to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
October 01, 2019 – Tuesday
Micah 5:10-15 NIV
10 “In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will destroy your horses from among you and demolish your chariots.
11 I will destroy the cities of your land and tear down all your strongholds.
12 I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells.
13 I will destroy your idols and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands.
14 I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles when I demolish your cities.
15 I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed Me.”
Four times, above, the Lord says He will destroy In that day and also stating He will uproot the Asherah poles (wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah) and He will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed Me. Two questions arise from all of this. What is In that day that brings so much destruction and why is it only His vengeance that is taken in anger and wrath against the nations that had not obeyed Him?
In that day refers explicitly to the time when the promises against the enemies and the promises to the people of God will finally be made good The reference to the destruction of the horses and chariots is derived from Deuteronomy 17:16 which has direct instructions from the Lord not to have too many horses. Ellicott’s Commentary goes further and quoting Psalm 20:7 says:
The possession of horses was imperatively forbidden to the Jewish king (referencing Deuteronomy 17:16), and Isaiah describes the land as at this time “full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.” As symbolizing the power of man, these horses shall be cut off, and the reliance of the Church shall be on God alone. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).
Then we come to verse fifteen where some older versions read And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury on the heathen, such as they have not heard. However, most commentaries state a better translation is the nations which have not been obedient or obeyed Me as we have above. But now what of His vengeance in anger and wrath? First let us note many punishments in the course of life are meant as course corrections, acts of mercy. Here, though there is no mention of mercy, only of vengeance and that with wrath and fury
Here no mention is made of Mercy, but only of executing vengeance; and that, with wrath and fury; and that, such as they have not heard or obey after many warnings and ignored course corrections. For as eye hath not seen, nor heart conceived the good things laid up in store for those who love God, so neither the evil things prepared for those who, in act, show that they hate Him. Adapted from Barnes Notes on the Bible.
Matthew Poole goes on to say about God acting in anger and wrath
includes the greatness of God’s just displeasure, and the effects of it, which are resembled to what we do when furiously angry, act with utmost strength, and in the most terrible manner we can; so God will, with as great severity and terror as flesh and blood can bear, proceed against these heathens.
The Lord gave in His great mercy gave many opportunities for course/life corrections to come to obedience, yet He was ignored while people in their arrogance pursued their life of sin. It is dangerous to wait and wait to change one’s ways, thinking there is one more day, week, month, year and then to find out – time has run out. May the unsaved be awakened before that time arrives.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)