will eventually argue them out of their odd ideas – their doubts.
b. It would be like the woman thinking that once she marries the man she’ll “fix” all his personal problems.
c. If a person is acceptable, they should be accepted
(1) Accepted by God, stands before God - Romans 14:3-4
(2) We all belong to God - Romans 14:7-8
2. But does this mean that any topic that fellow Christians hold diverse views should not be brought up?
a. Such would not make sense - Acts 20:20, 26-27
b. The gospel is not taught for the approval of men - I Thessalonians 2:4
c. The gospel is not to be handled craftily - II Corinthians 4:1-6
B. But when sin is involved, when someone is not living a life acceptable to God, we cannot be silent
1. The fall of Israel came because those on watch didn’t sound an alarm - Isaiah 56:10
2. For the people’s sake, the watchman cannot be silent - Isaiah 62:1
3. God expects the watchmen to not be silent - Isaiah 62:6
4. Even though many will not listen - Jeremiah 6:17
C. In the first century, there were those raised in Judaism worshiping with Gentiles.
1. Though they left Judaism, many it appears continued to follow their Jewish customs.
2. Could they successfully worship with Gentiles?
a. Of course!
b. The Gentiles were not look down on their Jewish brethren because they kept dietary restrictions - Romans 14:3
c. And the Jews, knowing intellectually that the Law was ended, but still unable to confidently change their diet was not to condemn their Gentile brethren - Romans 14:22-23
d. The Gentiles were expected to be sympathetic to the Jewish brethren and not to force the issue - Romans 14:21; I Corinthians 10:23-33
3. But was the issue never talked about? Quite the contrary!
a. The Jewish Christians were told not to judge those who no longer kept the traditional holy days - Colossians 2:16-17
b. They were told that circumcision was not to be demanded - Galatians 5:1-4
c. When Peter isolated himself under pressure from Jewish Christians, Paul stood against him - Galatians 2:11-19
V. Strive for unity and peace, not by avoiding topics, but by seeking to live acceptable to God
A. Not by following after lies - Jeremiah 23:26-29
1. God’s word is the wheat - it nourishes those who accept it
2. God’s word is fire - it tries; destroying the bad and purifying the good
3. God’s word is a hammer - it breaks those who refuse to accept it.
B. I Corinthians 1:10