Understand, first, that God’s purpose is not to destroy, but to save and redeem. He must confront & judge the evil among people. Remember, God’s covenant promise of truth & love is more powerful than human evil. Furthermore, God wins in the end! That’s the beauty of having His Word, the Bible. We can read what will happen in the future in the Book of Revelation. I did a condensed study on it that’s easy to understand. Of course, you can always dig deeper on your own and I highly encourage it.
The people of Old Testament times didn’t have the luxury of picking up a Bible and reading God’s promises. They had to rely on priests and prophets. Just like there are false prophets and preachers now, there were plenty back then. Today we meet Micah. He’s a contemporary of Isaiah’s. Micah’s from a small town about 20 miles west of Jerusalem. His name means “Who is like Yahweh”. He’s another in-you-face prophet who tells it like it is, not beating at all around the bush.
Pastor Sandy Adams has a nice introduction to this book, and since we’re going through the Old Testament in historical sequence, he provides some historical data…
Well, Micah …had his ear to the heavens! The prophet had faithfully listened to God, and was proclaiming His warnings… Whether people listened to Micah or not, God’s warnings were real. The entire Middle East had already been steamrolled by the equivalent of a truck. The Assyrian army was on the warpath… Assyria began her conquest of the Fertile Crescent in the year 745 BC. For the next 100 years every king east of the Euphrates River would live in mortal fear of the Assyrians. By 732, much of the land bridge linking Asia and Africa was
under Assyria’s control…Philistia fell – as did Damascus. The two Hebrew capitols were next – both Samaria and Jerusalem.
And God warned His people, “turn from your sin or suffer My judgment.” The middle of the 8th century BC saw a flurry of prophets trumpeting God’s coming judgment – Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah. For 200 years God tolerated His people’s idolatry, but His patience has an expiration. Unless the people repent, they’ll get run over. The prophets had heard from God, but would the Hebrews hear the prophets?Sandy Adams
Let’s dig in….
The Lord gave this message to Micah of Moresheth during the years when Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. The visions he saw concerned both Samaria and Jerusalem.
Grief over Samaria and Jerusalem
2 Attention! Let all the people of the world listen!
Let the earth and everything in it hear.
The Sovereign Lord is making accusations against you;
the Lord speaks from his holy Temple.
3 Look! The Lord is coming!
He leaves his throne in heaven
and tramples the heights of the earth.
4 The mountains melt beneath his feet
and flow into the valleys
like wax in a fire,
like water pouring down a hill.
5 And why is this happening?
Because of the rebellion of Israel—
yes, the sins of the whole nation.
Who is to blame for Israel’s rebellion?
Samaria, its capital city!
Where is the center of idolatry in Judah?
In Jerusalem, its capital!
6 “So I, the Lord, will make the city of Samaria
a heap of ruins.
Her streets will be plowed up
for planting vineyards.
I will roll the stones of her walls into the valley below,
exposing her foundations.
7 All her carved images will be smashed.
All her sacred treasures will be burned.
These things were bought with the money
earned by her prostitution,
and they will now be carried away
to pay prostitutes elsewhere.”
8 Therefore, I will mourn and lament.
I will walk around barefoot and naked.
I will howl like a jackal
and moan like an owl.
9 For my people’s wound
is too deep to heal.
It has reached into Judah,
even to the gates of Jerusalem.
10 Don’t tell our enemies in Gath;
don’t weep at all.
You people in Beth-leaphrah,
roll in the dust to show your despair.
11 You people in Shaphir,
go as captives into exile—naked and ashamed.
The people of Zaanan
dare not come outside their walls.
The people of Beth-ezel mourn,
for their house has no support.
12 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.
13 Harness your chariot horses and flee,
you people of Lachish.
You were the first city in Judah
to follow Israel in her rebellion,
and you led Jerusalem into sin.
14 Send farewell gifts to Moresheth-gath;
there is no hope of saving it.
The town of Aczib
has deceived the kings of Israel.
15 O people of Mareshah,
I will bring a conqueror to capture your town.
And the leaders of Israel
will go to Adullam.
16 Oh, people of Judah, shave your heads in sorrow,Micah 1 NLT
for the children you love will be snatched away.
Make yourselves as bald as a vulture,
for your little ones will be exiled to distant lands.
The Book of Micah has 3 sermons and each one begins with “Attention!” or “Hear This!” or “Hey, Judah!” (I couldn’t resist). Micah addresses the whole earth. In other words, God’s message is not just for Israel and Judah. His sermons cover…
In specific, Jerusalem was as bad as Samaria when it came to idolatry, cheating, greed and false teachings. The common folk were exploited by the wealthy. Micah stands against the sins of Israel in judgment, and calls out the centers of influence. These cities were corrupt from the core.
In the U.S., the cities of influence are obvious, New York for fashion and business, Los Angeles and Hollywood for culture, Nashville for music, San Francisco for _________, well, I’ll let you fill in that blank. Reread verses 2 and 3 again. Doesn’t that describe earthquakes, fires and flash floods? Ponder that.
What sorrow awaits you who lie awake at night,
thinking up evil plans.
You rise at dawn and hurry to carry them out,
simply because you have the power to do so.
2 When you want a piece of land,
you find a way to seize it.
When you want someone’s house,
you take it by fraud and violence.
You cheat a man of his property,
stealing his family’s inheritance.
3 But this is what the Lord says:
“I will reward your evil with evil;
you won’t be able to pull your neck out of the noose.
You will no longer walk around proudly,
for it will be a terrible time.”
4 In that day your enemies will make fun of you
by singing this song of despair about you:
“We are finished,
God has confiscated our land,
taking it from us.
He has given our fields
to those who betrayed us.”
5 Others will set your boundaries then,
and the Lord’s people will have no say
in how the land is divided.
True and False Prophets
6 “Don’t say such things,”
the people respond.
“Don’t prophesy like that.
Such disasters will never come our way!”
7 Should you talk that way, O family of Israel?
Will the Lord’s Spirit have patience with such behavior?
If you would do what is right,
you would find my words comforting.
8 Yet to this very hour
my people rise against me like an enemy!
You steal the shirts right off the backs
of those who trusted you,
making them as ragged as men
returning from battle.
9 You have evicted women from their pleasant homes
and forever stripped their children of all that God would give them.
10 Up! Begone!
This is no longer your land and home,
for you have filled it with sin
and ruined it completely.
11 Suppose a prophet full of lies would say to you,
“I’ll preach to you the joys of wine and alcohol!”
That’s just the kind of prophet you would like!
Hope for Restoration
12 “Someday, O Israel, I will gather you;Micah 2 NLT
I will gather the remnant who are left.
I will bring you together again like sheep in a pen,
like a flock in its pasture.
Yes, your land will again
be filled with noisy crowds!
13 Your leader will break out
and lead you out of exile,
out through the gates of the enemy cities,
back to your own land.
Your king will lead you;
the Lord himself will guide you.”
Verse 5 stood out for me considering how meticulous God was when He brought the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land, this is huge! He laid down instructions through Joshua on the boundaries for each of the 12 tribes. This is why no one knows where the 12 tribes are today. They were scattered all over the world. Only some Jews who can trace their family tree back to Jerusalem can claim that they are from the tribe of Judah.
It’s sad when people reject God’s Word and His Truth. We’ll see in 2 Kings 17-18, that one good king actually gets on his knees, repents and cries to God. In that event, God had mercy on Jerusalem and the city was spared. Verse 12 doesn’t happen until 100 years later when the Babylonians invade, capture and take the majority of the Jews to Babylon. The last verse tells of the return of the exiled Israelites, which we’ll cover in the books of Nehemiah and Ezra, but also extends to the future King Jesus.
Beware of False Teachers!
Here in the Old Testament and many times in the New, we are warned about false prophets and fake preachers. We need the Holy Spirit in our hearts to help us discern what is the truth and what are lies or watered down or twisted gospel messages.
Micah 3 – Judgment against Israel’s Leaders
I said, “Listen, you leaders of Israel!
You are supposed to know right from wrong,
2 but you are the very ones
who hate good and love evil.
You skin my people alive
and tear the flesh from their bones.
3 Yes, you eat my people’s flesh,
strip off their skin,
and break their bones.
You chop them up
like meat for the cooking pot.
4 Then you beg the Lord for help in times of trouble!
Do you really expect him to answer?
After all the evil you have done,
he won’t even look at you!”
5 This is what the Lord says:
“You false prophets are leading my people astray!
You promise peace for those who give you food,
but you declare war on those who refuse to feed you.
6 Now the night will close around you,
cutting off all your visions.
Darkness will cover you,
putting an end to your predictions.
The sun will set for you prophets,
and your day will come to an end.
7 Then you seers will be put to shame,
and you fortune-tellers will be disgraced.
And you will cover your faces
because there is no answer from God.”
8 But as for me, I am filled with power—Micah 3 NLT
with the Spirit of the Lord.
I am filled with justice and strength
to boldly declare Israel’s sin and rebellion.
9 Listen to me, you leaders of Israel!
You hate justice and twist all that is right.
10 You are building Jerusalem
on a foundation of murder and corruption.
11 You rulers make decisions based on bribes;
you priests teach God’s laws only for a price;
you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid.
Yet all of you claim to depend on the Lord.
“No harm can come to us,” you say,
“for the Lord is here among us.”
12 Because of you, Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field;
Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins!
A thicket will grow on the heights
where the Temple now stands.
Those last few verses remind me of the condo collapse in Surfside, FL a few months ago. I wrote about it here. The building was built 40 years ago, during Miami Beach’s condo boom. Unfortunately, it was built hastily, not taking into consideration the future corrosion of sand, sea and storms. The foundation literally rotted away. Nearly 100 people were killed as they slept when the building collapsed.
Is the foundation of your life solid or is it corrupted by sin?
What are you waiting for? It’s time to get right with God!
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
An Overview of Micah from BibleProject
God is on the Move
Put on the Full Armor of God – First Christian Church, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021
Pastor Jerome Parker was on fire at my church on Sunday. God is on the move! I feel a spiritual revival coming on.