Micah Part 5 – The Winnowing Process
(View, print or download PDF, click title below)
By Pete Wilson
The messengers of the Lord speak the words of fire to us that sets us on the journey to receiving our inheritance in Jesus Christ. We are reminding each other OFTEN that we need to continue in the faith and endure this journey to maturity all the way to the end.
Col 1:23 If ye continue (abide) in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue (abide) in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
It is far too easy to get ensnared with knowledge and think this is what is saving us. To be disciples indeed we have to become doers of the Word and that is what separates the mature from the immature. It is not our knowledge; it is our doing.
It takes this long process of falling down to learn to be a mature man and be ordained as the Bride of Christ dressed in proper attire. This all of course takes place while in the BODY OF CHRIST, abiding with these many (living) waters and sons of thunder (Mar 3:17) that speak the Word that reprove and exhort us onto maturity.
Rev 19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thundering’s, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
We must take heed the words of the Prophets, including Micah and make our calling and election sure. We are told to be watchful that we do not fall from our own steadfastness and be snared by the deceitfulness of our carnal hearts and the sin that lies in our flesh. We are in the last days of the last days and we must take heed and really be on our guard.
Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;
This study will confirm the process of our judgment and the winnowing fan of the Lord. The repeated pattern of cutting off and bringing the remainder thru the fire of the Word will be shown through the Micah journey. It is this pruning by which the Lord separates the chaff and gathers the wheat into His barn.
Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Let’s pick back up on the eleven city journey which typifies how we progress from the best flesh has to offer (perfection of the flesh the number ten) to the mature man having the spiritual foundation of Christ (signified by the number twelve). The number eleven is the process of the Lord disintegrating that fleshly perfection and laying bare our sins before the whole house of Israel.
Mic 1:12 For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem.
Mic 1:13 O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.
6. Maroth – NLT The people of Maroth anxiously wait for relief, but only bitterness awaits them as the LORD’S judgment reaches even to the gates of Jerusalem.
None of the translations get this verse right but the NLT is much closer with the word anxiously versus the KJV rendering of “waiting carefully”. Make no mistake, evil coming down from the Lord is His causing us to stray from His ways.
Isa 63:17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.
Our being afflicted is our manifesting evil within our walk. All part of the Lord’s process to humble and correct us by our own wickedness.
Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions [Evil, H7451. “RA”] of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
The word translated “carefully” or “anxiously” describes our waiting for the Lord to do good is actually the Hebrew word for SICK [H2470]. We wait anxiously or impatiently when we see our sickly state as we want deliverance right here and right now. Maroth relates to us learning patience and to wait on the Lord. We will wait anxiously and be frustrated waiting on the Lord to deliver us and finish the good work He starts in us by this process of judgment.
Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
Psa 7:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
Lam 3:26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
For us to be humbled and know He is the Lord of all and to learn good and evil, we will be required to wait and put through much torment.
Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus
To purge inequity we must be shown our error and corrected by the rod on this maturing journey in the Philistine plain.
Maroth means bitter springs and is a spiritual shadow of us all in our immaturity.
Plural of H4751 feminine; bitter springs; Maroth, a place in Palestine: – Maroth.
Here is where the root of Maroth is used in Scripture [H4751]
Total KJV Occurrences: 38
Gen_27:34, Exo_15:23, Num_5:18-19 (2), Num_5:23-24 (3), Num_5:27, Est_4:1, Job_3:20, Pro_5:3-4 (2), Pro_27:7, Ecc_7:26, Isa_5:20 (2), Jer_2:19, Jer_4:18, Eze_27:31, Amo_8:10, Hab_1:6
1Sa_1:10, 1Sa_15:32, 2Sa_2:26, Job_7:11, Job_10:1, Job_21:25, Pro_14:10, Isa_38:15, Eze_3:14, Eze_27:31
Isa_33:7, Eze_27:30, Zep_1:14
Marah and Maroth are different geographical places yet are a double witness to the same spiritual lesson. Marah also means bitter and it is the site where thirsty Israelites found waters they could not drink because of the bitterness of the waters.
Exo 15:22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.
Exo 15:23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.
It is in Marah that we are proved by the Lord in the wilderness to see if we will hearken to His commandments. The waters become life bearing and sweet to the new man, only when we come to know the purpose in sacrificing our lives (the tree) and casting it into the waters of life.
Exo 15:25 And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,
The Word of the Lord is sweet to our eyes and ears. Yet when we actually have to live it out, i.e. KEEP THE JUDGMENTS and DO THEM (Eze 36:27, Rev 1:3), then it becomes bitter to our bellies. As we saw from Rev 14 above, living through this lake of fire experience is the patience of the saints.
Rev 10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
Our earth (walk) does not yet understand what is in our mind (heaven) that we do actually need to lose our life to gain it. The waters are bitter to the old way of life but made sweet when we are given faith to sacrifice our lives. Until our fiery baptism, we flip flop bitter and sweet.
Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
It is in Marah we are told of the consequences and blessings of obeying or disobeying the Lord early on in our escape from the world (Egypt). God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge and learning the lesson of Exo 15:26 is fundamental to us maturing. Without understanding in the Lord’s plan and His ways and no faith to stand, our carnal mind and flesh cries out for water and for relief from the fires of judgment.
Exo 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
It is the same thing in Maroth. We are tried to see if we will hearken to the Lord’s commandments or not. That is the purpose of judgment and how we are taught righteousness. The Lord’s judgment reaching into the gates of Jerusalem show us the “is, was and will be” application of the method of salvation and how we enter into Christ.
The elect are the vessels of the Temple (even the pillars) thru which the living waters flow out of our bellies (Joh 7:38). James exhorts the Body as His Fountain to take heed the words we speak.
Jas 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Jas 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Jas 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Jas 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
There is another place called Maarath in the land given to Judah (mentioned once in Jos 15:59) that many believe is the same city as Maroth.
H4638, ma‛ărâth mah-ar-awth’
A form of H4630; waste; Maarath, a place in Palestine: – Maarath.
Total KJV occurrences: 1
The root word H4630 is found only once in Scripture and is translated as ARMIES (and in the context of the armies of the flesh). This fleshly (Philistine) army speaks blasphemy and defies the armies of the Lord.
1Sa 17:23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies [H4630] of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.
Our time passing through Maroth is linked to our time spewing forth both bitter and sweet waters on our way towards spiritual maturity. The tongue is certainly an integral part of the army of Goliath the beast that represents the unconquered land in the kingdom of God within us.
We the people of Maroth wait anxiously for deliverance. This is our time of double minded speaking both sweet and bitter words from our mouth. Instead of being anxious, we need to learn patience and to WAIT on the Lord.
Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Heb 12:1 …. and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seethes, why doth he yet hope for?
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Dying daily on our inward cross is how we learn to trust in the Lord with all our heart and following the lead of our Head and not speaking or drinking the gall of bitterness. We do this by guarding our heart and trying the spirits and learning to not even think above what is written. We can’t drink what the carnal mind and those that mock us on the cross serve us to drink.
Mat 27:34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
As we mature our carnal mind will think we must save ourselves by our own strength and works. This unbelief leads to a bitter life judging things in the flesh. This is what bitter waters do to our spiritual life and keep us from entering into the true Sabbath rest.
Exo 1:13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:
Exo 1:14 And they made their lives bitter [root is H4751 – Maroth] with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
Paul warns of our need for diligence lest a root of bitterness spring forth within us.
Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
To move past Maroth, we must learn patience and be given faith to stand only on the WORD. We will then be able to patiently endure these “evil” afflictions from the Lord.
Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
7.Lachish – Our seventh city is a humdinger of a place as we say in American slang.
Mic 1:13 NKJV O inhabitant of Lachish, Harness the chariot to the swift steeds (She was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion), For the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
Lachish has no root word of specific meaning according to Strong’s but does have a very long history with Israel.
From an unused root of uncertain meaning; Lakish, a place in Palestine: – Lachish.
Total KJV Occurrences: 24
Jos_10:3, Jos_10:5, Jos_10:23, Jos_10:31-35 (5), Jos_12:11, Jos_15:39, 2Ki_14:19 (2), 2Ki_18:14, 2Ki_18:17, 2Ch_11:8-9 (2), 2Ch_25:27 (2), 2Ch_32:9, Neh_11:30, Isa_36:2, Isa_37:8, Jer_34:7, Mic_1:13
A synopsis of Lachish’s history and events in the Bible follows:
- An Amorite city whose kings were captured and killed by Joshua (Jos 10:31-42).
- The land was allotted to the tribe of Judah (Lineage of Christ) – Josh 15:39.
- Heavily fortified and made into defensive strongholds by Rehoboam, 2 Ch 11:5-11.
- Assassination of Amaziah at, 2 Ki 14:19.
- Besieged by Assyrian King, 2 Ki 18:13-17; 19:8; 2 Chr 32:9.
- Besieged by Nebuchadnezzar, Jer 34:7.
- Micah Prophecy on Spiritual Progression, Mic 1:13.
Lachish is a well-known historical city renowned for its fortifications. Many secular scholars claim it was the second most important city in Judah after Jerusalem. Lachish is linked to the base and occupation of the King of Assyria while in the land of Israel. The commentary of Babylonian bible scholars about Lachish are very interesting and support the theme of Micah 1.
For example, the name Lachish is a biblical baby name according to some that say it means: “Who walks, or exists, of himself”. This fits with the work of the ten horned beast within that we first worship whose father is the great red dragon (Rev 12:3, Joh 8:44).
The chariot [H4818], represents the seat which is the throne of Satan, our father the devil, that must be cast out of our heavens and earth for salvation to come. The horses of our flesh (our strength) are hitched to this chariot and that is what leads us into all sin.
H4818 is from H4817 which Strong’s defines as: From H7392; a chariot; also a seat (in a vehicle): – chariot, covering, saddle. H7392 means to ride or refers to a rider like of a horse or an animal.
This is what is burned out of us by the process of being chastened with the fire of the Word as we remade into a mature man.
Rev 16:10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
This strong fleshly city is where we see the harlot STILL riding the beast within. That is the origins, the beginning of all the sins of the new mindset we have in the Body of Christ. We have doctrine but are still being carnally minded and immature and not yet proved by the trials of tribulations of many falling down experiences. We need to see this (ourselves) in all splendor as John saw in Revelation. Micah speaks to the same event as Jesus Christ is being revealed in us.
Rev 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
The Holman Bible Dictionary defines Lachish to mean obstinate. I cannot prove the meaning of the name obstinate but I find that Bible definition very telling:
Obstinate: an adjective – Stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so
Obstinate exactly defines the rebellion that lies in our flesh and the natural enmity we have with the ways of the Lord and obedience to His commandments. This is why we are being dragged to Christ because of that stubborn beast we have and are being shown is said to be “yet is”.
Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Onward to maturity, there is a continued exposure of our sins as the people of God holding the Truth but not yet doing it. The journey is this process, and it takes many falling downs and having our own wickedness to correct us (Pro 24:16, Jer 2:19)
Lachish is directly tied to the King of Assyria and his conquests in Israel. This symbolizes the sins of the flesh and the worldliness we still possess long after having found true doctrine. The Assyrian within us is the rod of the Lord’s anger and how He brings correction to us.
Isa 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
Isa 10:6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
Coming to see our wretched state by the Assyrian rod within brings the afflictions and ultimate death of the old man.
Lam 3:1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
It is indeed a strange way to the carnally minded on how the Lord teaches His people thru the chastening and scourging of the true grace of God that saves us (Isa 26:9, Heb 12:6-7). The transgressions of Israel being found in Lachish is our guilt of all the blood of the prophets that will be revenged in our day of the Lord.
Luk 11:51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.
Lachish is one the fifteen cities Rehoboam’ s (Solomon’s son and king) built as outlying defenses for Judah. Another example of the significance of numbers and the process of judgment (represented by the number three) and the scourging chastening grace of the Lord (represented by the number five).
2Ch 11:5 And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah.
2Ch 11:7 And Bethzur, and Shoco, and Adullam,
2Ch 11:8 And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,
2Ch 11:9 And Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah,
2Ch 11:11 And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine.
Lachish is a defensed city with walls and strongholds made by the hands of men (brazen walls). Another words it is one of the last remaining fleshly strongholds (IDOLS) that need to be purged on the way to maturity. When the days of destruction of our defensed cities are at hand, the Lord is using the King of Assyria as His rod to destroy those strongholds of the carnal mind. A more mature us (in type King Hezekiah) is still not a perfect man and these inward strongholds need to be exposed little by little and be burned out of us with fire.
Isa 36:1 Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them.
Isa 36:2 And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field.
Notice this happens in the fourteenth year with fourteen symbolizing our spiritual progression, which comes about only by our journeying with the Lord. So learning good and evil is erring from the Lord’s ways and then being chastened and taught correction. We can’t be used of the Lord until we are made ready to rule. Like Joseph and Paul this will spiritually take place in the fourteenth year of our walking in truth (Gal 2:1).
Our immature new man will seek to make a covenant of peace with the king of Assyria within and without. We as an immature king of Judah, will seek to make these deals that exalt themselves against the Word of the Lord.
2Ki 18:15 And Hezekiah gave him (the Assyrian King) all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house.
But as we saw last week, any covenant with flesh (Ezel, stone) will not stand, it is a false peace that only binds us in spiritual death. It is being shattered by the coming of Christ who is sending the Assyrian King against His own people (2 Ki 18:17).
2Ki 18:17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem.
Lachish is indeed representative of a very obstinate beast. It was one of the last two remaining defensed cities that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon fought against.
Jer 34:7 When the king of Babylon’s army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah.
As the Lord leads us onward to maturity and our inheritance in Christ, He will return to those carnal strongholds and use His Rod of indignation to burn them with fire leaving nothing behind.
Jer 34:22 Behold, I will command, saith the LORD, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant.
As immature and carnally minded kings of Judah, we will flee to spiritual Lachish when confronted in Jerusalem, to seek safety and comfort from the fiery judgments of the Word.
2Ki 14:17 And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
2Ki 14:19 Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there.
In conclusion what we see hidden in the story of Lachish, is the Lord’s strange way of always leaving a remnant or a part within us that needs further chastening. This is the ongoing pruning of the ONE vine, the good and the evil. Cutting off and refining in the fire is this process.
Zec 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
Lachish represents that final carnal stronghold of the flesh within us that must be destroyed. It is done little by little thru the winnowing hand of the Lord.
Ezr 9:8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
Isa 11:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
As long as we live in these clay vessels, there is always a remainder that needs to be brought through the fire some more still. Isaiah was sent to speak of this truth to a maturing King Hezekiah reminding us the Lord is working all this evil for good and He is doing it for His Name sake.
2Ki 19:30 And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.
2Ki 19:31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this….
2Ki 19:34 For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
This winnowing process of separating the wheat from the chaff comes by us abiding in the Body and not separating ourselves. The Christ is putting His Hands on our eyes twice before we can see clearly.
Mar 8:23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
Mar 8:24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
Mar 8:25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
The Body of Christ is the hands, feet, arms, and mouth of the Lord. The Body is also the winnowing fork or fan the Lord uses to purge the threshing floor and bring the wheat into the barn.
Mat 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
The city of Lachish, the last remaining Assyrian stronghold in us (The Promised Land), will be conquered by the continued work of the Lord’s chastening and scourging. The righteous do have many afflictions and do fall down seven times so the Lord can bring the sword and the fire of His jealousies to bring forth the escaped remnant within us all. With time and right on the Lord’s schedule it will lead to our maturation and us fulfilling these commandments.
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Next week Lord willing, we will begin at the eighth city in the Micah prophesy, the city of Moreshethgath.
Comments and sincere questions are welcome. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org