Micah 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 forever and ever. It is trite to say, what has been said a thousand times, that man has a religious nature. Albeit the practical recognition of the fact is of immense importance; without it, more than half the history of the world would be inexplicable, all methods for its true improvement would be futile, and man would pass through this world to another without a God or any hope for a future. This verse suggests the wrong and the right development of this nature.

I. THE WRONG DEVELOPMENT. What is that? Idolatry. "All people will walk every one in the name of his god." Polytheism proper is, and generally has been, the most popular religion in the world. Men have gods which they have made, palpable objects which they fashioned after an ideal, and the ideal not unfrequently of the most base and loathsome kind. And they walk after these gods. The mariners in Jonah's vessel, when the storm came on, cried every man unto his god. Whence the cause of polytheism? The one great cause, which comprehends all others, is depravity. Depravity:

1. Involves moral corruption. What are heathen gods, as a rule, but the deification of the lower passions and vices of mankind?

2. Involves carnality. Depraved men are so carnal that they have no idea of real things which have not size and form and tangible properties. Hence they want a god they can see and handle and touch.

3. Involves thoughtlessnss. Polytheism cannot stand reasoning. It is supported by the thoughtless millions through the craft and sophistry of the priests. Every true thought will shatter a heathen deity.

II. THE RIGHT DEVELOPMENT. What is that? Practical monotheism. "We will walk in the Name of the Lord our God forever and ever."

1. This is rational. The one God is the sum total of all moral properties, the Proprietor of all resources, and the Bestower of all the existences and all the blessings therewith. What can be more rational than to walk in his way? In truth, it is the only true rational way in life.

2. This is obligatory. No man is bound to walk in the name of an idol; nay, he is commanded not to do so. But every man is bound to walk in the Name of the Lord - bound on the ground of his supreme excellence, his relations to man, and the obligation springing therefrom.

3. This is blessed. To walk in his Name is to walk through sunny fields abounding with all beauty and fruitfulness. - D.T.







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 forever and ever
That this chapter contains a prophecy of the glorious times of the Gospel is the general opinion of all Christian interpreters. Some things are foretold in it which have never been accomplished in the times of the Jewish Church.

1. That there shall be a general confluence to the true religion and worship of God.

2. That this great and conspicuous society of the Church shall enjoy peace and tranquillity.

3. That internal zeal and devotion shall accompany all this external glory and happiness. That all these would admirably become the Christian Church cannot be doubted.

I. ALL NATIONS AND PEOPLE GENERALLY HAVE SOME GOD AND RELIGION OR OTHER. Atheism is contrary to the common sense of mankind. It will be very hard, if not impossible, to find any nation or people that have lived without a God.

II. ALL THOSE NATIONS AND PEOPLE THAT HAVE ANY BELIEF OF A GOD, HAVE ALSO SOME DEVOTION, AND PAY SOME REMARKABLE REVERENCE TOWARDS THE DEITY. The nature and notion of God is so great that it cannot ordinarily miss of affecting men with the greatest seriousness. If any man acknowledges the true God, and has ripe notions of Him, he then apprehends a mighty majesty, invested with infinite power, wisdom, justice, and goodness. He that can think of such a God without a religious reverence must have either something below a human folly, or beyond a human hardiness.

III. THE GREATER THE GOD, AND THE TRUER THE RELIGION, THE MORE OUGHT TO BE THE DEVOTION. It is most genuine, natural, and reasonable, that the best religion should be attended with the greatest devotion, and the most holy lives. Show —

1. The excellency of our principles, and how much the religion which we profess is better than any other. Represent four things

(1)The antiquity of our religion.

(2)The credibility and easiness of its belief.

(3)The gravity and decency of its rituals.

(4)Its efficaciousness to make men generously good and holy.

IV. WITH THE MORE ARDENT ZEAL AND DEVOTION WE SHOULD TREAT THE TRUE GOD AND THE TRUE RELIGION.

1. We ought to be more steadfast and unmovable in our religion than other people are.

2. We ought to outstrip them in good life, in zeal and fervency, as much as we do in our principles and advantages.

(J. Goodman, D. D.)

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower." We invite you to "go about Zion, tell the towers thereof." The various towers of this great spiritual fortress are nothing else than the titles and attributes with which, in His own inspired volume, God has seen meet to make Himself known.

I. JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU; THE TOWER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. Any shelter we can rear is a tower of sand — a citadel of bulrushes — that will leave us naked and defenceless in that solemn hour which is to try every man's work, and every man's righteousness, of what sort it is. Christ hath finished transgression, and made an end of sin, and made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness. To attempt aught of our own by way of supplement or addition to the merits of the Divine surety, would be to seek to gild refined gold, or holding up the taper to help the sunlight.

II. JEHOVAH-SHALOM; THE LORD MY PEACE. This spiritual tower of peace stands side by side with the tower of righteousness. "The work of righteousness shall be peace." "Having made peace, through the blood of His Cross." What a repose this Gospel peace gives amid all the petty troubles of life! It "keeps the heart," as in a citadel or garrison. A calm elevation is imparted to the present, and the future can be contemplated undismayed. All that belongs to the Christian; his duties; his engagements; his very cares and difficulties are softened and mellowed with this calm tranquillity; just as in nature the setting sun transforms and metamorphoses the whole landscape into gold.

III. JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH; THE TOWER OF THE DIVINE PRESENCE. God is everywhere. It is a blessed thing for the believer to bear constantly about with him the realised sense of the Divine nearness, and it is his peculiar privilege and prerogative to do so. He is the living God in nature and in providence, guiding and supervising all. But there is a nobler and preeminent sense in which His covenant people can flee into this strong tower. Walking in the name of their God, they can say, "The Lord of hosts is with us." "Our fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ."

IV. JEHOVAH-NISSI; THE TOWER OF DEFENCE. We are still in an enemy's country. He that is for us is greater than all that can be against us. The Lord is our defence.

V. JEHOVAH-JIREH; THE TOWER OF TRUST. A conquering army must keep near its supplies. And the Christian has His promises of assured help. Each apparently capricious turn in life's way, all its accidents and incidents are the appointments of infinite wisdom; and "they that know Thy name, shall put their trust in Thee." Trust is a staff not for level plains and smooth highways. It is the alpenstock, the pilgrim prop for the mountaineer, for the rugged ascent, for the slippery path, for the glacier crevasse. God is a rich, sure, willing, and wise Provider.

VI. JEHOVAH-ROPHI; THE TOWER OF HEALING. He proclaims as His name, "I am the Lord that healeth thee." He is the true "healing tree," which, cast into your bitterest Marsh pool, will make its waters sweet.

(J. R. Macduff, D. D.)

The survey of missions under their most glorious aspects may keep men from considering them under less striking, but not less important points of view. Missions, whether successful or unsuccessful, so far as the conversion of pagans is concerned, return one hundredfold multiplied to the land whence they sprang, — return in demonstration of human corruption, and of the need of a Mediator; and of the truth and power of the Gospel, — return in a stimulus to self-examination, in incentive to prayer, and in warning against caring for others, and neglecting ourselves. It is a very peculiar use which may be said to be made of missions in our text. The heathen are surveyed not as abandoning their falsehood and superstition, but as adhering to them with the greatest earnestness and tenacity. From this steadfastness of the heathen the argument is drawn for making the resolve, "And we will walk in the name of our Lord God forever and ever." If the pagan adheres to what is false, we will cleave to what is true. The tenacity with which false deities are adhered to, does but set in stronger light the fickleness of the professed servants of the true. What the missionary ascertains is not that idolaters refuse to add to the number of their idols, but only that they will not exchange their idols. If they admit new, they nevertheless adhere to the old. Shall the pagan adhere to his idols, because they were the idols of his fathers; and shall we virtually revolt from that God whom our ancestors served, and whose truth, though at the cost of substance and life, they handed down to us as the most precious possession? We may change our gods, if we will, yielding to the opposition of science, falsely so called; we may burn incense before images, which the madness of speculation would set up, when reason is too proud to bow meekly to revelation. In either case we should be "changing our glory for that which cannot profit." Our God is the God of the Bible, a God who has revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ, providing through His obedience and death for our pardon and life. We ask the missionaries this question, Has a people ceased to "walk in the name of its god"? They have as yet nothing very encouraging to answer. There are cases of individual conversion. The missionary report is a report of adhering to error, and opposition to truth. What inferences are to be drawn from this report — inferences reproachful to ourselves, or containing lessons which it may become us to study and apply with the utmost diligence? The gist of the text is, that the tenacity with which the heathen adhere to their idols, helps to condemn, or display in its atrociousness, the conduct of the Jew, or the Christian, who shall renounce or be cold in the service of his Creator and Redeemer.

(Henry Mevill, B. D.)

Homilist.
It is trite to say that man has a religious nature. This verse suggests the wrong and the right development of this nature.

I. THE WRONG DEVELOPMENT. Idolatry. Polytheism proper is, and generally has been, the most popular religion in the world. Whence comes polytheism? The one great cause, which comprehends all others, is depravity. Which —

1. Involves moral corruption. What are heathen gods, as a rule, but the deification of the lower passions and vices of mankind?

2. Involves carnality. Hence they want a god they can see and handle and touch.

3. Involves thoughtlessness. Polytheism cannot stand reasoning.

II. THE RIGHT DEVELOPMENT. What is that? Practical monotheism. "We will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever."

1. This is rational. The one God is the sum total of all moral properties, the Proprietor of all resources, and the Bestower of all existences and all the blessings therewith. What can be more rational than to walk in His way?

2. This is obligatory. No man is bound to walk in the name of an idol; nay, he is commanded not to. But every man is bound to walk in the name of the Lord — bound on the ground of His supreme excellence, His relations to man, and the obligation springing therefrom.

3. This is blessed. To walk in His name is to walk through sunny fields abounding with all beauty and fruitfulness.

(Homilist.)

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