Use ‘DRASTIC’ MEANS & METHODS to proclaim the GOSPEL!
September 26 Bible Reading: Micah Chapters 1-3
"Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked; I will make a wailing like the jackals and a mourning like the ostriches, for her wounds are incurable. For it has come to Judah; it has come to the gate of My people--to Jerusalem" (Micah 1:8-9)
The prophet Micah was a contemporary of prophet Isaiah (see Is. 1:1) who had denounced Judah for adopting the idolatrous ways of Israel, and had criticized the leaders of Jerusalem for their oppressive policies toward the country’s rural citizens. In the similar manner, Micah warns the people of God’s terrible judgment that was reserved for all those who ignored God. It was a sad truth that the people in his day did not want to hear what he had to say, especially any message that pertained to God’s judgment. Micah’s warning of God’s impending wrath was a hard and unpopular message that the people refused to pay any attention to. If the people refused to heed the message, if they refused to repent, if they remained complacent then surely they would come under God’s judgment!
To prevent the impending disaster, Micah had to use dramatic means of conveying his message, which included him going around the city of Jerusalem weeping and wailing, barefoot and partially clothed. Micah would wail and howl, like the lonely, nocturnal jackals and owls, and go around in extreme mourning as a symbolic act referring to the threat of captivity. Thus he would warn the people of the impending invasion of foreign armies just like his contemporary Isaiah (see Isa. 20:3, 4). These verses (vv. 8-9) were actually an introduction to Micah's lament to mourn Judah’s exile. In typical oriental language, Micah was mourning over Samaria’s impending death like a mourner at a funeral.
As Micah presented his case to the people, he started by saying that Jehovah God was about to leave His holy temple (the place of blessing) to witness against Samaria and Jerusalem (vv. 1–3). God’s punishment will be severe because these two capital cities had become the centers of idolatry. When He arrives in judgment, the mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys will split like wax before the fire (vv. 4-5). Samaria would become a heap of ruins, all her idols would be beaten to pieces, and her wounds would be incurable (vv. 6–7). Sadly, Micah’s message fell into deaf ears, and soon both Samaria and Jerusalem would be destroyed. In fulfillment to Micah’s prophecy, the Assyrians under Sennacherib swept through the northern kingdom and threatened the very gates of Jerusalem. The destruction was completed 130 years later when Nebuchadnezzar took the southern kingdom captive to Babylon.
Today, we are in the place of Micah having a wonderful message from God – the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ – to proclaim to an unbelieving populace and a skeptical society in our times. Does the certainty of coming judgment cause us to mourn over lost sinners and seek to win them to Christ? In order to draw the attention of people, are we using any drastic means and methods to proclaim the gospel? Let us ponder about this, and check if there is anything more we can do to spread the gospel as we fully obey the Great Commission of Jesus Christ!