This week we started a new series on the book of Micah. To listen to the message, click here. We looked at three things that make God angry. They are: 1. Idolatry, 2. Injustice, and 3. Uncleanness. What I hoped to show in the message is that these are the same three things that make God angry now. I also tried to show that apart from Christ, we have no hope, and in Christ we have all hope.
I want to say something here about idolatry. The first of the Ten Commandments is against idolatry: “you shall have no gods before Me.” To have “a god” means to worship something and to expect good from it, and to make it a refuge in distress. Worship something is to give that thing a divine status. Now, if we worship the one true and living God, that’s great. You ought to attribute divine status to Him. But to worship something/someone else, then we have just made an idol. That’s a violation of the first commandment.
Many have observed that to break any of the other commandments requires breaking the first. So for instance, when we lie (breaking commandment # 9), we usually do so because we want
something. Now, what is it that we want? Figure out that answer, and you’ve probably just identified an idol. Next time you find yourself bending the truth (even just a little), ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” The answer will probably turn up an idol. If you color the truth so that others will think highly of you, or not be mad at you, you are probably idolizing their acceptance or praise. If you color the truth to get out of something you don’t want to do (“I’m sorry, I’d love to help you but I’m busy that day…too bad.”), you are idolizing comfort and the easy life. If you do it to get money (like if you lie on your taxes—which is also steeling), you are worshiping money.
The good news is that Jesus has come to get rid of our idols. He does this by removing our sin, so that we can truly worship God. In case you haven’t noticed (and I assume you have noticed), you can’t just get rid of idols by telling yourself not to worship them anymore. This is why breaking addictions is so hard. You see, the human heart is made to worship something. It can’t just stop worshiping. But what you can do is begin worshiping God. Find in Him your refuge, your happiness, your identity. The more and more you attribute these things to God, the less and less you will be drawn into idolatry.
This coming week, we will look at Micah 1-2 again. This time, instead of paying attention to what we do that makes God angry, we will look at what God does when he is angry. I think we will see that what God does is both terrifying and comforting.