God’s Judgment and Confidence in His Mercy (Micah 1-7)

Scripture Reading – Micah 1-7

* Today’s devotional commentary is an introduction to the Prophecies of Micah. I have purposed to give an historical perspective on the prophet, his message, and his times.

The prophet Micah was a contemporary of the prophets Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos.  His ministry began during the reign of King Jotham and continued through the reigns of Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah (1:1). The principal focus of Micah’s prophecies were Jerusalem, the capitol of Judah, and Samaria, the capital of Israel (1:1).

False prophets were proliferating in both Israel and Judah in Micah’s day. While the prophet warned of the imminence of God’s judgment, the false prophets of the day had risen in popularity by telling the people the things that pleased them.

Just as Isaiah had done, Micah calls upon the inhabitants of the earth (1:2) to be a witness against Samaria and Jerusalem (1:5) as the LORD sits in judgment (1:3-4).

The Assyrian invasion of Israel and the destruction of Samaria, the capital city, is described (1:6-9a), and is followed by the prophecy of Assyria’s invasion of Judah that stopped short of overthrowing Jerusalem (1:9b-16). Many of God’s people would be killed and many others taken into captivity (1:16).

What were the sins of Israel and Judah that demanded God’s judgment?

Judah and Israel were guilty of idolatry (“graven images” – 1:7). Micah 2 identifies covetousness (2:2), pride (2:3), and false prophets (2:6-11; 3:5).  The leaders of the people were harsh and oppressive (3:2-3).  The priests and judges were distorting their judgments in taking bribes (3:11). There was a pattern of dishonesty in their dealings with the people (6:10-11).

Micah 6-7 – A Final Appeal Before Judgment

Micah 6 returns us to a scene of judgment in a courtroom with the “mountains” and the “hills” witnessing the proceedings (6:1-2).

A series of questions presents the LORD’S case against His people as He rehearsed His providential care of them and their rejection of Him as their God (6:3-7). Micah then appealed to the people saying, “He [the LORD] hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly [righteous judgment according to His Law], and to love mercy [being merciful is an act of love], and to walk humbly [i.e. obediently; confessing our sins] with thy God?” (6:8)

Because of the wickedness of the people and their unwillingness to repent, God pronounced His judgment against the people (6:9-7:7).

The economy of the nation was already failing (6:13-15).

Micah 6:15 – “Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine.”

While Assyria was the aggressor and adversary of Israel (the northern ten tribes), Micah prophesied that it would be Babylon (4:10) that would invade Judah and leave the city of Jerusalem desolate (6:16).

Micah 7 closes with the prophet bearing the weight of his message and the sorrow for what he knows will soon befall his nation (7:1-7). What a tragic portrait of a doom nation we see as Micah bewails there are no good men left in the earth (7:2) and all the leaders are corrupt (7:3). Even the common man found there was no one he could trust (7:5-6).

Every level of Jewish society was failing (7:5).

Micah 7:5 – “5  Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide [leader]: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.”

Families were disintegrating (7:6).

Micah 7:6 – “6  For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.”

In spite of Judah’s failings and God’s impending judgment, Micah turned his focus away from the sins of the nation to the LORD and said: “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me” (7:7).

Like many of you, I identify in Judah’s sins the failings of our own nation. We have rejected God, His Law and Commandments. Our leaders are corrupt. The common man is oppressed. There are few who have integrity and can be trusted. Our society is deteriorating and families are divided and crumbling.

What can we do?

Get our eyes off the sins and decay of our nation (i.e. turn off the bad news), turn our focus to the LORD, and pray knowing: “My God will hear me” (7:7).

Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith