Scripture reading – Micah 3; Micah 4

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Our study of the prophecies of Micah continues today with chapters 3 and 4.

Micah 3 – The Gathering Clouds of Judgment

In Micah 3, the prophet summoned the leaders and judges of Israel and asked, “Is it not for you to know judgment [justice]?” Literally, how is it you are the “heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel” (Micah 3:1), and your rulings violate the law and commandments of the LORD?

The Spiritual Cannibalism and Reproof of Israel’s Leaders (Micah 3:2-4)

The leaders of Israel rejected God’s laws and became morally corrupt. They were guilty of hating good and loving evil (Micah 3:2a). Those in authority used their positions to take from the people and “pluck off their skin…and their flesh from off their bones” (3:2). The leaders flayed the “skin from off” the people (figuratively “skinning” the people of everything) and left them with nothing (Micah 3:3).

Micah prophesied the day would come when the leaders of Israel would “cry unto the LORD,” but it would be too late. He would “not hear them” (Micah 3:4). Because they behaved wickedly, the LORD turned his face from them (Micah 3:4).

The Spiritual Cannibalism and Reproof of Israel’s Leaders

The Condemnation of Israel’s False Prophets (Micah 3:5-7)

Having addressed the failed leadership of Israel, Micah turned the focus of his prophetic message to “the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry Peace” (Micah 3:5). Who were the false prophets? Micah did not identify them by name, but such men have been a plague through the centuries.

The false prophets were purveyors of false doctrine and lies. They were poisonous vipers “that bite with their teeth” and assured the people with cries of “Peace” even while they prepared for war against them (3:5). They were enemies of Truth and adversaries of the LORD’s plan and purpose. Micah warned that the day was coming when the pseudo-prophets would be exposed, and like lepers, they would cover their lips (a sign of shame and mourning, Micah 3:7; Leviticus 13:45).

 

Micah’s Prophetic Warning: Jerusalem Would Be Razed (Micah 3:8-12)

Confident he was God’s anointed, Micah declared, “Truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, And of judgment, and of might, To declare unto Jacob (i.e., Israel) his transgression, And to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8). With courage, Micah called out the leaders of Israel and declared they had failed the LORD, and perverted justice (Micah 3:9). They had exploited the people (Micah 3:10). The judges and priests had accepted bribes and perverted justice (Micah 3:11). They boasted, “Is not the Lord among us? None evil can come upon us.” (Micah 3:11).

 

Summary Thoughts for Micah 3

A nation’s leaders generally reflect the people’s character (especially in a democratic society). So, it was for ancient Israel. Because the people rejected God’s prophets, they believed the lies of evil leaders. They believed, until it was too late, “none evil can come upon us” (Micah 3:11). Micah warned the nation that Mount Zion, where the temple was located, would be “plowed as a field,” and Jerusalem would become a pile of rubble (Micah 3:12).

Micah’s Prophetic Warning: Jerusalem Would Be Razed

Micah 4 – The Millennial Reign of Christ

The Future Glory of Jerusalem (Micah 4:1-2)

After delivering a soul-wrenching message of judgment and doom (Micah 3), Micah’s prophecy turned to “the last days” (4:1) and the Millennial Kingdom. This period will follow the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) and the Second Coming of Christ (Micah 4:1-8).

Micah foretold a day when the LORD would reign upon Mount Zion (Micah 4:1). On that day, the people and nations of the world will say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, And to the house of the God of Jacob; And he [the LORD] will teach us of his ways” (Micah 4:2a).

The Time of Universal Peace (Micah 4:3-7)

 

Christ’s reign will usher in a time of peace that the world has not seen since the Fall. On that day, the nations and people of the earth will “beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruninghooks: Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war any more” (Micah 4:3).

The world will experience a season of peace and prosperity (Micah 4:4). Men will depart from their gods and will “walk in the name of the LORD” (Micah 4:5). On that day, the LORD will restore Israel to Himself and “shall reign over them in Mount Zion from henceforth even for ever” (Micha 6-7).

 

Israel’s Afflictions and Captivity (4:8-10)

Micah 4:8 marked a dramatic shift from the far-reaching prophecies of the last days (Micah 4:1-7) to a more immediate prophetic threat. Micah warned, “the strong hold of the daughter of Zion [the mount upon which the palace and Temple were built], Unto thee shall it [army of Babylon] come, even the first dominion; The kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem” (Micah 4:8).

Unlike the Assyrian army, which laid siege to Jerusalem and failed, Babylon would fulfill Micah’s prophecy. Jerusalem and Judah would be afflicted with sorrows (Micah 4:9-10). Jerusalem would “cry out aloud,” and there would be “no king” (which was fulfilled when King Jehocin was taken prisoner, Micah 4:9). The suffering of the city would be as a woman experiencing the pangs of giving birth (Micah 4:9b-10). Yet, the LORD promised to redeem a remnant and restore His people to their land (Micah 4:10c).

Armageddon: The Final Siege of Jerusalem and a Promise of Victory

Armageddon: The Final Siege of Jerusalem and a Promise of Victory (Micah 4:11-13)

Micah 4:11, I believe, described a battle that has yet to occur. Instead of Babylon besieging Jerusalem, we read that “many nations” will be gathered against Jerusalem (Micah 4:11; Ezekiel 38-39; Joel 3:1-3; Zechariah 14:1-5; Revelation 16:12-21).). The heathen will cry against Jerusalem and say, “Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion” (Micah 4:11). With anticipation, the nations on that day will wait to look upon Jerusalem’s desolation with satisfaction.

Yet, Micah warned, the heathen “know not the thoughts of the Lord, Neither understand they his counsel: For he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor” (4:12). Though the Jews are often hated and persecuted, the prophecy was that Israel’s enemies will be cut down like sheaves of wheat (4:12).

Closing thoughts

The day is coming when the nations of the world will align against Israel. The leaders of the nations will not comprehend that their plans and schemes are after the counsel of the LORD (Micah 4:11-12). The gathering of the nations against Jerusalem will fulfill God’s plan and purpose (Micah 4:12). On that day; the LORD will empower Israel and “beat in pieces many people” (Micah 4:13). Christ will come again and set up His earthly kingdom in Jerusalem [Mount of Zion]. There, He will subdue the nations of the earth and reign a thousand years (Micah 4:2-4).

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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