Allan Bartlam | Micah 6:1-8 | Micah 7:18-20
With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old? ...
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry for ever
but delight to show mercy.
Allan ends our series on Micah by speaking first about God's character, then our response. Micah highlighted the seriousness of Israel's sin but also God's desire that they should turn back to him and find mercy and forgiveness. How can we live as God desires in our very different, 21st century world?
During his talk Allan refers to a slide Susan Haynes had used to illustrate the sins of Israel. Here it is:
An edited video recording of the Sunday service which also includes the reading and prayers can be viewed on YouTube.
Ben Green | Micah 5.1-15
'But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.'
Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labour bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.
He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
The early verses in this chapter are often read at Christmas services, speaking as they do of a new ruler to come from Bethlehem. But then the message is one of judgement and destruction. What's going on? Ben explains how Micah's prophecy speaks to every age, ultimately bringing hope and the promise of God's glorious reign to come.
A fuller video recording of the Sunday service can be viewed on YouTube.
Susan Haynes | Micah 4:1-8
In the last days
the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and peoples will stream to it.
Many nations will come and say,
'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob...
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between many peoples
and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into ploughshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.'
Up to this point Micah has prophesied disaster for the people of God as a consequence of their many sins. But now, says Susan, there is a change of tone as Micah looks forward with hope. God's kingdom rule will be established, bringing restoration and forgiveness. We, living since the coming of Jesus, have all the more reason to trust this promise.
The recording begins with the reading from Janet Chalmers. After Susan speaks, Dan Parnell describes two present-day projects that seek to put into practice the teaching of Micah. There's more information about RAWtools at https://rawtools.org.
These are the furniture restoration photos used by Susan in her talk:
A fuller video recording of the All-In service can be viewed on YouTube.