Monday, December 17, 2012

Do we have "high places"?

High places - Micah 1:3
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Micah 1:1-16

TO CHEW ON: "For behold the Lord is coming out of His place;
He will come down
And tread on the high places of the earth." - Micah 1:3


"Prophecies of Christ make Micah's book glow with hope and encouragement," says Willard Elijahson in my Bible's introduction to Micah (New Spirit-Filled Bible, p. 1202). It's a great book to read as we look forward to Christmas (in eight days' time!).

Micah, the man, prophesied alongside Isaiah. Historians date his writings between 704-696 B.C. during the reigns of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. His message is directed to inhabitants of Samaria and Jerusalem.

He begins his message by announcing the coming of the Lord. We get the picture of someone coming from elsewhere: "...the Lord is coming out of His place; He will come down..." - Micah 1:3.

The place God chooses to visit is noteworthy—the "high places of the earth." Though we might read this as elevated land masses (mountain peaks perhaps, which would give a good view of all the surrounding area) the people of that time would probably have understood high places to mean elevated pagan altars. God was coming to check out their disloyalty—the places they compromised, flirted with, and gave in to idols. Awkward! Embarrassing! Incriminating!

The picture of God coming down to check out the high places of Judah prompts me to ask, what if I applied this image to my society, my life? What would God find?

Dennis McCallum in his book Unlocking the Mysteries of Satan explains how, at the fall, Satan took charge of the world system or kosmos. He says:

"Perhaps the definitive passage on kosmos is 1 John 2:15-17.
'Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away,but the man who does the will of God lives forever.'
Accordingly the kosmos is primarily a system of values. The lust of the flesh refers to living for ungodly pleasure. The lust of the eyes refers to owning beautiful things or gaining control over beautiful people. The boastful pride of life refers to the way humans try to establish identity and importance by competing with each other for attention, power, and admiration" (Kindle Location, 871).

McCallum goes on to suggest that the church and we as individual Christians have gone easy on many of these attitudinal sins:

"Many Christians think of 'worldly' things as gross sins like wanton sex, for example .... Many of the same Christians, however, would never recognize the world-system when looking at the Harvard University green or the Sears Tower. A glossy magazine advertisement showing a family luxuriating in a hot tub in Tahiti or a shiny new SUV would not ring the kosmos bell in their minds" - KL 887.

Are we in these ways building our own high places? As I imagine God coming to me, I ask, what high places is He finding in my life? Is He finding some in yours?

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to see my attitudes from Your point of view. Show me where I have bought into the world system and perspective. Amen.

MORE: Throwing down 'high place' attitudes
"Instead of arguing with Satan, Christians must learn to share the Word of God with him, like Jesus did. To match up with someone this smart, we need the help of someone even smarter, and God is infinitely smarter than Satan" - McCallum, K.L. 767.



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