Our chronological Scripture reading brings us to the prophecies of Micah, a contemporary of the prophets Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos.
The Preface (1:1-2)
Introduced simply as “Micah the Morasthite” (1:1), giving us not only the prophet’s name, but also indicating he was a citizen of Moreshah (also named “Moreshethgath), which was located some twenty miles south of Jerusalem (1:14).
The Warnings of God’s Judgment (1:3-5)
Israel and Judah’s appointment with God’s judgment was drawing nigh, and the LORD instructed Micah to call upon all people and nations of the earth to hear God’s warning to His people who had broken His covenant (Law and Commandments, 1:2).
Micah’s prophecies of judgment were directed primarily at Jerusalem, the capital city of Judah, and Samaria, the capital city of the northern ten tribes of Israel (1:1).
Why was the announcement of God’s judgment focused on Jerusalem and Samaria? (1:1, 5) As the capitals of Judah and Israel, those cities were not only the principal seats of government, but were representative of the idolatry, and extent of wickedness of the people as a whole (1:3-5).
The Specifics of God’s Judgment (1:6-9)
False prophets had proliferated in both Israel and Judah in Micah’s day. While Micah and the other prophets of the LORD warned the people of the imminence of God’s judgment, false prophets were telling the people the things that pleased them.
Micah’s unenviable task was to warn the people of Samaria that their fields and vineyards would be destroyed. The buildings they had constructed of hewn stones on hilltops would be razed to their foundations, and the cut stones rolled down into the valley. The people had rejected God, and the idols they worshipped would be crushed by Assyria, and reduced to dust (1:6-7).
Micah was also burdened with the responsibility of delivering a message of doom to Judah. Moved to tears, the prophet wailed and howled over the judgment that would befall his people. God did stop the Assyrians at the gates of Jerusalem; however, the stay of His judgment was temporary. The sins and wickedness of Judah had become like an incurable wound (1:9).
Micah 1:10-15 records a lengthy lamentation by Micah. The prophet not only wept over Israel and Judah, but he bemoaned other cities that would witness the sorrows of God’s people, and share in their judgment.
Micah 1:16 foretells the captivity and exile that would befall Israel and Judah.
Micah 2 – The prophecies concerning God’s judgments against Israel and Judah continued in Micah 2.
Micah identified the sins of Israel that demanded God’s judgment: The leaders had planned all manner of wickedness (2:1a), and laid awake at night plotting the sins they would commit on the morrow (2:1b). They were greedy, and not only coveted, a sin of the heart, but they also took possessions by using violence (2:2). The people had rejected the prophets (2:6), and set themselves as God’s enemies (2:8).
Closing thoughts – Though His people had broken covenant with Him, the LORD would not forsake them altogether. He remembered His covenant, and promised to one day “surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel” (2:12a).
Some of the Jews did return to the Promised Land after the Babylonian captivity, but not all. The regathering of God’s people to the land of Israel is not yet fulfilled, but already there is a remnant in the land. The Second Coming of Christ will mark the time God’s people will be regathered to the LORD.
Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith