God's Fatherly Discipline

Scripture: Micah 3:4, ‘Then they will cry out to the Lord, but he will not answer them. At that time he will hide his face from them because of the evil they have done.’


Observations: The greatest blessing is that God would turn his face towards his people and give them peace (Num 6:24-26). But here Micah foretells a time when God ‘will hide his face from them.’ Even though his people ‘cry out to the Lord,’ the Lord ‘will not answer them.’ Instead of turning his face towards them, God will turn his back on them. Why will God not listen to the cries of his people? Micah says, ‘because of the evil they have done.’ Micah says, ‘you who hate good and love evil; who tear the skin from my people and the flesh from their bones; who eat my people’s flesh, strip off their skin and break their bones in pieces; who chop them up like meat for the pan, like flesh for the pot? (v2-3)’ This is nothing short of cannibalism. I presume that it’s a metaphor for how the leaders’ injustice (v1) is a form of spiritual cannibalism. God sees it as something despicable, evil. And so God brings justice, and he judges the sin of the leaders. God ignores their cries because they are being punished for their depravity.


Application: Maybe one of the reasons God doesn’t answer our prayers in the midst of crisis is because he sent the crisis in response to our sin. The writer to the Hebrews says, ‘Endure hardship as discipline. (Heb 12:7)’ And he tells us to submit ourselves to God’s discipline so that we may share in God’s holiness. We are not to loose heart, rather we are to throw of our sin, fix our eyes on Jesus and run the race set before us (Heb 12:1-13). Sometimes God will not take away our difficult circumstances because we have not yet learned the lesson God wants us to learn from them. Maybe in the midst of crisis we need to confess our sin and ask God what he desires us to learn from his Fatherly hand.


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to see my circumstances not as random events, but either as a result of my sin, the consequences of my decisions, or as your Fatherly discipline, to bring me back to You in repentance and faith. Lord, enable me through Your Spirit to humble myself before You. Lord, give me a teachable spirit, that I may understand Your ways. And may I not loose heart, but help me to endure as I fix my eyes on Jesus, who himself suffered, not for his sin, but for mine. In His name I pray. Amen.


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