Dr. S. Lewis Johnson explains what is meant by "a jealous God" and his will in purging idolatry from among his people.
[Prayer] Father, we thank Thee for the word of God and for its teaching concerning the nature and being of our great triune God. And we thank Thee for the section again from the Prophecy of Micah to which we look. And we pray that the things that we see here may not only be profitable for our minds but also may be profitable in our Christian lives in the year in which we are living. We thank Thee for the way in which Thou didst, through the prophet, teach and instruct and exhort, and also no doubt convict those who were privileged to hear his messages. We thank Thee for the way in which they have spoken to us, reminding us of eternal truths concerning the Lord God and concerning man, his created being. Lord, we ask that Thou will be with us in this hour. Give us instruction from the word of God as we read it and ponder it for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
[Message] We’re looking tonight at Micah chapter 5 verse 10 through verse 14, and our subject is “Jehovah’s Defense of His Sovereignty.” One of the strangest, and yet one of the greatest truths of the word of God is the jealousy of God. And in the contexts in which one finds the adjective jealous and the noun jealousy, one learns that it has to do, primarily, with his unity and with his holiness. In thinking about this lesson, and thinking about that, I took my concordance down and looked up all of the occurrences of the adjective jealous, and all of the occurrences of the noun jealousy. And almost always in the use of those terms in the Old Testament, and there are quite a few of them, the reference is either to the unity of God, or to the holiness of God.
Let me read just a couple of them, there are many of them, and so I won’t burden you by reading all of them. But in Exodus chapter 20, and verse 5 we read, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them,” that is, an image, “for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” So one can see here that the exhortation is that they are not to bow down to any graven image or any kind of idol, because he is a jealous God. And then in chapter 34, and verse 14, again Moses writing says, “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” So there a remarkable statement is made to the effect that God’s name is jealous. So you can see from these passages, just the ones that I’ve read, and I assure you the others are similar, that great stress is laid by the use of this term upon the unity of God, and therefore the oneness of him. And the idea that any kind of idol or image of him would be contrary to his will. And then on the holiness and on the jealousy of God, for his unity and for the consequences of it, and for his holiness and the consequences of it, leads to expressions of judgment, discipline, and punishment.
One of the great texts of the Old Testament on the unity of God, of course, is the statement in Deuteronomy 6:4, which was probably the doctrinal creed of the Judaism. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” It may be rendered in more than one way, but most likely it should be rendered, “The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.” And it, too, is in the context of other gods, Moses warning the children of Israel that Jehovah is our God, and he alone is our God. And therefore, the worship of any idol or carved image is contrary to his will. Can you imagine God, the immeasurable one for he is the infinite God, reduced to a five foot measure, some kind of image or some kind of carved piece of wood? The self-moved God, the one who has life from himself, reduced to a five foot measure, and the self-moved God, who is self-moved in the sense that he alone has life from himself, is someone who is moved by others; It’s amazing to think about it. The self-moved God moved only as he is moved by someone else. One can see the depths of the degradation of the person who would seek to worship an image or a carved representation of the Lord God.
Now, so far as his holiness is concerned. The Old Testament if full of expressions of his holiness, and his supreme majesty and purity expressed in the idea of the holy God is found both in his word and in his will and consequently when a person violates his holiness, he subjects himself to the judgment for breaking the word and the will of God. If you look at other representations of the term jealousy in the Old Testament, you will notice in Zechariah chapter 1, in verse 14, for example, we read these words, “So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.” And then in chapter 8, and verse 2 the Prophet Zechariah writes, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.” So here is jealousy on the part of the Lord God for Zion, for the people of Israel, and for the land.
Nahum, one of the other minor prophets, in his prophecy, that’s the next prophecy after Micah, so we don’t have to declare an intermission for you to find the Prophecy of Nahum. In chapter 1, and verse 2 Nahum says, contemplating the burden of Nineveh, “God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.” So when you look at these references to jealousy, you come to the conviction that they are almost always united with the unity of God and the holiness of God, and it is the expression of God, with reference to individuals who have the unity of God by making an image, or have violated the holiness of God by their impure thoughts and activity. This, of course, is one the things that we see reflected in the life of Elijah. He was so concerned about the holiness of God and the unity of God that he was willing to challenge the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.
Later on, after the event was over, he spoke about the fact that he was an individual who had been jealous for the glory of God in 1 Kings chapter 19, verse 10 or 11, and verse 14 he speaks and he says, “Lord, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” And then in verse 14 he said, “And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” So Elijah, very concerned about the unity of God and the holiness of God, or the nature of God, was willing to challenge the prophets of Baal and engage in conflict over whether the Lord God was really the true God or not.
One of the reasons why easy going evangelicalism today has no deep sense of sin is because they have no clear vision of God. And they do not really think of God as being an individual who is very concerned, very jealous to use Scripture, of his unity. And any kind of challenge to his sovereignty and his holiness, or any kind of challenge on the part of men to his requirement in the word of God that men be pure. When we think about the sovereignty of God what do we think about? Well, biblically we probably would say God’s power and God’s will express his sovereignty. The fact that he is all powerful, and the fact that he has determined certain things and that he carries them out by his omnipotence, well that’s the expression of the sovereignty of God. He defends it, and he defends it in upholding his unity and upholding his holiness. And that’s what we see in this passage to which we are looking. We shall see that God is very concerned about Zion. He’s very concerned about the land. He’s very concerned about the nations. And particularly he is concerned about his name as the one God and as the holy God, and he will defend himself. And he defends himself very well.
One of the more liberal modern commentators has entitled this section, “The Divine Purge.” That’s not a bad title, for that’s what we read about here. We read about his purge of Israel, because he is jealous for the unity of his name and also for the holiness of his name. Now, it’s very easy when we are in evangelical circles to rest on our laurels. Occasionally we get the opinion that because we have received Christ sometime in the distant past, and we have attended the church regularly down through the years, that everything is bound to be all right with us. James Buchanan wrote a book on justification by faith, and in this book on justification by faith he said this, “There are many even in Protestant communities who have long been familiar with the sound of the gospel, to whom this inward sense of it in its application to their own souls would be nothing less than a new spiritual revelation. The doctrine of justification by grace through faith in Christ is the old doctrine of the Reformation and the still older doctrine of the gospel, yet the vivid apprehension of its meaning and the cordial reception of its truth must be a new thing in the experience of everyone when he is first enabled to realize and to believe.”
Now, I interrupt to ask you the question, do you know the doctrine of justification by faith as something that you have experienced? Was there a time in your life when it was a new thing to you? Can you say deep down within, “I know what it is to be justified by faith, because I have been justified by faith? I have come to recognize my lost condition, what Christ has done; I have leaned upon him for time and for eternity. And I know that I have a righteousness that is acceptable to the Lord God.” Is that something fresh for you? OF course it’s great to have had it in the past and to still have it fresh. And those who ponder the word of God constantly, I know, cannot help but have it fresh.
Well now, Micah begins the section that we are looking at with a preparatory announcement, then he turns to the purge of the nation Israel that he will perform in the future, and finally he concludes with a note concerning the punishment of the nations. It’s not a long section. I won’t spend a lengthy time over it. But there are some rather important things in it, and I think it was worth a separate message. We look first at the preparatory announcement in verse 10 and the first couple of clauses. We read there, “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots.” Now, he is talking to Israel. You can tell from the context and also from the fact that in verse 15 he will talk about the nations in distinction. So when he says, “And I will cut off the cities of thy land,” Or when he says, “I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots, he has mind the nation Israel.” So this is a purification program of divine action, which is set out in a fuller agenda than he has up to this point.
He begins by saying, “And it shall come to pass in that day.” Now, we should always ask ourselves when we see something like this, what’s the meaning of “in that day”? That’s a temporal reference. Is there anything in the context that might suggest the time of “in that day”? Well back in verse 6 of chapter 4 we read, “In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.” Now, that would give us a clue that the reference of “in that day” was to the future, that is the time of the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ and the resultant kingdom. And if we look in the 1st verse of chapter 4 that further defines what “in that day” in verse 6 means, because the “in that day” of verse 6 points back to the “But in the last days” of chapter 4, verse 1. So I think that when we come and read in verse 10 of Christian 5, “And it shall come to pass in that day,” that we are talking about the Messianic day when Yahweh acts at his advent and at his reign.
Notice, too, that this is something that comes from the Lord God. We have this expression that we have had quite a few times in Micah, “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord.” Now, that is a peculiar form of statement in the Hebrew text, but it means, essentially, something that flows from God himself. It’s a saying that flows from the covenant keeping God. Notice it’s Yahweh “saith the Lord.” So this indictment of Israel that is going to follow is an indictment that has a divine origin. That’s what we learn from the first part of verse 10. Now we learn what the purge is really all about in the words that follow.
Now, I want you to notice a word that occurs over and over here. Now, if you’ve been reading Micah over and over, and I know some of you are not doing this. There may be some of you that are, I hope that you are. I have really enjoyed the study of Micah. You know, this is the first time I’ve every preached or taught through Micah, although certain sections I have studied and given messages on. This is the first time I’ve ever gone through it. I must say I have really enjoyed it. As a matter of fact, that’s one reason why I’ve spent a little more time on it proportionately, because I’ve enjoyed studying it so much.
Did you notice, if you’ve been reading, the occurrence of the word “cut off”? Look at verse 9, “Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.” Now, taking that thematic verb, he applies it to the nation. And notice, verse 10, verse 11, verse 12, verse 13, he says, “I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots,” verse 10. Verse 11, “And I will cut off the cities of thy land.” Verse 12, “And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand.” Verse 13, “Thy graven images also will I cut off.” So here is the verb that he uses over and over again to say precisely what he is going to do. It’s the verb that describes the purge.
Now, what is he purging? Well, he’s purging out of Zion, or out of Israel everything that perverts the true relationship to him, everything that Israel had fallen into that hindered the proper relationship to the Lord, the things, in other words, which are offensive to the sovereignty of God. For the ideal of the sovereignty of God is not only for him to sovereign in the universe and sovereign in this particular globe, but sovereign also in our own lives. So in order to maintain his sovereignty he must purge out all things in Israel that hinder his sovereign control. One other interesting thing about this word “cut off” is that it was used in the Mosaic Law constantly for the removal of those who violated the holiness of God. Do you remember those many places in Exodus, Leviticus particularly, in which Moses says, “Now if you do such and such you are going to be cut off from the people. If you do this you’re going to be cut off from the people.” Over and over again, I wish I had time to read them all, but it would take us too long to do that. But this word “cut off” is part of a sacral formula for removal of violators of the holiness of God. But here, it’s applied to the things that prevent Israel from being in communion with the sovereign God.
Now, let’s look at them. First of all, horses and chariots. He says, “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots.” Well, why get so mad at horses? Why get so mad at chariots? What is there about horses and chariots that is significant? These things evidently are things that hinder Israel from communion with the sovereign God. They are things that intervene between him and his people. What are they? Well, they evidently are substitutes for trust in Jehovah. What would be meant by that? Do you know that Micah is not the only one that speaks about this? The other prophets who lived at the time of Micah also speak very strongly against it.
Let me just read you a few things that his contemporary Isaiah said in Isaiah chapter 2, and verse 7, I believe it is. The prophet says, “Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.” And then if you’ll turn over to chapter 30 and verse 15 of the Prophecy of Isaiah he says here, “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.” And chapter 31 and verse 1, “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!” So there was something about horses and chariots that caused the children of Israel to look away from the Lord.
What was it? Well, as you study history you learn that in the days of Hezekiah, Hezekiah was supplied with horses and chariots by Egypt. In fact, he was supplied with a special kind of chariot, one that was rather light, and it was fast. And it was a weapon of war, and it was to be used against Assyria. So when we read here “I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots,” it was this military equipment that was the trust of the people of the land. And consequently the Lord said, “In the future I’m going to do away with all of that.” Isn’t it interesting that in the ancient times the political and the religious were all tied up together, and that’s exactly what we have in the east today? We have political and the religious all bound up together. What did we read in the headlines of Time Magazine last week? There was a picture of Khomeini, the war between Iran and Iraq, both Muslim nations, but nevertheless Khomeini saying, “This is a war of Islam against blasphemy.” That’s the analysis of the war. In other words, it’s a religious war. It’s a religious war among the Moslem, among those who think they’re orthodox, and the others, well they are the apostates. Politics and religion all bound up together, well that’s the way it was in these days. And so we have here horses and chariots, but the prophet’s exhorting Israel not to trust in the horses and chariots, because their trust should be in the Lord God. The day is coming when God is going to do away with all that. He is going to purge them from their trusts. They’re not going to like it, but he’s going to take it away from them. That’s number one.
In verse 11 he says, “And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds.” I don’t know what to say about cities. Who was it that built the first city? Well, it was Cain who built the first city. That’s a striking thing. Cities are the homes of evil. I don’t know many cities that are not the homes of a lot of evil. Abel on the other hand, like the great men of faith in the Old Testament, and no continuing city here, but looked for one that was to come from God. So “I’m going to cut off your cities, and I’m going to cut off all your strongholds.” That’s the second basis for their lack of trust in God.
And then the 12th verse, “And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers,” or as the New American Standard Bible says, “I’m going to cut off your sorceries, and also they’re not going to be any fortune tellers any longer.” The practice of magic is to go. What is magic? Well, in soothsaying, and in witchcrafts, the primary aim, evidently, was to communicate with life beyond this life. In other words, to have supposed communication with the life that is to be. In other words, to put it in other words, it was the study and use of techniques of communication with the divine, but techniques of communication that were managed by men. So God says, “We’re going to do away with all that, too.” He’s going to take away their witchcrafts. He’s going to take away their sorceries, all of the things that they relied upon for communion with the Lord God that were false and not in accordance with his word.
And then, in verse 13 he writes, “Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.” What a scornful epithet that is, and the prophets, Hosea for example, Isaiah, speak of the idols as the work of a man’s hands. Why are idols so bad? Why are carved images so bad? Well, they distorted the worshipers understanding of the relationship that they had to the Lord God. When one looks at an image what kind of impression do you get of the infinite God? An image is something made out of corruptible material. But he is absolutely incorruptible. Images and idols encourage human dependency upon them. And they also encourage, therefore, human independency of God.
One wonders what would be the application of all of this. After all, we don’t have any graven images, that is, most of us don’t. Now, we don’t have any standing images, probably most of you in this audience are not practicing magic. You are not interested in soothsaying. You are not interested in witchcraft. So far as I know, you don’t have any horses and chariots that you are relying upon to defend yourself against the Russians. What are all of these things? Well, they are all substitutes. They are all substitutes for trust in the Lord God. Now, we have many substitutes. We think up our own substitutes in 1982. We have our substitutes in Christianity. We have many programs in the Christian church, which are not necessarily programs derived from the word of God. If we are engaged in ministry, we have many ways for urging the saints to support the work. We send out our prayer letters.
Someone said to me the other night, I think it was Sunday night, “Do you really believe that that is wrong?” Well yes, I really believe that is wrong. I’ve been saying it, you know, for about twenty years, and this person had been hearing it, I know, for half a dozen years. And he said, “Do you really,” he was earnest and sincere. He may be here tonight. I don’t mean any offense. “Do you really believe that?” He cannot believe after I have been saying that all this time, yes I really do. I think that is just another way to avoid the trust in God. That’s why I like George Mueller so much. That’s why I like the way he did things. And I feel sure that God blessed George Mueller. I’m not sure of others who have modern methods of propaganda, and modern methods for drawing out of individuals amounts of money. Pledge systems, pledge systems have been attacked by many evangelicals, so in that place now we have faith promise systems. We’ll give you a free book if you just write in and ask for it, knowing of course, that if you write in and ask for the free book you are going to give them more than the book costs. It’s just a clever gimmick. They know it. Those who do it know it. That’s why they do it. They know that’s what you’ll do. You will give them more than it will cost them.
Not long ago I had had some Bible classes in one of the cities of the south, and I used to fly up there and it became known that they were held in the home, really in a couple of homes, but mainly one home of two of the wealthiest families in that part of the country. In fact, one of the families was involved in; at one time they owned Kentucky Fried Chicken. They also owned the Hospital Corporation of America, or were the largest stockholders in Hospital Corporation of America. They were families with multimillions of dollars. So I got a call on the telephone from a friend of mine, and old student of mine. He was going to carry on some ministry in Nashville. He called me on the phone and said, “By the way, I’ve heard you had a Bible Class in Nashville.” I said, “Yes, I’ve had one for a pretty good while.” “Can you give me the names of those people in whose homes you’ve been having the class?” I said, “Why do you want the names?” “Well, when I go to Nashville I want to look them up.” He wanted to go and appeal to them for funds, and the chances are they would have probably given him some money. But you wonder is that really something that is of God?
There are many other ways in which we rely on things other than the word of God. You know, you can even actually rely on psychology. It’s very striking that psychology is being, many Christians today have real questions about the nature of psychology itself. I have before me. I don’t have time to read all of this material, but I have an account of an interview with a psychiatrist, and this psychiatrist is a practicing psychiatrist in New York State now. In fact, he has been Practitioner of Psychiatry at the Upstate Medical Center of the State University of New York in Syracuse. He’s the author of seventeen books dealing with the subject. And in the course of this interview that was made by him he says in effect that psychiatry is not a science at all, it is simply a religion. Then in once case he’s asked the question, what is the role of psychiatrist in court? He answers, “They are legally authorized confusers.” The whole stress of this is on the idea that psychiatry is not a science at all. Well now, if you study science you will learn that it is a humanistic approach to things. It really is a religion. And I suggest sometime that you get a chance that you read Paul Vitz’s book if you have not read it, Psychology as Religion, a very well done book, I think.
These are some of the things that we lean upon instead of leaning upon the Lord God. Did you know it was not until the 17th or 18th century that we ever had any, what we would call mental institutions? That the whole concept of such is largely a modern phenomenon? But anyway, no need to get into that. Notice what he says in verse 14, “And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities.” Now, the groves, or the Asherim, were the woodensome bulls of the goddess Asherah who was the consort of the male god Bale. So here then is a prophecy by Micah to the effect that in the day that is to come, in that day, God is going to purge Israel from the things that have hindered trust in him. In other words, he’s going to purify the nation Israel by discipline of them.
But what about the nations? In verse 15 he talks about the nations. The nations become the object of the divine actions, “And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard,” or perhaps, those that have not heard. Two functions in judgment. One is the purification of Israel, the barriers of communion thrown down. And then if the nations do not hear or obey what God does with reference to Israel, then vengeance upon them. Vengeance is the function of his sovereign rule. Now, vengeance is a legal term. It was the legal term for a sovereign’s actions against rebels who did not recognize the sovereignty of an earthly king. And here that term is used, and it’s a reference to the fact that God is going to exercise vengeance on those who have not recognized him.
Take your Old Testaments and turn back to Deuteronomy chapter 32, and let me read a few verses here. This is from the song of Moses, and this song of Moses is also set out in the last days. And in the course of this song of Moses, we have some interesting statements concerning divine vengeance, some repeated in the New Testament in more than one place. Verse 35 of Deuteronomy 32, Moses now is talking about the future, and in the midst of it he says, “To me belongeth vengeance and recompense,” verse 35. Verse 41, “If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.” And then verse 43, “Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.” So in the future God is going to be merciful to the nation Israel, and he is going to exercise vengeance upon the nations that do not respond to his divine activity at his Second Advent, and at the time of the establishment of the kingdom.
I think that is the reference there when he says, “Upon the heathen such as have not heard.” Well, what has Micah done in these verses? Well, he has upheld the sovereignty of God. Men are accountable. Jeremiah says in one of his chapter, “Who would not fear Thee, O King of nations?” It’s a very solemn thing to reflect upon the fact that the God who is set forth in the Bible is a sovereign God. Because his hand does not appear in our society as it did in the society of the prophets, so we think, we rather think that the Bible is not too series when it talks about the fact that the day is coming and God is going to exercise vengeance. But this God about whom we are talking is very serious about the things that he says in his word. In his mercy, in his grace and his longsuffering, in his silence over the years, he’s giving every opportunity for men to turn to him. But the time is coming when the king of the nations is going to demonstrate the fact that he just that, the king of the nations. And he is going to come in his advent, and he is going to exercise vengeance and judgment on those who have not obeyed the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It seems to me that what he is trying to say, ultimately, is that God is sufficient for his people in all of the experiences of life, in every need that we have. In our mental needs, he is sufficient. We should remember that human reason is always subject to divine revelation. That human science is always to be judged by divine revelation. That human psychology always is to stand under the word of God. And all of our schemes and all of our con activities are to stand under the judgment of God.
There’s a wonderful little paragraph that Mr. Allen, who writes a commentary on Micah in one of the conservative series says, let me read this paragraph. He says, “Micah issues a clarion call to Israel for true faith in their God, a faith that transcends nationalism and addiction to religion and to the metaphysical. A faith that is grounded in the revelation of God’s character and will; his call comes echoing down the centuries to our own day. Wherein does our supposed security lie, in the safety of mother church, in a form of faith that is molded by expediency and compromise, in a God made in the image of 20th century man? The prophet bids us beware lest our vaunted faith be a cover for self-sufficiency or self-advancement. He challenges us to study the impact of secular and pagan culture, past or present, on our religious thinking and forms of worship, lest the essence of Christianity be obscured by its subsequent trappings.” Then Mr. Allen concludes with a quotation from William Temple. “It is as much idolatry to worship God according to a false mental image, as by means of a false metal image. The mental image misrepresents God and has the same disastrous effects on character. If your conception of faith is radically false, then the more devout you are, the worse it will be for you.” Isn’t that interesting? In other words, if you have the wrong attitude to God, the more dedicated you are to it, the worse off you are. That’s why individuals who are really dedicated to their false doctrine are worse off than anyone else. That’s why the Mormons, who knock on your door, are to be pitied, or the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are dedicated to something false.
He continues and concludes, “You are opening your souls to be molded by something base. You had much better be an atheist.” Now, Temple’s major point is that if our thoughts about God are wrong, mentally, we are just as much idolaters as if our worship was of a metal image. The Psalmist says, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” That’s what Micah was trying to tell Israel. I think that’s what God tries to tell us today. I think that’s what he would like for us in Believers Chapel to really know and experience. Some trust in chariots, some trust in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. He is sufficient for us in the experiences of life. Let us trust him. Let us close in a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for those old exhortations reminding us again of the importance of trust in Thee. Deliver us from the crutches; deliver us from the horses and chariots on which we rely. Deliver us from the schemes that we often devise in order to avoid reliance upon Thee. Deliver us from the witchcrafts and soothsaying fortune telling of false ideas concerning Thee. Lord…
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