Sunday Recap for 01/22/17:  “How Can We Be Expectant and not Entitled?”

Sunday Recap for 01/22/17:  “How Can We Be Expectant and not Entitled?”

This Sunday, we looked at Micah 3 and a portion of Micah 4, and in it, we pursued the difference between an entitled heart and an expectant.  With that, we pursued answering this Big Picture Question:

Big Picture Question:  How can we be expectant but not entitled?

And we found these three answers to that question in our text:

Big Picture Question:  How can we be expectant but not entitled?

  • Be thankful
  • Be hopeful
  • Be worshipful

Let’s look at our first answer to our Big Picture Question.

Be thankful

Micah 3:1 And I said: Hear, you heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel! Is it not for you to know justice?—2 you who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin from off my people and their flesh from off their bones 3 who eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones in pieces and chop them up like meat in a pot, like flesh in a cauldron. 4 Then they will cry to the Lord, but he will not answer them; he will hide his face from them at that time, because they have made their deeds evil. 5 Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who cry “Peace” when they have something to eat, but declare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths.  6 Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without divination.  The sun shall go down on the prophets, and the day shall be black over them; 7 the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame; they shall all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God.

Things are so bad in Israel that the priests are abusing the people.  God describes it as if the priests see the people as ingredients for their stew.  And instead of the priests repenting, they continue to cry “peace” to God.  It is a dangerous place to continue to cry “peace” to God while refusing to repent.  But God promises to step in.  God won’t take it anymore.

Those who continue in their sin and continue to abuse the people live entitled as if God doesn’t care.  But the people of God can be thankful.  Their expectancy is that God will step in and protect them.

Be hopeful

8 But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin. 9 Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, who detest justice and make crooked all that is straight, 10 who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with iniquity.  11 Its heads give judgment for a bribe; its priests teach for a price; its prophets practice divination for money; yet they lean on the Lord and say, “Is not the Lord in the midst of us?  No disaster shall come upon us.”  12 Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height. 

Expectancy is about hope…a hope that God is going to step in and rescue.  The days of Israel are even worse than in the first passage.  The judges rule through bribes.  The priests teach for money.  The prophets prophecy for money.  And all of these people have an entitled spirit assuming that no disaster will come upon them.

But the expectant hope of God’s people was that God would put those things to an end.  God declares in verse 12 that God would bring an end to the oppression. Just as Psalm 64, the cry of “How long” rose up, and God responds.  This is the hope of God’s people.  No matter the day, the circumstance, or the government, the people of God can live in an expectant hope of God’s rescue.

Be worshipful

4:1 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, 2 and many nations shall come, and say:  “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”  For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.  3 He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore; 4 but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

God promises that there is a sweet day of worship coming.  For the people of Micah’s day, it was soon.  For us, we have the wonderful worship provided for us by Jesus.  But we should also have the expectation of a great day of worship that will be ours in eternity.

We finished our sermon with these thoughts:

Big Picture Question:  How can we be expectant but not entitled?

Truth:  We live expectantly when we worship thankfully and hopefully.

Application:  Live knowing that all of the blessings of God should cause you to be expectant of God’s work as opposed to being angry when it appears He hasn’t.

Action:  Examine every area of your life to see if you are expectant or entitled.

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