The Rotten Apple
Micah 1:4 “And the mountains shall be
molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as
wax before the fire, and as the waters that are
poured down a steep place.
Micah 1:5 For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem?”
1. The Melt Down
2. The Next of Kin Sin
1. The Melt Down
Verse four: “And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place."
When the LORD comes down from the SIDES of the NORTH, which is “the city of the great King” to this planet Earth in the great tread down there will be a great meltdown of the mountains and a great division of the valleys.
The scene is located in Zechariah … in chapter fourteen.
This passage is pointing to the Lords return to take over the earth and all the nations of this earth.
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” [Zechariah 14:4]
Can you see the valleys being cleft [divided]? Can you visualize the mountains and valleys flowing as water [like melted wax]?
We need to learn something. We need to learn this: God brings trouble to this earth and to the inhabitants of this earth when the people of this Earth trouble God with their sin.
2. The Next of Kin Sin
Verse five: “For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem?”
What is kin? What is the next of kin?
KIN, n. [L. genus; Gr. connected with L. gigno, geno.]
1. Relation, properly by consanguinity or
blood,but perhaps sometimes used for relation by
affinity or marriage.
This man is of kin to me.
2. Relatives; kindred; persons of the same race.
--The father, mother and the kin beside.
3. A relation; a relative.
4. The same generical class; a thing related.
Now, Samaria is next of kin to Jacob. Let me explain this. After the reign of Solomon, the northern ten tribes of Israel rebelled against King Rehoboam, the son of Solomon … to their hurt.
Now, the northern ten tribes of Israel retained the name of Israel, and the southern two tribes of Israel [that is, Judah along with the tribe of Benjamin] came to be known as Judah. Jerusalem remained the capital of Judah and the northern ten tribes eventually established their capital … as Samaria.
Therefore, Israel came to be divided. Israel was divided into two houses … [temporarily]. This was temporary because God would put these two houses back together again.
This is shown to us in Jeremiah chapter three, verse eighteen: “In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.” [Jeremiah 3:18]
Now, mind you, this is all family! They are all Jews, but now they are a nation divided. A nation divided … does not stand. A family divided … does stay together. Family is against family, and they will all end up far apart in “how” they view the BOOK, and “how” they view the GOD of THE BOOK. Judah goes one way … and Israel goes another way.
Now, Israel went apostate from DAY ONE.
What did [Israel] Samaria do? They followed Jeroboam … an ungodly leader … in serving Baal. [The leader here clearly perverted his own nation.]
This is what is recorded by the Holy Ghost in First Kings chapter 16 in verses thirty-one and two: “And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.” [1 Kings 16:31-32]
What can we learn from all of this? [We do need to learn]. We can learn this. One bad apple among many good ones … will spoil the whole lot.
Now this human expression is a shortening of a proverb “a rotten apple spoils the barrel”, which comes from a 14th-century Latin proverb that is translated as “The rotten apple will injure its neighbors.”
The allusion in this idiom is to the spread of mold or other diseases from one apple to the rest. In the English language the first recorded use was in Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack (1736).
• The rotten apple is an Ahab.
• The rotten apple is a Jeroboam.
• The rotten apple is a John Dewey … the destroyer of the American public school system.
• The rotten apples are the public school educators.
• The rotten apples are the news media.
And so on … just take your pick! They are a dime a dozen [these people], who are the leaven [who leaven] the whole lump until everyone is totally corrupted. Watch out for those rotten apples! They will ruin you, or will ruin your children, or ruin you both! The Scripture says this very thing in Galatians chapter five, verse nine: “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” [Galatians 5:9]
We need to learn from what happened to Jerusalem because of the effect of companying with the “next a kin” [Samaria]. The one has pulled down the other.
Now, we need to look at what the Spirit of God commands us [the believers in Jesus Christ] in the book of Ephesians in chapter five, in verses seven through eleven [brace for shock] “Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” [Ephesians 5:7-11]
Brethren, remember this also, from the book of First Corinthians chapter fifteen, verse thirty-three: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” [1 Corinthians 15:33]
Who you hang with, you will become like.
This principle is just plain common sense, and it is as the plain as the nose on your face. In everything [in all our decisions] we need to prove “what is acceptable unto the Lord.”
Be on the lookout for those rotten apples!