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Bible Study Notes on Micah 3 – 20171117

Writing

Bible Study Notes

Micah 3:1  “…heads of Jacob…rulers…Is it not for you to know justice”
Aren’t you supposed to be the ones to know justice?  Aren’t you supposed to be the ones who stand for the people?

2-3  Rather graphic description of how the leaders treated the people.  No concern for their wellbeing at all.

4  “…But He will not hear them…”
All those who only call on Him when they get into trouble.  No repentance or acknowledgement of their sin, just a cry to God to save them from trouble.

5  “…prophets…chant “Peace” While they chew…prepare war against him Who puts nothing into their mouths”
False prophets.  They declare peace, basically anything the people want to hear, while they are well fed and rewarded by those people.  Yet they prophesy evil against anyone who doesn’t bribe or otherwise reward them.  Simple guns for hire as it were.

6  “…you shall have darkness without divination…”
No revelation for those prophets, at least nothing from God.

6  “…sun shall go down on the prophets…”
May refer to an ending to the prophets, the sun going down.  The false ones, not any who are speaking truthfully for God.

8  “…I am full of power…”
Micah, who has been filled with the Holy Spirit to speak God’s message.

9-11  “…Who abhor justice And pervert all equity, Who build up Zion with bloodshed And Jerusalem with iniquity…heads judge for a bribe…prophets divine for money…”
Indictment of the leaders.  Total corruption.

11  “…No harm can come upon us”
Yet, because they were God’s people, they thought they couldn’t be touched.  Missed the point entirely.  Their position was promised by God, but their relationship depended on their fellowship with Him.  Without that, they were in line for judgment.

12  “Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed like a field…”
Due to their sin, Israel would be taken captive and everything destroyed.  So sad.  Makes me wonder.  These people, even in the face of their sin, knew who God was and acknowledged Him.  They chose to not listen, but there was hope of their repentance.  Can’t say that with America.  Calls for repentance fall on deaf ears because they don’t acknowledge God, His judgment or even His existence.  Our only hope is that God grants us mercy due to the repentance of His people.  I’m afraid our time and mercy is used up.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Micah 2 – 20171115

Writing

Bible Study Notes

Micah 2:1  “Woe to those who devise iniquity, And work out evil on their beds…”
They think they’re getting away with it, that God cannot see what they devise in their minds when they’re alone.  He can’t see and doesn’t care.  But they are very mistaken.  He sees and knows all, and He cares greatly.  He may take His time and allow for mercy and repentance, but He will take care of everything in the end.  Nothing escapes His notice.

2  “…A man and his inheritance”
The idea of the land belonging to the people was very important.  God put many checks in place so the land would always belong to those who inherited it, from one generation to the next.  Even when people had to sell their land for debts, it reverted back to them during the jubilee years.

4  “…He has changed the heritage of my people…”
Exile from the land.  God is going to allow another nation to come in, conquer the people, take them captive, and have control over the land of Israel.  The promise of the land will still be intact, it will still ultimately belong to the descendants of Israel, but some generations may not be able to live in it for a time.  This is what God told them would happen if they rebelled.

6  “…So they shall not prophesy to you…”
People refuse to hear the truth from God’s prophets.

8  “…You pull off the robe with the garment…”
Treating fellow Israelites like captives from war.  Not content with taking the outer garment, but taking the inner robes as well.

10  “…this is not your rest…”
The land of Israel was supposed to be the place of rest for God’s people.  But they have profaned it with their sin, so it will spit them out.

11  “If a man should walk in a false spirit…”
They won’t listen to the true prophets of God, but if one shows up saying he speaks for God and then tells them just what they want to hear, him they will believe.  People always have itching ears which are only satisfied by their selfish desires.

12  “…I will surely gather the remnant of Israel…”
Total redirection of message.  He’s been telling them of their sin and the coming exile because of it.  Now he suddenly shifts to the promise of restoration after the exile.  By implication, this not only refers to the time after the seventy years in Babylon, but also to the time when the Messiah comes to rule.  Then they will never leave the land again.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Micah 1 – 20171112

Writing

Bible Study Notes

Micah 1:  “…which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem”
Capitals of northern and southern kingdoms.

4  “…Like waters poured down a steep place”
Not a slow trickle, but a fast moving pour.  No resistance.

5  “…What is the transgression of Jacob?  Is it not Samaria?  And what are the high places of Judah?  Are they not Jerusalem?”
Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom.  Represents Jeroboam and the other leaders of the north.  Jeroboam set up golden calves as idols in Bethel and Dan to keep the people from going to Jerusalem each year to worship God at the temple.  Unfortunately, the kings of Judah, southern kingdom, allowed idol worship to occur on the high places.  Not all southern kings were evil, but they rarely tore down the false places of worship even when they tried to follow God.

7  “…all her pay as a harlot shall be burned with the fire…they shall return to the pay of a harlot”
Interesting section.  Harlotry is what the Bible uses to refer to idol worship or any worship that isn’t toward God.  God and God alone deserves the relationship with us which requires our worship.  Commentary suggests the gold and silver which overlaid the idols may have come from Assyria as they worshipped the same gods.  Once God allows the Assyrians to come in and conquer the people, they will take back the gold and silver.  Thus the “pay of harlotry” will return to the ones who initiated the harlotry.  Sad that the Assyrians, although allowed by God to conquer the Israelites, will attribute their success to their false gods.  They’ll refuse to acknowledge the one true God and be destroyed for it.

8  “…I will go stripped and naked…”
Not bare naked.  Just removal of the outer garments as a sign of mourning.

8  “…a mourning like the ostriches”
Apparently ostriches make a cry that sounds somewhat mournful.

13  “O inhabitant of Lachish…the transgressions of Israel were found in you”
City of Judah near the border with the northern kingdom.  According to this passage, the first to start picking up the idolatry from the north.

16  “Make yourself bald and cut off your hair…For they shall go from you into captivity”
More signs of mourning.  He gives the reason.  The people will go into captivity.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Amos 9 – 20171109

Writing

Bible Study Notes

Amos 9:1  “I saw the Lord standing by the altar…”
Wonder what form He took.  Doesn’t say, but probably that of the pre-incarnate Christ.  He’s standing by the altar of the false gods, one of the ones built for the calves Jeroboam set up, and He’s pronouncing judgment upon them.  Shows God’s power over all.  No false god can stop Him from doing anything He pleases.

4  “…I will set My eyes on them for harm and not for good”
That is a terrifying statement.  Reminds me of Jonathan Edwards sermon, Sinners in the hands of an angry God.  God normally tries to reassure us He is looking out for our best.  But to think we have made Him so angry or have abused His patience to the point that He’s seeking our harm and not good should chill us to the bone.  As Jesus said, don’t fear man who can only kill the body, fear the one who, after He kills the body, can throw body and soul into hell.

7  “Are you not like the people of Ethiopia to Me…”
Interesting section.  God is saying in effect that He is Lord of all, and the Israelites are like those of Ethiopia and Philistia and Syria.  Usually the message conveyed is how God chose the people of Israel to be His.  But in this case, He’s letting them know their place in His plan does not exempt them from judgment of their sin.  He moves all peoples around the planet as He sees fit, and their righteousness or their sin doesn’t escape His sight.

8  “…I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob…”
He always leaves a remnant.  He always keeps His promises.

9-10  “…not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground.  All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword…”
He sees all.  He saves the righteous, but judges the sinners.  Doesn’t mean that the righteous don’t sometimes suffer along with the sinners.  Sin never touches just one or two.  Drunk drivers kill innocent people.  Non-combatants die in war just like soldiers.  But none of it escapes God’s eyes.  He brings all of it to His will.

11  “…tabernacle of David…”
David’s royal line.  Will seem to disappear for a time, but will be brought back in Christ.

12  “…all the Gentiles who are called by My name…”
Not just the Israelites who belong to Him, but all men.  God wants a relationship with all people.  Someday all men will be united in Him.  It has begun in Christ and will be completed when He returns.

13  “…When the plowman shall overtake the reaper…”
Love this picture.  The abundance shall be so great, the reaper will still be trying to harvest the last crops when the plowman needs to start plowing for the next ones.

15  “I will plant them in their land, And no longer shall they be pulled up…”
The day is coming when the people shall be brought back into the land, never to be exiled again.  We may have seen that take place in our lifetime as Israel became a nation in 1948.  If we are living in the last days, they will remain there until Christ returns.  What a day!

15  “…From the land I have given them…”
Israel has rights to the land because God gave it to them.  Doesn’t matter what man does, it will always be theirs.  God gave it to them for an everlasting possession.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Amos 8 – 20171108

Writing

Bible Study Notes

Amos 8:1  “…a basket of summer fruit”
Apparently the term summer fruit would refer to that which is finally ripe at the end of the season, and thus ready to be harvested.  Implication is that now Israel has come to the end of her sin and is ripe for judgment.

2  “…I will not pass by them anymore”
God’s patience is ended.  He will no longer show mercy by tolerating their sin.  Judgment has come.  I’m afraid America’s time has come as well.  Seems we’ve been given small reprieves lately due to more people finally waking up and praying, but it may not be enough for a complete turnaround.

5  “…New Moon be past…And the Sabbath…”
So greedy that they couldn’t wait for the religious days to be over so they could get back to buying and selling.  As if they gave those days any of the respect they deserved.

5  “…Making the ephah small and the shekel large…”
Cheating people in commerce.  Selling an ephah of grain, but decreasing its size so you can charge more for less.  Buying commodities by weight, but increasing the weight of the shekel so you gain more materiel for your money than is due.  Unjust weights and measures.

6  “That we may buy the poor for silver, And the needy for a pair of sandals…”
Cheating the poor out of what little money they have to the point where they have to sell themselves into bond servanthood to pay off the debt.  This is one of the primary issues God had against the people which brought down His judgment.

7  “…Surely I will never forget any of their works”
Lest we think that God doesn’t see, doesn’t care, and doesn’t remember what we’ve done.  It will all come out in the wash.

9  “…I will make the sun go down at noon…”
From the context, apocalyptic language, not literal.  Referring to the darkness of great calamity which is coming on the nation.  Things are always worse at night when there is no light.  So terrible is what is coming that it’s like all the light going out.

10  “…baldness on every head…”
Shaving the head was a sign of mourning like wearing sackcloth and sitting in ashes.

11  “…I will send a famine on the land…of hearing the words of the LORD”
As bad as the calamity will be, it will be nothing compared to the hopelessness of not having anyone to call upon for help.  They will cry out to God, but no answer from Him will come.

13  “…fair virgins And strong young men…”
Should be young and full of energy.  But if they are weak and fainting, how much more the old and sick.

14  “…who swear by the sin of Samaria…”
The false gods and religion of the leadership of Israel, primarily the two calves which Jeroboam set up as the new gods of Israel.  Will be referred to over and over as the sin of Jeroboam.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Amos 7 – 20171103

Bible Study Notes

Amos 7:1-3  “…He formed locust swarms…So the LORD relented…” Vision of locust swarms destroying crops and grazing grass.  No crops for the people nor grass for the animals.  Total destruction, but God relents and doesn’t do it.  Some commentaries think the locusts aren’t literal but represent a human army.  Possibility.  Also . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Amos 7 – 20171103

Bible Study Notes on Amos 6 – 20171102

Bible Study Notes

Amos 6:1  “Woe to you who are at ease in Zion…” Those of higher social standing who built their lives on the oppression of the poor.  No justice for anyone not in their circles.  He’ll mention other aspects of that through this chapter.

1  “…To whom the house of Israel comes” . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Amos 6 – 20171102

Bible Study Notes on Amos 5 – 20171101

Bible Study Notes

Amos 5:2  “…She will rise no more…” Once the Assyrians came and took Israel away, she was never a nation again.  There were some left, a remnant, as there always is, but the nation of Israel became only what was left in the southern kingdom, Judah.  The tribes of the north . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Amos 5 – 20171101

Bible Study Notes on Amos 4 – 20171030

Bible Study Notes

Amos 4:1  “…you cows of Bashan…Who say to your husbands…” He’s not mincing words.  Calls the prominent women cows.  Not sure why he used that particular analogy.  Gives me the picture of cattle moving in a herd, stepping on anything and everything, giving no mind to what they’re doing or what . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Amos 4 – 20171030

Bible Study Notes on Amos 3 – 20171027

Bible Study Notes

Amos 3:2  “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” Israel was God’s chosen people, the ones whom He chose to work through to bring about the reconciliation of Himself and man.  He didn’t make a backup plan . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Amos 3 – 20171027