June 10, 2018 – Micah 1 – 2
Lesson Date: June 10, 2018
Focal Scripture Passage: Micah 1:1-7; 2:1-13
AIM: To lead students to discover God’s warnings to sinners and His reassuring promises to the faithful, and to give them an opportunity to either repent of their sins or thank God for His wonderful promises to them.
Before class: Read the notes on Micah 1 – 2 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Read the Introduction to Micah in the Sunday School Teacher Book. If you have not already done so, make and post a banner in your classroom on which are written the following four words: Sin – Judgment – Repentance – Renewal. Leave that banner up all quarter. Write the word “Warning!” on the marker board or chalkboard. If possible, find a picture of a traffic warning sign (slow down, sharp curve, merging traffic, etc.) to bring to class.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the word “Warning!” written on the board. Show the picture of the traffic warning sign if you brought one. Ask: “Why does the highway spend money to put up big yellow warning signs?” (to alert drivers that something potentially dangerous is ahead). Ask the students to name other types of warnings we receive. Ask: “What is the purpose of those warnings?” (to inform us of danger).
Ask: “Did your parent ever give you a warning of impending punishment?” Perhaps your parent was at work and learned of something you had done wrong. He or she might have warned, “When I get home you will be punished!” Or perhaps your mother told you, “I’ll let your father deal with you when he gets home.” Or perhaps you were in a store and your parent warned, “When we get out of here I will straighten you out.”
Ask: “As a child, how did it feel to be warned that punishment was on its way?” (bad, scary).
Tell the class that today’s lesson is about some people who received a warning that punishment was coming, but not at the hand of an angry parent – at the hand of Almighty God!
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Review and Introduction to Micah.
- Remind everyone that we are studying some of the short books of prophecy found near the end of the Old Testament.
- Direct the students’ attention to the words Sin – Judgment – Repentance – Renewal written on the banner. Tell them throughout this quarter we will be reminded that sin brings God’s judgment, but when we repent of our sin God sends renewal.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson from Obadiah about?” (the dangers of pride).
- Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (James 4:6).
- Ask everyone to find the little book of Micah, located between Jonah and Nahum.
- Read Micah 1:1.
- Using the map, explain that Micah was from the town of Moresheth in Judah, but his prophecy concerns both Samaria (the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel) and Jerusalem (the capital of the Southern Kingdom of Judah).
- Tell the class that God gave these words to Micah shortly before the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 c. (refer to the timeline if you have it posted).
- Warning of Judgment.
- Ask a volunteer to read Micah 1:2-3.
- Ask: “According to verse 2, who is issuing this warning?” (God).
- Note that He identifies Himself as “the Lord God” and “the Lord from His holy temple.”
- A parent who might say to her child, “I am your mother and I am warning you ….” God said, “I am the Lord and I am coming to judge you.”
- Ask: “According to verse 3, what did the Lord say He was going to do?” (He said He was coming out of His place and coming down to deal with them).
- Ask the students to listen for what God said He would do, as your read Micah 1:4-7.
- Ask them what God said. The students should name the following:
- Verse 4: The mountains will melt and the valleys will split before His fierce wrath.
- Verse 5: This judgment will come because of your sin. (The sin God identified was idol worship, which had become widespread in both Israel and Judah.)
- Verse 6: God promised to destroy Samaria, leaving only rubble and debris behind.
- Verse 7: God promised to stamp out their idols and harlotry (hires refers to the pay of a prostitute; prostitution was a major part of ancient idol worship).
- Tell the students in the rest of chapter 1 Micah lamented the coming terrible judgment.
- Summarize: Because of Israel’s sins, God promised to come down in swift and destructive judgment.
- Woe to the Wicked.
- Ask a volunteer to read Micah 2:1-2.
- Explain that the word “Woe” is an expression of warning, shock, grief, and amazement.
- Ask: “Who did God warn in verse 1?” (those who dream up evil schemes and then carry them out).
- Ask: “Who did He warn in verse 2?” (those who are covetous, violent, and oppress others).
- Read Micah 2:3-5.
- Ask: “What did God warn them of in verse 3?” (He was sending destruction, disaster and misery upon them).
- Explain that in verses 4-5 God said foreigners would oppress His people, who would feel that they had been spoiled by their enemies and abandoned by God. None of them would be left to measure out (“cast a cord”) their possessions.
- Explain that these words were probably written just a few years before the Assyrians came and destroyed Samaria and the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 c.
- Summarize: God promised that He was coming to judge the wicked.
- Work of the Wicked.
- Tell the class that God warned the wicked that He was coming to judge and punish them. In verses 6-11 God described the work of the wicked people He was coming to judge.
- Ask a volunteer to read Micah 2:6.
- Ask: “What were the wicked saying?” (“Prophesy ye not;” in other words, they did not want to hear preaching; they rejected God’s message and messengers).
- Ask a volunteer to read Micah 2:7.
- Tell the class the wicked couldn’t believe that God would send disaster and trouble upon them. They thought they were right with God – they thought they “walketh uprightly.”
- Ask a volunteer to read Micah 2:8.
- Explain that those who were supposed to be God’s people had become His enemies.
- Ask: “How did they treat one another?” (they stole the clothes off each other’s back).
- Ask a volunteer to read Micah 2:9.
- Ask: “How did they treat women and children?” (they threw them out of their homes and robbed them of God’s glory).
- Ask a volunteer to read Micah 2:10.
- God promised to expel His sinful people from their land.
- Ask a volunteer to read Micah 2:11.
- Ask: “Who did the people accept as true prophets?” (those who extolled the virtues of wine and strong drink, in direct contrast to the Lord’s clear warnings found in passages such as Prov. 20:1; 23:29-35; Eph. 5:18).
- Summarize: God described the evil works of the wicked people He promised to come judge and punish.
- Word of Promise to the Faithful.
- Tell the class the Lord promised to come judge the wicked, but He also had a word of promise for the faithful.
- Read Micah 2:12-13.
- Ask: “Who did God promise to gather?” (the remnant of Israel).
- Explain that in the Bible the “remnant” always speaks of the faithful few.
- Ask: “According to verse 12, what did God promise to do for the faithful remnant?” (gather them like sheep into the protection of His sheepfold).
- Note that verse 12 says they will be very numerous.
- Explain that in verse 13 the breaker is one who breaks through obstacles.
- Ask: “Who will be the king and leader of the faithful remnant?” (the Lord).
- Summarize: God is not only a God of judgment. He promised to gather, bless, and lead those who remain faithful to Him.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the students’ attention once again to the words Sin – Judgment – Repentance – Renewal written on the banner. Ask: “Which of those things have we seen in this lesson?” (all four: Israel’s sin brought God’s judgment, but those who repented of their sin and remained faithful to God were promised the blessings of renewal).
Tell the class that God gives stern warnings to sinners; He knows who they are, He sees their evil deeds, and He promises to judge them for their wickedness, but He also has reassuring promises for the faithful remnant: those who have sincerely placed their faith in Jesus Christ and seek to live for Him.
Ask: “How can He do that? How can He punish one but bless the other? How does He know who to punish and who to bless?”
Read 2 Peter 2:9.
Tell the students that God knows who are the sinners and who are the righteous. He knows how to judge and punish sinners while preserving and blessing the faithful few.
Ask: “What about you? Are you one of the sinners? If so, you must repent of your sin and beg for God’s mercy. Are you one of the righteous few? If so, you should thank God for His grace and His wonderful promises.”
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Urge them to either repent of their sins or thank God for His blessings. Voice a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize 2 Peter 2:9. Urge them to read their Bible and pray to the Lord every day this week, seeking to keep their heart right with God. Ask them to read Micah 3 this week.
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