July 8, 2018 – Micah 6 – 7
Lesson Date: July 8, 2018
Focal Scripture Passage: Micah 6:1-8, 13-16; 7:1-9, 18-20
AIM: To lead students to discover that Israel was guilty before the Lord but He mercifully pardoned their sin, and to personally seek God’s forgiveness and pardon through Jesus Christ.
Before class: Read the notes on Micah 6 – 7 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Draw a simple diagram of a courtroom on the marker board or chalkboard. Be sure your diagram includes the judge, the prosecutor, and the defendant. (You could even rearrange your classroom to look like a courtroom.)
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask: “Have any of you ever served on a jury or been involved in a trial?” Ask volunteers to briefly tell when this took place. Ask: “If you’ve never personally been involved in a trial, have you ever seen a courtroom show on TV?”
Probably everyone present is at least somewhat familiar with the process of a trial. Direct the students’ attention to the diagram (or picture) of a courtroom. Point out the key characters in the courtroom – the judge, the prosecutor, and the defendant.
Ask: “What are the basic steps that take place during a trial?” (the charges are read, the prosecutor tries to prove the defendant is guilty, the defense attorney tries to convince the jury that the defendant is not guilty, and eventually a verdict will be rendered). Ask: “If the defendant is found guilty, what happens next?” (he or she should be sentenced and taken away to serve that sentence). Ask: “Is a convicted defendant ever pardoned and allowed to go free?” (yes, rarely).
Tell the class today’s lesson from Micah 6 and 7 depicts a courtroom scene, in which Israel stands trial for her sin and rebellion toward God.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Tell the students this is our final lesson from the Old Testament book of Micah.
- Direct their attention to the Sin – Judgment – Repentance – Renewal
- Remind them that throughout this quarter we have seen that sin brings God’s judgment, but genuine repentance brings renewal and blessings.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (promises concerning Christ our King).
- Ask if anyone would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (Micah 5:2).
- The Lord’s Charges Against Israel.
- Say: “Hear ye! Hear ye! The trial of God’s chosen people, Israel, will now begin. The Most High God of the Universe is presiding. The charges will now be read.”
- Ask a volunteer to read Micah 6:1-2.
- Ask: “Who has been called to witness these proceedings?” (the mountains and hills and the foundations of the earth).
- Explain that the Hebrew word translated controversy literally means a complaint, indictment, or lawsuit.
- Tell the class that the people of Israel had sinned and rebelled against God for centuries. They repeatedly broke His Law and gave their hearts to worship dead idols. They thought they could find a better way of living than God’s way. They thought they could find some other gods who would treat them better than the Lord.
- Read Micah 6:3-5.
- Ask: “Had the Lord harmed Israel?” (no).
- Ask: “What had the Lord done for Israel?” (He brought them out of Egypt, redeemed them from captivity, gave them godly leaders, protected them from harm, and brought them safely into the land He gave them; He had treated them righteously at all times).
- Summarize: In spite of the fact that God had done everything for them, the people Israel sinned and rebelled against Him.
- Israel’s Defense.
- Say: “The prosecution has made its case. What does Israel have to say in her defense?”
- Read Micah 6:6-7.
- Ask: “According to verse 6, what defense could Israel offer?” (none; they knew they were not worthy to even stand before Holy God).
- Ask: “With what did they vainly hope to appease the Lord?” (sacrifices and offerings).
- Explain that the sinful and rebellious people of Israel knew there was nothing they could do to atone for their sin. They offered to bring sacrifices of calves, and rams, and oil.
- Ask: “According to the last part of verse 7, what else did they offer to bring?” (their firstborn children).
- Tell the class that Israel realized sacrifices couldn’t make up for her sinful actions. God wasn’t interested in the blood of sacrificial animals or even that of their children.
- Ask a volunteer to read Micah 6:8.
- Ask: “What does God expect of His people?” (to do what He has told them in scriptures like Ex. 20:1-17, and to be just, merciful, and humble).
- Summarize: Israel had no defense for her sin and rebellion. She clearly knew what God required, but she failed to obey.
- Israel’s Sentence for Their Sins.
- Say: “The charges having been read with no credible defense offered, the defendant, Israel, is hereby pronounced GUILTY. Sentence will be passed at this time.”
- Read Micah 6:13-16.
- Ask: “According to verse 13, what was the Lord going to do to Israel?” (make them sick, smite them, and make them desolate – all because of their sins).
- Ask: “What does verse 14 say will happen to them?” (they would eat but not be satisfied, they would be discouraged, and they would try to defend themselves but fail).
- Ask: “What does verse 15 say will be the result of their work?” (it will be fruitless).
- Tell the students these terrible judgments were coming upon Israel because they followed the evil statutes of wicked kings (Omri and Ahab), rather than doing what God expected. Their ultimate fate would be desolation and reproach.
- Direct everyone’s attention to the Sin – Judgment – Repentance – Renewal As we have seen repeatedly this quarter, sin always brings judgment.
- Summarize: Because they were guilty of sin and rebellion toward God, the people of Israel would face sickness, frustration, defeat, futility, and desolation.
- Mourning, Repentance, and Pardon.
- Say: “The verdict having been rendered and sentence having been passed, the condemned will now have an opportunity to address the court.”
- Tell the class Micah spoke on behalf of his sinful people.
- Read Micah 7:1-6.
- Ask: “How did Micah feel about Israel’s spiritual condition?” (he mourned over the wickedness and corruption of his people).
- Note the following:
- Verse 2 – There were no good people left; they were all bloodthirsty.
- Verse 3 – They eagerly sought to do evil and their leaders were corrupt.
- Verse 4 – The best of the people were sharp as a briar or a thorny hedge.
- Verse 5 – No one was trustworthy.
- Verse 6 – Family relationships meant nothing anymore.
- Ask: “What could be done in the face of such evil and apostasy?”
- Ask a volunteer to read Micah 7:7-9.
- Ask: “Where did Micah turn in His distress and mourning?” (to the Lord).
- Note that he said he would look to the Lord and wait for the Lord’s salvation.
- Ask: “What confidence did he express at the end of verse 7?” (God would hear him).
- Ask: “In verse 8, what did he say the Lord would be to him?” (a light in darkness).
- Tell the class in verse 9 Micah, speaking on behalf of his people, acknowledged Israel’s sin and accepted God’s punishment. He was confident the Lord would bring His people back to light and righteousness.
- Direct everyone’s attention again to the Sin – Judgment – Repentance – Renewal Israel’s sin brought God’s judgment, but now Micah came before God in repentance on behalf of his people.
- Read Micah 7:18-20.
- Ask: “What is God’s response to genuine, sincere repentance?” (pardon, forgiveness, mercy, and compassion).
- Ask: “What confidence did Micah express in verses 19-20?” (God will have compassion, He will cast our sins into the depths of the sea, and He will keep the promises He has made in the past).
- Tell the class this chapter is bracketed by two exclamations. Micah opened the chapter with a cry of “Woe is me!” When he considered the forgiveness and mercy and graciousness of the Lord, he closed the chapter with “Who is a God like unto thee?”
- Summarize: Sin always brings God’s judgment, but sincere repentance brings renewal.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Review the lesson by telling the students that Israel was clearly guilty of sin, rebellion, and of turning away from God to serve dead idols. The Lord read the indictment, but Israel had no defense. He sentenced them to destruction and desolation. Micah, speaking for the nation, expressed deep remorse and turned to the Lord for mercy. God mercifully pardoned the people. Israel was guilty, but pardoned.
Tell the class that the Bible says we are all guilty sinners (Rom. 3:23). It also says the penalty for our sin is death (Rom. 6:23a).
Say: “Charges having been brought, a conviction handed down, and sentence passed upon the guilty sinner, the merciful and gracious Lord Jesus Christ stands ready to pardon, forgive, and restore any who will come to Him in sincere repentance and faith.”
Tell the class God sent His Son to take our guilt and sin upon Himself on the cross. He paid our price so that we can be forgiven. Our only hope is to confess our sins and place our trust in Jesus Christ. When we do, He forgives and pardons our sin so we can be right with Him.
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Ask: “Have you ever done that? Have you ever admitted your sin to God and asked him to forgive and save you? If not, would you like to?” Encourage those who need to place their faith in Jesus Christ to tell that to the Lord right now. Ask: “Are you a Christian, but you know there are sins in your life that you need to confess? Will you do that right now?” Voice a closing prayer of repentance.
CONCLUSION: Offer to speak privately to any who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ or might have questions about salvation. Ask everyone to memorize Micah 6:8. Encourage everyone to confess their sins regularly and to thank the Lord daily for forgiveness and pardon.
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