PRONOUNCE MY NAME; DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD?

By: Héctor Molano

Bible Text Micah 1:1

Introduction Story

Arnold Smith was a neighborhood gangster, He continuously met with his mates in the corner of the fourth street, and there was a small bar, if so it could be called to the small store of Mrs. July.  Arnold was a rugged yet athletic man of around 45, their business partners: Peter Johnson, Francis Williams and Frederic Garcia, they don´t have any problem to follow Arnold because they knew he was skillful and very successful to give blows in the shops, banks and dock to how many person will cross through his area. Arnold, met with them each third day in the same small store, He gives to his partners new places for the assaults; He was a very good robber because He has in his mind every singular detail. With the total planning, He has the custom to take a pair of beers, just a pair of them, because if you want to be a gangster, you must to be sober.   

This Wednesday evening, things were different at the meeting of gangsters, because they had heard that a new police commander would take the area, they were worried by who could be and they should plan all strategies, typically they plan with all previous to bribe them and continue their misdeeds.  Arnold asked: do we know how is called the new police? but there were no responses from the squad, so he gave the mission to Peter, who was very good to know such information. Peter had several contacts within the barracks, which included a pair of corrupt cops and a girlfriend who was Secretary of a Sergeant, so who more but Peter would bring the information. 

That Friday and every gangster came on time to the bar with the exception of Peter. Arnold asked to other guys if they know the name of the new police commander, they don´t exactly know but they have a few clues that the new commander will be a correct ma. Peter arrived to the meeting with a terrible face because the new will not a good new, the new commander is Elisha Miller, this policeman is one of most correct policeman in the city, He will never accept bribery. When the gangster hear the name of the police commander, they know that their end will be near, because only the presence of Elisha Miller guarantees a total and fast cleanup of the area,  his will and dedication are unshakable, He by himself alone could catch the gangsters group.  

Prayer

This fictional story will help us understand the subject matter of this sermon whose title is: PRONOUNCE MY NAME, DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD?

I divide it into three parts:

1.      Who are my models to follow; in order my name makes a difference?

2.      How is my context, in order my name makes a difference?

3.      My name makes a difference

 

1.      Who are my models to follow; in order my name makes a difference?

The model to follow Peter Johnson, Francis Williams and Frederic Garcia was Arnold Smith; in the initial story was a respected gangster.  But, what are our Biblical models?

 

 

The verse for this sermon is Micah 1:1  The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. (Mic. 1:1 ESV)

The characters surrounding MICAH in this verse are three, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.  Let's look at two of them that could be a model for the Prophet MICAH:

Jotham can be translated as Yahweh is perfect, he was a God-fearing King, built most of the temple door, he fortified and extended the territory of Judah, he also subjugated the sons of Ammon (2 Chro 27:3, 6), He was descendant of Caleb

Hezekiah, whose name means Yahweh is my strength, was a pious King.  He made a religious reform according to 2 Chronicles 29:3-14, he was King of Judah.  He reaffirmed Covenant between Yahweh and his people and instituted the Passover 2 Chronicles 30:26.

The Bible says about Jotham: 2Chronicles 27:2  2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD according to all that his father Uzziah had done, except he did not enter the temple of the LORD. But the people still followed corrupt practices. (2 Chr. 27:2 ESV)

About Hezekiah the bible says: 2 Kings 18:3-5  3 And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.  4 He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan).  5 He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. (2 Ki. 18:3-5 ESV)

 

This King was almost a perfect King, but in 2 Kings 20:13 the Bible says 13 And Hezekiah welcomed them, and he showed them all his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. (2 Ki. 20:13 ESV)  

Then the prophet said to him 2 Kings 20:16-19   16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD:  17 Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the LORD.  18 And some of your own sons, who shall be born to you, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."  19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good." For he thought, "Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?"  (2 Ki. 20:16-19 ESV)

And take a look of 2 Chronicles 32:24-26:  24 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death, and he prayed to the LORD, and he answered him and gave him a sign.  25 But Hezekiah did not make return according to the benefit done to him, for his heart was proud. Therefore wrath came upon him and Judah and Jerusalem. 26 But Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

 (2 Chr. 32:24-26 ESV); He requested for more years to live, and God gave him fifteen years more of life but in those years was the birth of Manasseh who was a bad and terrible King, He permitted the Assyrian cults even in the temple.

I could say that due to the names of these two Kings Hezekiah and Jotham, Yahweh is perfect and Yahweh is my strength, they might be a clear model to follow, but as we have seen, the perfection of these men is far from perfection of God.  Jotham, and Hezekiah, although they were good Kings, were not perfect, and they could not be the model that God wants for his people, the goal is to be witnesses and image of God and not the reflection of a fallible man.

 

2.      How is my context, in order my name makes a difference?

 

The context of Arnold, the gangster of the initial story, was their bar, people know him but for his bad actions, and what was the context of MICAH:

The majority of scholars consider that MICAH preached mainly in the years of the reign of Ahaz.  Ahaz prefers to rely on Assyria compared the overtones of Pekah, King of Israel, and Rezin, King of Syria, to confront Tiglath-pileser III, so that is converted into vassal of Assyria.  In addition, about Ahaz in 2 Kings 16:3-4   3 but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even burned his son as an offering, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. 4 And he sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.

 

It seems that the name of Ahaz was Jehoahaz meaning Yahweh or Jehovah has taken or has seized, but someone could remove the first part of the name due the behavior of the King and his infidelity, and Ahaz means: he has taken or he has seized.  Other bad things that He did: Baal images 2 Chronicles 28:2  2 but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even made metal images for the Baals.

In the other hand, Micah was from Moresheth, some scholars said that Moresheth is from Gath (remember the Giant); other scholars say that Moresheth is between Socoh and Azekah. The important point is that every place are an strategic and known place, maybe a crossroad, then a man as a Micah is impossible to live as a not known guy.

 

3.      My name makes a difference

The name of Elisha Miller, the cop the commander or chief policeman, didn´t pass without astonishment; the context could be bad or terrible, but the gangsters know that with this guy will be impossible to continue their business, by the way the name Elisha means my God is salvation, and the name of the gangster Arnold means: strong as an eagle.

For our sermon the name is Micah: the meaning of this name is Who is like God? or Who is like Yahweh?

The name of MICAH is an exclamation of prayer, an expression of worship, this is a prayer that tells to everybody that God is wonderful and unique.

MICAH helps people to understand what and who is like the Lord.  Its main theme is the true religion which is not subject to external rituals, MICAH unmasks the false legislators and cries the trial against Israel, punishment to the leaders of the people Israel,

Are there other places where the expression: who is like Yahweh appears in the Bible?

In the Scriptures there are other four places where this expression appears, to study them can better understand what it means to pronounce the name of MICAH; these places are Psalm 113:5, Psalm 89:8, Psalm 35:10, Exodus 15:11; Let's take a look at each one:

 

Psalm 113:5  5 Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, (Ps. 113:5 ESV)

The Lord is shown above the creation and deigns to look at what happens to us, still helps the poor and exalts it, not take advantage of the poor but that raises it

 

Psalm 89:8  8 O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you? (Ps. 89:8 ESV)(

 

Lord is seen as the driver of the nature, he chooses the Savior King; It also highlights that God is trustworthy and does not change as other gods.

 

 Psalm 35:10  10 All my bones shall say, "O LORD, who is like you, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him who robs him?" (Ps. 35:10 ESV)

 

Lord is seen as superior when someone attacks those who are afflicted, is seen as the Savior in time of strife, grief and affliction.

 

 Exodus 15:11 11 "Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? (Exod. 15:11 ESV)

This expression happens after the passage of the Red Sea, you need to know that in that time when a battle came, people believes that their gods fight with them, so God is showing himself as superior to Baal.

 

Then, after the study of these verses we can conclude with these ideas about the name of MICAH his name shows the power of God on nature, over other gods, his name shows God as Savior and as an aid for those in need.

 

When you are in a difficult situation, only when you appear to that place could be a guarantee of the correct way to live; are you representing the image of God good?

If somebody says your name, they know that you are a correct and trustworthy guy?

Are you as MICAH?  As Elisha? Or as Arnold (the gangster guy)? Who is your model? Is God your model to live?

Everybody knows you, as an expression of prayer or worship to the Lord?

To pronounce your name, does it make a difference in the world?