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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

March 12, 2014

Micah 6:1-12

  1. Second Baptist Church has been part of a larger social Justice ministry called RISC for more than 8 years. Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities (RISC) is an interracial, interfaith, nonpartisan organization which brings congregations together to build the power to meet God's call to “do justice” in the Greater Richmond region. In anticipation of our large social justice events “The Nehemiah Action” on April 7th and the Rally March 17th, we want to pause today to discuss a biblical view of social justice. We will return to our regularly scheduled study of Revelations on next week, but we want to look at “justice” tonight in preparation for our Rally on next Monday at Second Presbyterian Church. The Rally, next Monday, is designed to energize you for the Nehemiah Action. At the Rally we will inform our congregations in greater detail on the issues that we have been working on for the last several months. The Rally serves as the last meeting before our big “Nehemiah Action.” Our goal is for 50 people to attend the Rally and those 50 people to bring three more persons each to the Nehemiah Action. Second Baptist Wants to assemble least 200 members from our congregation at the Nehemiah Action on April 7th. In the history of RISC, there has never been a church that has assembled that many people from one congregation. Second Baptist has the ability to bring out 200 people on April 7th. Tonight I want to share with you why, as believers in the Most High, must gather at these assemblies.

  2. Doing justice has always been a part of the life of God’s people. From time to time, God has had to remind his people that doing justice is important and necessary for the health of the community. All through scripture we see that God hates injustice, and calls for his righteous people to take up the cause of the poor, downtrodden, oppressed and disenfranchised. In Genesis 4, when Cain killed Abel, the Lord told Cain that his brothers blood was crying out for justice. In Exodus 3, God told Moses to tell the people that “I have heard their cry.” In Leviticus 19 “it says do not defraud, do not cheat, do not pervert justice or show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge fairly.” In Numbers 5 God tells the people that when a person does another wrong he must make restitution. In Deuteronomy 15 the people are told to cancel debts of the poor and to free the slaves. In the book of Joshua we are shown that the land should be distributed fairly. In Judges we are reminded that the innocent are afflicted by the actions of the guilty. In Ruth we are reminded that the poor should be able to glean from the blessings of God on his people. We are called to help the needy, to assist the weak, and to come to the aid of the powerless. We have a calling to share with those who go without. We have a mandate to ally ourselves with the outcast, the left out and looked over. We have a commission to cry out for those who have no voice, and to shout aloud for those who have been silenced by oppression.

  3. We are called as it is recorded in Micah 6:8 “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” So let us start our study today from the book of Micah chapter 6 verses 1-12. The book of Micah records the Lord’s words to the prophet Micah around 750 BC. God has much to say to the prophet concerning the state of his people. God is mad and takes his people to court. God wants to make his case for his righteous judgment against his people.

    1. Verses 1-5. God calls the mountains and his creation to be the jury that will deliberate the case He has brought against ancient Israel. God is making a formal charge against Israel for abandoning Him and His ways. God first asks why he has been treated so badly and why they have gone astray from his commands. God wants to know what he did that was so bad for the people to stop obeying him. God recalls that he has been good and in no way deserving of such thoughtless treatment. God declares that he has been a deliver and a protector. He recalls bringing them out of Egypt and delivering them from King Balak. Just two examples of the many times he has been a good God. He also reminded them of his provision and their mistake at Shittim. God calls his people to task with regards to his kindness and their disobedience.

    2. Verses 6-7. God anticipates that the people’s response to God’s accusations and charges would be to perform some superficial act of worship. The question God perceives that they would ask is “Does God desire burnt offerings, a sacrifice of first born calves, thousands of rams, or ten thousand rivers of oil?” The answer is “of course not.” God is not pleased with superficial acts of worship, but God is pleased with true worship that seeks to obey God. True worship is demonstrated in real action that proves our hearts are connected to God’s heart. True worship is showing God’s love to God and to others. God charges that his people have not shown much love to their neighbors.

    3. Verse 8. What does God require? God requires justice, mercy and humility. For tonight’s lesson I just want to deal with justice. God requires justice. For the audience in Micah’s time and in our time the injustices were centered on how the rich and powerful used their power and wealth for their benefit and to the disadvantage of the poor.

    4. Verses 9-l2. God begins to list the injustices in the land.

      1. Wealth received dishonestly

      2. Dishonest systems that cheat the poor

      3. Using wealth to cause harm

      4. Lies and Deceit

    5. God did not like injustice then and He doesn’t like it now. Part of our mission and ministry is to do justice. One of the easiest ways you can do justice in partnership with your local church is to hopefully attend the Rally on March l7th at Second Presbyterian and definitely attend Nehemiah Action on April 7th. You should attend the Nehemiah action as well as bring at least three other people.

  4. Sandee Smith will highlight the issues that are our focus this year.

  5. What we need from YOU

    1. Become part of the (JNM) Justice Ministry Network

    2. Attend the Rally March 17th

    3. Attend the Nehemiah Actions April 7th and bring at least three people

    4. Attend our Justice Ministry Celebration and Annual Fundraising kick-off June 2nd

  6. Will you join us?

    1. If so, please stay for a few more minutes (about 15min) so we can discuss how our strategy to bring out 200 people to our Nehemiah Action.

    2. If not, we will give the benediction and blessing so you can be free to dismiss.

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