Die to Resurrect

Psalm 98; Micah 7:7–9, 18–20; 1 Timothy 6:11–20 (read online ⧉)

Micah’s unwavering loyalty and trust in can be hard to swallow for many. Micah believes that he can wait for and trust in .

What is fascinating with Micah’s words is that he admonishes his enemy who is gloating over Micah’s fallen state. Micah doesn’t defend himself. In fact, he openly and forthrightly acknowledges that he has sinned against . What a fantastic pattern that we should all follow! When we hide our sins in the dark, they can fester and rot deep within us. Yet, when we shine the on them, they cease to rot. The consequences may be awful and shameful, but the cleanses them.

Micah owned his transgressions. Micah owned the consequences.

Micah believed that would redeem and rescue him. He had decided to wait upon ’s timing for his restoration. That is often courageous for us when we are in the midst of trials and tribulations. Micah was in the middle of them, too.

The redemptive that Micah had of was immense. He understood that ’s grace and mercy were beyond comprehension. In addition to his own redemption, he looked to the redemption of his people…of ’s people. Micah understood that the people were far off from . Micah also understood that ’s faithful and unfailing love was always waiting to Resurrect the repentant heart.

While the Jews had the Law to define the particulars of their holy calling, gentiles (non-Jews) still had the (the Image of ) in them telling them deep down what they were doing was not in line with the Creator of the universe, even when they didn’t understand. Hence that is why Paul talks to Timothy about fleeing from much of what is common to the temptation of humankind. Timothy was both Greek and Jew (thus dirty to both “sides” of the ). He probably has some awareness of the Jewish Law, but he would have also been quite familiar with what was common (and considered acceptable) in Greek/Roman circles.

Thus Paul was calling Timothy to something greater than either bloodline or culture. He was calling Timothy to Jesus Christ. When Paul recalls Timothy’s “good” confession. Instead of confession, a better (and longer) way of saying it would be a strong, firm, public declaration of allegiance. Timothy had (effectively) declared that Jesus Christ was more important than all of that, and Paul was holding him to it. Timothy, as the “or” to Paul and a leader in his own right, was to hold on tight to what he “confessed” he believed, and to not let others draw him away.

Paul reminded Timothy that all that was going on now was in preparation and was before the age to come, the age of Resurrection. The underlying being that if Timothy let go of the faith in the here and now, the age of Resurrection might very well not come to him.

Timothy may not have had the depths of pain that Micah did, though it’s likely that his heart was broken at the (martyr’s) of Paul and other Christians. For Timothy, the Resurrection life held hope in the midst of pain. The Resurrection life that Micah was expect was, without question, different in scope than Timothy was expecting. Both, however, were dependent upon a relationship with .

, may we continue to place our sins and failures before you in hopeful , not to avoid the consequences of our actions, but to restore and maintain right relationship with you. May your father’s heart continue to be gracious to us. May the sacrifice of you, Jesus, continue to remind us of the cost, drawing us closer to you through the counsel of the . Amen.

1) How do you balance the fear of and concern for punishing or consequences with hope and faith with ?

2) The life of a Christian is full of many little s. What is the latest that you have experienced that has drawn you (or is drawing you) closer to ?

3) There is an old saying that a coward dies a thousand s, and a hero only one. What is the difference between that and the s that a Christian experiences?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.