Charles Simeon Commentary - Micah 4:5 - 4:5

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Charles Simeon Commentary - Micah 4:5 - 4:5


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DISCOURSE: 1207

THE WORLD’S AND THE CHRISTIAN’S GOD CONTRASTED

Mic_4:5. For all people will walk every one in the name of his God, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.

IT has been objected to Christianity, that it creates divisions in families, and in the world at large. But how should it not produce these effects, when the whole world is immersed in idolatry; and the direct end of Christianity is, to “turn men from idols, to serve the living God?” See the prophet’s account of “the last days:” “It shall come to pass, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains; and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people, even all nations, shall flow unto it [Note: ver. 1, 2.].” What can this import? What, but a general conversion to Christ; and, as far as that change shall extend, the determination here formed; “Every one will walk in the name of his God: and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever?”

Let us notice here,

I.       The practice of the world—

Every unregenerate man is an idolater—

[Idolatry may be found no less amongst the professed servants of Jehovah, than amongst the worshippers of stocks and stones. Idolatry, in fact, is “the loving and serving of the creature, rather than the Creator, who is blessed for evermore [Note: Rom_1:25.].” Now it is a fact, that every man, in his unregenerate state, is under the dominion of some lust, which leads him captive. All are not governed by the same lust: the desires and appetites of men differ amongst different persons, and in the same person at different periods of his life. In youth, we are chiefly impelled by a love of pleasure and sensual indulgence. In middle age, we aspire after honour and advancement in the world for ourselves and our children. In more advanced life, the love of money not unfrequently gains an ascendant over us; and, at all events, a love of ease and quiet. Now, wherever these, or any other dispositions, operate upon us more powerfully than the love of God, they become, in fact, our god. As the sensual man is said to “make a god of his belly [Note: Php_3:19.];” and the covetous man to make an idol of his gold [Note: Col_3:5.]; so the votaries of any created being or enjoyment are, in reality, despisers of the one true God, and worshippers of idols.]

Whatever be the supreme object of a man’s affections, “in the name of that he walks”—

[The young men are never weary in the pursuit of pleasure. Behold the gay, the dissipated, the voluptuous! From the nature of things, they cannot always be in a direct pursuit of their object: but it is never out of their minds, at least never so far removed, but they can revert to it with delight, and renew, in contemplation, the feelings which have already been indulged even to satiety. Of this the records of the whole world will testify: and he can know little of himself, who needs be told that it has been his own experience. The Apostles themselves confess this to have been once their own course [Note: Eph_2:3. Tit_3:3.]; nor has there been an exception to it, in the state of unconverted man, from the fall of Adam to the present moment.]

In direct opposition to this is,

II.      The determination of the true Christian—

He also has his God—

[Yes, the Lord Jehovah is his God; and him alone is he disposed to serve. The Christian sees that Jehovah alone has any claim upon him. As his Creator, his Governor, his Redeemer, and his Judge, Jehovah demands of him all the affections of his soul, and all the services of his life: and he not only accedes to this demand, but accounts it his highest honour, and his truest happiness, to fulfil the duties imposed upon him.]

And in the name of this God he walks—

[This God he confesses before men; and for him determines to brave all the contempt and hatred of an ungodly world. He sees that the servants of Satan will cast every obstacle in his way: but he resolves, by the grace of God, to go forward, and to serve his God even unto death. Look at the saints of God in every age: they all united in devotion to one God, even to Him who made them, and to Him who redeemed them by his own most precious blood. The voice of every one of them was, in fact, “Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none on earth that I desire besides Thee [Note: Psa_73:25.].” And in the name of this God they walk; proceeding continually from grace to grace, from strength to strength, from glory to glory.]

And now, Brethren,

1.       Choose ye whom ye will serve—

“Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” “To whichever of the two ye cleave, ye must, of necessity, renounce and despise the other [Note: Mat_6:24.].” And can ye doubt whose ye shall be, and whom ye shall serve? What can the vanities of the world do for you? — — — On the other hand, what cannot, or will not, the Lord Jesus do for you? — — — Take him then as your God, and serve him faithfully with your whole hearts [Note: Jos_24:15.] — — —]

2.       Be not out-done by the votaries of this world—

[Are they constant? Be ye also firm, uniform, unreserved. Let there not be a worldling in the universe so faithful to his god, as you to yours. Let the Apostle’s counsel be the entire rule of your life: “As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him; rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving [Note: Col_2:6-7.].”