This message was part of the ‘God’s Plan, God’s People, God’s Purpose’ series on the book of Micah, preached by Alastair Barrie at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Manchester City Centre in early 2018. The full series included the following sermons:
This sermon was based on Micah 2.
Woe to the Oppressors
1 Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand. 2 They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. 3 Therefore thus says the Lord: behold, against this family I am devising disaster, from which you cannot remove your necks, and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be a time of disaster. 4 In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you and moan bitterly, and say, “We are utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people; how he removes it from me! To an apostate he allots our fields.” 5 Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot in the assembly of the Lord. 6 “Do not preach” thus they preach— “one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us.” 7 Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Has the Lord grown impatient? Are these his deeds? Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly? 8 But lately my people have risen up as an enemy; you strip the rich robe from those who pass by trustingly with no thought of war. 9 The women of my people you drive out from their delightful houses; from their young children you take away my splendor forever. 10 Arise and go, for this is no place to rest, because of uncleanness that destroys with a grievous destruction. 11 If a man should go about and utter wind and lies, saying, “I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,” he would be the preacher for this people! 12 I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob; I will gather the remnant of Israel; I will set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture, a noisy multitude of men. 13 He who opens the breach goes up before them; they break through and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king passes on before them, the Lord at their head.
- Many of us have experiences of making plans, and often we realise the weaknesses in plans of others, but maybe not in our own. We need to be given an authoritative plan that we can rely on.
- The Old Testament prophet Micah spoke into the nation of Judah at a time when they were running with their own plans and ignoring God’s plan.
REJECTING GOD TO PLAN EVIL
- God’s people were ignoring God and making plans for their own gain at the expense of others – particularly the poor and vulnerable.
- God calls those with power to use that power for the good of the needy, not at their expense.
- Disaster will come to those who continuously reject God’s ways.
REJECTING GOD TO PLAN OUR COMFORT
- People didn’t want to hear God’s word spoken into the situations of their lives.
- Jesus has forgiven Christians a huge debt – we are now called on to be generous and forgiving to others.
- God’s heart overflows for the poor and needy.
GOD’S PLAN WILL PREVAIL
- We should be as committed to social justice as God himself is.
- When we consider plans we should think about whether it is for ourselves or for God’s glory.
- Whatever people do, God’s plan will prevail.
- God’s plan has ultimately prevailed in Jesus