“O my people, what have I done to you?
How have I wearied you? Answer me!
For I brought you up from the land of Egypt
and redeemed you from the house of slavery,
and I sent before you Moses,
Aaron, and Miriam.
O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised,
and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
Micah 6:3-5 ESV
God is talking to his rebellious people like a man or a woman might talk to his or her wayward and adulterous spouse. And, he is reminding them of all that he had done for them, and how he had been faithful, and how he had provided for them, and had delivered them, and had protected them. And, he is appealing to reason and to common sense. He had done them no wrong, so why were they cheating on him with “other lovers”?
And, I believe our Lord is giving the same message today to his adulterous church who has forsaken her Lord to go after other lovers and to return to her sinful lifestyles she lived in before she believed in Jesus Christ. For, she is taking pleasure in sin once again, and she is partnered with the ungodly. She is no longer living separate (unlike, different) from the world, but she has now become one with the world again in an unholy union.
The fruit she is now bearing is not the fruit of righteousness, but she is bearing the fruit of wickedness and idolatry. And, she has largely rejected the gospel of salvation as taught by Jesus and his NT apostles to go after a feelings-based gospel that does not deny the flesh, but which upholds it. It does not put sin to death, but it coddles it, and it pacifies it. For it requires no death to sin or living to righteousness, but it gives free license to continue in sinful practices without guilt and without remorse.
Even though Jesus Christ died a horrible death on a cross so that we could be delivered (set free) from our slavery to sin, many of his people who were once walking in holiness have returned to their sinful ways, and they are even celebrating their newfound freedom, but it is no freedom at all, for they have returned to slavery. Although they had once tasted true freedom in Christ, they have chosen to be in bondage once again.
They are no longer living self-controlled lives, but out of control lives, not under the control of the Spirit of God. And, they are living by their feelings instead of by faith. If it feels good they do it, even if it is wrong. It is like they are drunk on sin, losing all sense of propriety, purity and holiness. Instead of being wise, they have become foolish. Instead of using common sense, they are senseless. And, they have crossed over God’s boundary lines, which he put in place for our protection, in order to do what ought not to be done.
“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?”
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 ESV
But, they are still claiming faith in Jesus Christ. They are still calling themselves Christians and followers of Christ. But, they have made up their own faith and their own gospel that pleases the flesh rather than pleases God. They have decided in their own flesh what they will or will not do for God. So, they go through religious performances of some kind, but of their own choosing, i.e. which fits with their chosen lifestyles.
So, they go through the motions of worship of God, going to religious gatherings where they sing praise and worship songs and where they listen to talks, where the Bible may or may not be used as the basis for the talks. And, they “stay in their own lane” as they are instructed, and they don’t say anything which might offend anyone, but they just smile and shake people’s hands and laugh and joke around and they call that Christian fellowship.
But, that isn’t what God wants. It isn’t what he requires. What he requires is our lives on the altar in surrender to him, forsaking our lives of sin to follow him in obedience to his will and to his ways. What he requires is that we live lives which are separate from the world of sin and holy unto God and dedicated to him and to his purposes. For, this is why he died (Rom. 12:1-2; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 2:24).
He requires that we do what is right in his eyes, not what is wrong, and that we exercise the kind of kindness that he has shown to us, which does not coddle or placate sin, but which confronts sin and which calls for repentance and walks of obedience to Christ. And, he requires that we walk humbly with him, not in pride and in self-pleasure, but in submission to his Lordship, in the forsaking of our sins and our idols, and in obedience to his commands.
The voice of the Lord cries to the city—
and it is sound wisdom to fear your name:
“Hear of the rod and of him who appointed it!
Can I forget any longer the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked,
and the scant measure that is accursed?
Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales
and with a bag of deceitful weights?
Your rich men are full of violence;
your inhabitants speak lies,
and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow,
making you desolate because of your sins.
You shall eat, but not be satisfied,
and there shall be hunger within you;
you shall put away, but not preserve,
and what you preserve I will give to the sword.
You shall sow, but not reap;
you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.
For you have kept the statutes of Omri,
and all the works of the house of Ahab;
and you have walked in their counsels,
that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing;
so you shall bear the scorn of my people.”
Micah 6:9-16 ESV
The Word of God teaches us that God disciplines those he loves, that he chastises and rebukes, and he prunes, and it is painful, but the purpose is that it will yield a harvest of righteousness, and that we might share in his holiness. So, don’t get the notion that just because God hasn’t disciplined you yet for your sinful rebellion that he will remain silent forever.
Remember with me if you will his letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation where he chastised five of those churches for their waywardness in various ways, and where he warned of divine judgment if they did not repent of their wicked ways. And, yet he promised rewards and blessings for those who did repent and who overcame sin’s deceit. And, these warnings to the church are what preceded the declarations of judgment throughout the rest of the book of Revelation.
We also read in scripture, which warnings were given to the church, that if we walk (in lifestyle) in sin, we don’t have eternal life with God but a fearful expectation of hell’s fury. It is only those who walk (in practice) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God who have the promise of eternal life with God. And, this walk of faith must continue to the end of time, too.
So don’t get cocky and think that you are good to go and that nothing can separate you from God and that heaven is guaranteed you no matter how much you sin. For the scriptures teach that we are all going to reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 5:3-6).
An Original Work / November 21, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.
Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.
Living Water satisfies.
The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.
Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.
Living Water glorifies.
Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.
My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?
Living Water sanctifies.