THE PROPHET MICAH +
His Person and Times
As a true
patriot and like every true preacher, Micah fearlessly uncovered sin and pointed
to the Messiah. He
was a true prophet for the poor and a friend of the oppressed. He has Amos'
passion for justice and Hosea's heart of love.
The secret of his power is told
in Chapter 3:8.
(taught, brought the Word of God) "in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and
Hezekiah, kings of Judah. He was a contemporary of Isaiah and Hosea, 750 -
700 BC. Under Jotham splendid 1lixury reigned. His ambition to build fortresses
and palaces in Jerusalem cost many a peasant's life. Under Ahaz, Judah. was
forced to pay tribute to Assyria, which, together with the cost of the Syro-Ephraimite
war of 734 BC, fell as a heavy burden upon all classes. Great social and
economic injustices existed. Under Hezekiah, who instituted reforms, conditions
were even worse. Men ceased to trust one another. The advisers of the king
became divided in their policies, some urging alliance with Egypt against
Assyria, others urging submission to Assyria. The custodians of the law abused
their powers; nobles fleecing the poor, judges accepting bribes, prophets
flattering the rich, and priests teaching for hire (chapter 2). Lust for wealth
ruled on all sides. The moneyed tyrants laughed at possible judgment.
Commercialism and materialism were supplanting almost the last vestige of
everything ethical and spiritual. At such a time Micah appeared and attempted to
call the nation back to the Lord God and to righteousness. Isaiah was around
Jerusalem, Micah in the country along the Great Sea.
Analysis of Book
Chapters 1 – 3 -- Judgment
Chapters 4 – 5 -- Gospel
Chapters 6 – 7 -- the via Salutis,
the way of godliness.
The prophet concludes with a most
beautiful prayer, and a noble apostrophe to Jehovah, as the incomparable God of
forgiveness and grace. (7:7 - 20)
Great Texts in Micah
3:12 --4:10 -- 4:13
-- 5:2 -- 5:7 -- 6:8 -- 7:18,
19. We will note them as we come to them.
I. As Micah proclaims the judgment of
the Lord on the sins of the people,
II. He points the people
to Bethlehem and the Prince of Peace. There is forgiveness, there is comfort,
there is God's power to live righteously;
to ethical righteousness This is one of the cardinal virtues of permanent
religion. The other two are turning from sin and turning to the Lord for
forgiveness and salvation.
Like Hosea, Micah taught that religion
and ethics are inseparable. Hosea 6:6.
Sentence of God
upon both idolatrous kingdoms 1:1-16
to crush Israel’s pride because of broken law 1:1-4
for idolatry: destruction of Samaria 1:5-7
over the coming (Assyrian) invasion; its progress city by city 1:8-16
particulars: oppression by the upper class 2:1-3:12
of the defenseless by the idle rich 2:1-13
government of devourer instead of a defense 3:1-4
between the corrupt state religion and the power and message of
God-fearing preachers 3:5-8
utter destruction to be meted out of these three evil groups 3:9-12
Ultimate triumph of
God's grace 4:1-5:15
triumph of the kingdom of God over the world 4:1-8
conditions to be first fulfilled: suffering, exile, restoration, judgment upon
heathen neighbors 4:9-13
divine-human Victor, who shall bring this to pass, defending His flock,
destroying the world powers 5:1-6
of Israel after humbling and purging from idolatry 5:7-15
with ungrateful Israel 6:1-16
to the Northern Kingdom to respond to God's ways in view of His exodus mercies
of an awakened conscience: Holy living to accompany valid worship; yet Israel
still dishonest and oppressive 6:6-13
to repent to the followed by a crop failure; the "clever" policy of
alliance with unbelievers to be discredited 6:14-16
covenant promise to be faithful remnant 7:1-20
of true Israel over prevalence of barbarous selfishness and shameful corruption 7:1-6
Israel's continued trust in God's mercy 7:7-10
triumph through the church 7:11-20
The Historical Context Of The Book Of
I. Micah's personal life:
A. Micah was born at Moresheth near the city of Gath in the Southern Kingdom (Judah), about twenty miles west of Jerusalem. Micah's father's name is not given, ant we may conclude that his family was of humble origin. It is believed that Micah spent much of his lifetime in the provincial areas rather than at the capital city of Jerusalem as did Isaiah. His name means "Who is like Jehovah?"
Micah lived at a very important time in the history of God's people. Although
his preaching was addressed to the people of the South (Judah) he does devote
one chapter (chapter 6) to the declining career of the nation of Israel in the
North. We can put Micah as a contemporary of Isaiah (who was close to the king),
Hosea, and Jonah. His ministry lasted some 50 years during the reigns of the
Southern Kings of Jotham (751-736), Ahaz (736-728) and Hezekiah
II. The General conditions of Judah (S) and Israel (N)
A. Under King Uzziah (790-739), Judah enjoyed prosperity. The government was reorganized; the defenses were built up; agriculture was improved; it had become a strong commercial nation and capital.
B. Numerous sins appeared, especially among the leaders. Oppression of the poor, greed; injustice, cold formalism of religion. From about 755 under King Jotham (Ussiah's son) conditions remained the same.
III. History of Judah and Israel during Micah's prophecy.
A. Under King Jotham, Tiglath-Pelizer III of Assyria conquered Syria and Israel (North). Syria and Israel tried to get Jotham to help them. Isaiah the prophet in the city advised against it and Jotham followed this advice.
After Jotham died, Ahaz took his place on the throne at the age of 28. Ahaz
didn't fear God and he condoned idolatry. Israel and Syria revolted against
Assyria and tried to get Ahaz to help. Isaiah again said he should stay neutral.
Syria and Israel became angry with Ahaz and wanted to attack Judah. Isaiah told
Ahaz to ask for a sign of assurance from God that he will not be overcome by
Syria and Israel. Ahaz refuses, so
Isaiah gives a sign! (Isaiah 7:14) Ahaz decided against Israel's advice to ask
for help from Assyria in conquering Syria and Israel. Tiglath-Palizer
agreed after Ahaz bribed him with gold from the temple.
From then on Judah had to continue paying tribute to Assyria.
Tiglath-Palizer conquered Israel and Syria but didn’t completely
C. In the year 727 Ahaz died and Hezekiah began ruling Judah. He was a great leader; he got rid of all the idolatry in Judah. Tiglath-Pelizer also died right after Hezekiah came to the throne. Sardin then became ruler of Assyria. At this time Israel and Syria again revolt against Assyria. The time Egypt Joins in with them. Sardin stops the revolt but doesn't completely destroy them.
Hezekiah became sick and was going to die. He prayed and was given 15 years more
In the year
705 Sardin was assassinated and Senekarib becomes the ruler of Assyria. Again
Israel and Syria revolt, this time however Hezekiah Joins in! He stops paying
tribute to Assyria. Egypt also joins in against Assyria. Senekarib completely
destroys Syria and Israel. Then Assyria goes south along the coast first
conquering Syria and Israel then going further south to Egypt. He wanted to
surround Judah. Egypt retreats after a dead-lock with Assyria at the Red
Sea and Senekarib sends some of his army up to Jerusalem to harass Hezekiah. The
rest of his army is hung up in a battle at Lackish, south of Jerusalem.
group harassing Jerusalem effectively scared Hezekiah. Senekarib demands 1.5
million dollars tribute for not destroying Jerusalem. Hezekiah strips the temple
and the city in order to get the cash and then gives it all to Senekarib.
Senekarib becomes greedy and decides to conquer Judah and strip her of the rest
of her wealth. He sends his army to Jerusalem in order to conquer the city.
told "Don't worry, God will deliver you!" In one night 185,000 men of
the Assyrian army were killed! There are three possible explanations:
turned against one another.
continued to send Assyria the same tribute as before. Senekarib however never
again tried to conquer Judah. Hezekiah died in 698 BC
"The Crisis of Judah" 1:1-3:12
The first three chapters of the book of
Micah are to be seen as one single unified whole, not merely a collection of
separate pronouncements from different episodes in his career. It is a prophetic
sermon intended for the city of Jerusalem. In this first section Micah addresses
two national capitals, Samaria of Israel and Jerusalem of Judah. In both places
attention is directed to the temple and in both Samaria and Jerusalem, the
destruction of the city is proclaimed.
Advent of God"
Micah himself begins with a
proclamation "The Word of the Lord came to me" meaning that he is to
speak for God and that what he is going to say are in fact the very words of God
Himself. When the preacher speaks, he does not speak of his own authority, but
of God's authority.
continues: God is to appear for a day of Judgment. It is Micah's intent to call
everyone who hears his voice to attention. Everyone within the hearing of his
voice is meant to hear the words of God. "God will be a witness against
you", in other words, Micah's hearers are the object of divine judgment.
As a witness the Lord will arise
against those who have despised His Word and transgressed Him commandments.
Micah calls on God who speaks both as a plaintiff, and as an accuser. He will
stand up against those who cheat the hireling out of his wages, against those
who oppress the poor and outrage the stranger and the helpless widow.
According to the context, Jerusalem and
Samaria bear the brunt of the responsibility for this judgment! "The Lord
(Jehovah) from his holy temple" is not a reference to the earthly sanctuary
at Jerusalem, but points to the dwelling of God, which is heaven itself, where
God dwells in all of His glory and majesty. (cf. Psalms 11:4)
1:3-4 The idea of
the divine judgment’s breaking out is carried forward. This passage has often
been compared with Isaiah 40:3-5. In Isaiah's words there is imagery of
the building of a road for a military conqueror, whereas in the book of Micah
volcanic action, earthquake, or lightning and storm is suggested. Again, this is
figurative language. Micah intends to inspire soberness and awe in his leaders.
He wants them to know that he means business!
Micah goes from the poetic and figurative to the concrete and the specific. He
now begins with the circumstances and events the Lord wants him to describe.
"The transgression of Jacob and the sins of the house of Israel"
remain yet to be taken up with the message of chapters 2-3.
Micah seems to use the names
"Jacob" "Israel" and "Judah" interchangeably. The
transgression of Jacob is, in Micah's view, first of all Samaria and the corrupt
society within her. Located 40 miles north of Jerusalem, Samaria was the capital
of Israel, the Northern Kingdom, which had been politically separated from
Judah since the death of Solomon in 931 BC.
an Oman for Jerusalem"
Samaria had just been destroyed by the
Assyrians. The Assyrians under their king, had laid siege to Samaria for three
years before and finally took them into captivity. Micah is using these events
as they were happening to be a warning to the city of Jerusalem, and to the
country of Judah. He is saying that what happened, or what was happening to
Samaria could happen to Judah. Samaria is used therefore as a warning and as an
The reason for Jerusalem's sin is that
of idolatry. King Ahaz of Judah (736-728) had imported an Assyrian altar
into the temple at Jerusalem. "All her hires" and "To the hire of
a harlot they shall return" is Micah's way of saying that the offspring
brought to Samaria's pagan holy places and all sacred objects and gifts will be
carried off to Assyrian temples if they do not repent. If they do not turn from
their sin they will be carried off into captivity!
Lament of the Prophet"
Micah begins to lament and wail over
the people's sins. He does so by stripping and going naked before the people.
The prophet Isaiah did this also (cf. Isaiah 20:2-4). The reason for doing
this is simple. It shows one as being an exile, one walking in deep humiliation.
Micah's actions signify the approaching
disaster that is to come. In many places Micah's speech is controlled; however,
here Micah shows in a visible way why he has been know to many as "the
wailing prophet.” Samaria is without hope. The crisis of captivity came and
she was unable to resist. The same situation is about to confront Judah and
Jerusalem her capital.
Invoking of Disaster"
Micah summons the inhabitants of Judah
to lament over a deportation into exile that would be the inevitable consequence
of an Assyrian occupation. Micah uses a play on words to alert the people of the
coming doom. Gath was a Philistine city, located directly in line with all
As soon as Assyria moved, Gath was the
first town to get hit! Through a series of taunts and insults Micah is sounding
the alarm of the coming Assyrian move. From history we know that Sargon's armies
in South Palestine put down a rebellion in the Philistine state of Gaza on the
Mediterranean coast in 720 BC. The conquest of Samaria a few years later must
have made Micah's prophetic cursing ring in the hearts and minds of those
"The Inner Sickness of Judah"
In chapter one, Micah spoke of the threat of Judah from without. In chapter two
he addresses himself to the threat from within. He documents the subordination
of human rights within the country of Judah in the light of their pursuit of
inordinate wealth and power. The political leaders are incapable of appreciating
Judah's precarious position! For Micah, the collapse of the state is
inevitable. How do you look at the future of our country?
affluent aristocracy is incapable of self-criticism and wishes to hear preaching
that does not touch their ears. They do not want criticism but only what is
pleasant. As there were many false prophets in the land, the warnings of Micah
(as they were spoken also in 1:10-16) are laughed off.
Again we are reminded of that saying of
Jesus "The prophet is without honor in his own country!" Preaching
what is right and true, especially if it is the Law, is a most difficult thing
to do. Therefore, we must always remember that preaching both the Law and the
Gospel must be prompted by a sincere love for the people.
responds with shock and amazement to the rejection and dismissal of his words.
"Is the Spirit of the Lord impatient?" He asks. Literally Micah is
asking, "is the Spirit of the Lord shortened?" i.e. is it possible
that Micah's preaching can have so little effect? We can see Micah's frustration
as he says "Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly?" in
other words he is saying "wouldn't you think that a Just man would
recognize the truth of what has been said?” As we can see, the indifference of
Micah's audience is the measure of their moral insensitivity.
2:8-9 The people
are seen here as enemies first and foremost against God Himself. The people
appear as enemies of God in two ways:
robbing and exploiting strangers and wanderers;
driving orphans and widows out of their houses and homes. It is through such
acts of injustice towards their fellow men that these people rise up against
their Lord as an enemy.
By their acts of injustice, they call
down upon themselves God’s judgment. God calls Himself the Protector of the
stranger and the Father or the widows and orphans. The Lord will not allow these
helpless ones to be harmed. Whoever outrages them rises as an enemy against God
Himself! (cf. Exodus 22:21; Deuteronomy 27:19)
The last line of verse 8 "with no
thought of war” can be best translated as "returning from war.” The
thought is this: although there is a great Assyrian threat from without, the
true enemies of the people are those exploiters of the people. The returning
soldier confronts worse hardships at home than on the battlefield!
2:10 This advice
appears to be Micah's ironic consolation directed to the woman and children.
They are better off to leave this unclean place that is doomed for destruction!
A question: How are we protecting the
widows and children?
returns to the main theme of this chapter which is his address to the people who
are complacent and content with any preacher as long as the preaching does not
disturb them. For these individuals, Micah says, a drunk would be about as good
a preacher as any!
2:12-13 The remnant
to be regathered!
Most liberal commentators see this
section as a later addition by a pious scribe that found Micah's preaching too
harsh or as a sarcastic statement by Micah himself, who more or less gives them
what they want, a picture of false hope.
We on the other hand, see this as a
prophecy that has deep spiritual meaning, related to its fulfillment in the time
of Christ and in the pages of the New Testament. The "King" and
"Breaker" is Christ our Messiah! Without a doubt, this section comes
suddenly, and out of the blue so to speak; however, so was God's activity and
intervention into the lives of His people.
He comes at His perfect time plan to
help and save us from evil. What we see in this section is the only hope that
these people of Judah, as well as us today have, which is the salvation of our
souls through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We can see that the words of these two
passages are taken from the history of Israel’s liberation from Egypt. In
verse 12 we have the increase and the gathering of the people, and in verse 13
we have the actual liberation.
The fulfillment of these words of
prophecy are found in the New Testament. Christ is the great Good Shepherd as He
gathers all people unto Himself. (cf. John 1:47ff; Romans 11:4ff) From this
passage we see Jesus has a flock that is well provided for, and as it were, has
a fold all of its own. So we have in this prophecy of Micah the prophet a
promise which is fulfilled. This flock brings together both Jews and Gentiles to
form one flock, one people which is the Church, the people of God in Christ
Jesus our Lord.
God's Departure from His People
In this chapter we see that the prophet
has finished his case. The divine word is not heeded. Therefore, the people who
will have their own way are now to have it altogether.
3:1-4 The heads of
Jacob and the rulers of the house of Israel consume the people they are supposed
to guide and protect. Rather then being led to safety by their leaders the
people are torn limb from limb as a wild beast would seek to destroy the sheep
from the sheepfold.
Judah’s rulers have passed the point
of return; repentance can no longer help them. Should the Assyrian threat become
a reality they will soon discover that they are beyond help. This is Micah's
warning to those who flatter themselves thinking that "their king will pass
on before them, the Lord at their head.” (2:13)
Micah now spells out the Judgment even further. He now moves to the prophets who
have been willing to underwrite corruption in Judah with their easy promises
of divine approval.
As long as they were fed, they never
challenged the status quo. What Micah is saying is that the day of Judah's doom
will discredit the prophets, for they have done nothing to forestall evil. They
will hold their tongues when that evil day comes. When asked to explain why this
has come their answer will be "no comment.”
The prophets became partakers of the
sins of the princes in a most shameful way, because they claimed in their
prophecy that only peace and prosperity lay ahead of the people. They even went
so far as to accept gifts and presents from the princes as a reward for their
Micah repeats the Judgment pronounced
in verse 4. God will have
departed from His people. Judah will discover the eclipse of God. The coming
night and darkness recall the preaching that Amos gave some years earlier. (cf.
3:8 The question
that has troubled Micah, that his preaching was of little effect is now
answered. Judah's doom and devastation will be the vindication of his message.
God the Holy Spirit has indeed worked through him, even though his preaching was
that of the Law. Isaiah, who lived at the same time comes to the same conclusion
about his preaching. (cf. Isaiah 6:9-13)
Micah has delivered the burden of his sermon; now he swiftly brings it to a
conclusion. The deeds of the house of Jacob, the rulers of the house of Israel,
the priests, and the prophets are presented with the final bill of particulars
The audacity of these leaders is seen
in their comments "we have nothing to fear, no evil shall come upon is, God
is on our side!" This is the last outrage!
Again from our introduction it is
amazing to see how this sermon which Micah preached worked out in history. The
destruction of Jerusalem by the nation Assyria, which Micah saw as inevitable,
When the armies of Sennacherib did in
fact approach the gates in 701 BC the Judean king, Hezekiah, bought them off
with a tribute worth $1.5 million as a vassal state! (cf. 2 Kings
A century later Micah's words were
preserved and remembered. Jerusalem was about to fall to Babylon. At that time
Jeremiah was called to take a stand and Micah's words were appealed to in his
defense (cf. Jeremiah 26:18-19).
In an amazing twist of fate these words
of Micah spoke to a generation he never knew-a generation that came to
understand him better than his own!
With chapter three concluded, the
threat of Judgment has reached its climax. Some liberal teachers have some big
problems with what comes next in chapters 4-5. They feel chapters 4 and 5
were added much later by another author. They argue that since Micah preached
the Law in chapters 1-3 he can not preach the Gospel or hope in chapters
4-S. As one such teacher has put it "Indeed it contradicts Micah's
preaching altogether.” How do we deal with this issue.
We can say that yes the Law
"contradicts" the Gospel. They are on two sides of the same coin which
is God's Word. However, both come from God, both are needed, both are true. The
Law says all have sin, there is no hope, God is angry with sin. The Gospel says,
there is hope, God is at peace, sin is forgiven you for Jesus' sake. Chapters
4-5 give us a living hope which comes from God. Chapters 4-5
announce the purest salvation to come. In short here the glory of the New
Testament Church is foretold.
"Zion will be lifted up in glory through heathen nations joining it.”
Glorification Of Zion"
Looking way into the future, Micah aces
a time in which God's kingdom will be a universal kingdom in which God will rule
over all the earth. We see this also in Isaiah 2:2-5
Micah starts with the words "in
the last days" which is a reference to New Testament times. It can also
refer to "the last day" which is Judgment day.
As Christians we know that since Jesus
Christ has died and come back to life again we are now living in "the last
time" of the world. Because the work of Jesus has happened in time and
space we can say that all the great works of God for the salvation of men has
been concluded, or has been completed. The only great event yet to come is
The temple hill which will rise above
the mountains is not actually a physical place. It is to be seen as the place
God reveals Himself to men, namely, in His Word.
Before God "poke to men from mountains...e.g. Mt. Sinai, Mt. Moriah, Mt. Zion. Now, God comes to us through His Word. Today, the church is our mountain, our Jerusalem, the temple hill, the house of the Lord. This New Testament Church outranks that of the Old in power and glory. This kingdom of the Church will be established and remain firm and immovable. (cf. Hebrews 12:28; 1 Timothy 3:15; Luke 1:33)
4:4-5 What type of
peace is Micah speaking of here? A world peace. In 1964, on the occasion of the
first visit of a Roman Catholic Pope to the Holy Land, the president of the
state of Israel greeted Pope Paul VI with the words of verse 5. Is this the type
of peace and comfort we should be looking for? Of course not. What is spoken of
here is a united Church where Christ remains as head. We find that peace is in
Christ now, it will be fully experience in heaven.
The Dominion of Zion is Foretold. Through Travail to Triumph.
The glory of the latter days is not
yet; the way to glory leads through agony so intense that "the daughter of
Zion" must "groan like a woman in travail; without a king to protect
her, with no counselor to guide her.” She shall have to travel the lone miles
of the open country into the land of her exile.
The suffering of travail is suffering
for a purpose and in hope; out of the deepest depths of her suffering, there,
the Lord will redeem her from the hand of her enemies. He will be the victory
and His the glory of redeeming love. (verse 10)
The enemies of Zion, who have attacked
Zion’s God in their attack upon her (verse 11) shall receive their due reward.
They shall be gathered as sheaves to the threshing floor, and God's people shall
become an ox with a hoof of bronze to thresh them out.
This will be no personal, triumph on
Zion’s part. The spoils of victory (their gain) will be devoted to the Lord
who has, in redemption and Judgment, manifested Himself as the Lord of the whole
earth and given the victory. He will be their glory (verses 12-13)
The Ruler From Little Bethlehem and The Renewed People Of God
Ruler and Deliverer from Little Bethlehem"
situation could be that of 701 BC when Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem. (cf. 2
Kings 18:13-19; Isaiah 36-37)
5:2 Ephrathah is
the name of the clan of Judah, to which David belonged. Bethlehem is the town in
which the clan lived. Micah's words are used in Matthew’s Gospel as fulfilled
by the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was not "little" in
God's eyes. According to Micah and Matthew "oh little town of
Bethlehem" stands in contrast with "mighty Jerusalem" as the
place where the Messiah will be born. (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:27, 29)
5:3 The birth of
the Messiah as a child of "mysterious parentage" will bring the return
of the remnant. (cf. Isaiah 7:3, 10-17)
5:5 Assyria as
the world power threatening Judah in Micah's day in a passage oriented toward
the undefined Messianic future the Assyrian becomes a symbol of all hostile
powers. Only the Messiah can protect us from them.
5:6 Nimrod is
the founder of Babylon, here we are seeing the whole Babylonian-Assyrian
empire as one unit of power. They can not hold up against the power of God.
5:7-9 "The People of God as a Blessing and a Curse Among the Nations.”
Under the Ruler from Bethlehem the
people shall be blessed; and they shall be a blessing to many peoples. They
shall be a blessing is the promise given to Abraham (Genesis 12:2). However,
since they are God's own blessing and since man opposes God's blessing, (because
of sin) they shall also be a curse among the nations (Genesis 12:3). This same
people which is called "dew from the Lord" is also called a devouring
lion (verse 8) and an invincible nation which is triumphant over its enemies
Purifying Judgment on His People"
The nation which the prophet has
indicted so harshly in chapters 1-3 is not yet a people prepared to
receive and impart the blessing of God. It cannot be trusted to be God's
Before it can become a "blessed
dew from the Lord" or "the lion of His Judgment" it must itself
be purged by His Judgment. Purged it shall be; the Lord will cut off from it all
the devices by which men seek to secure themselves and assert themselves apart
from God, whether they be political (horse, chariots, cities, and strong holds)
or religious (sorceries, soothsayers, images, pillars). Before Israel can be
blessed and become a blessing, she must be taught to walk humbly with her God.
"The Road Back To God"
We now come to the third part of
Micah's book. In chapters 1-3 we see nothing but Law and condemnation, and
threats from God. Chapters 4-5 are almost entirely words of promise for
those who have faith in God's promises. In chapters 6-7 both ideas of
threat and promise can be found.
In these two chapters we also see God's
plan for salvation. Through their ingratitude towards God's goodness and through
their disobedience towards His commandments they are drawing God's punishment
down upon themselves. Yet the people are also shown that through heartfelt
repentance they can obtain the promise of salvation. In this chapter (chapter 6)
we see God's call to repentance as well as His threat to those who do not turn
from their sin.
The first two verses form the introduction. The people arraigned in God's court,
the Lord shows them their sin, especially their shameful ingratitude towards
6:3-5 Here the
people are arraigned in court. At the same time we find the Lord's indictment
included as well as His formal charge of "guilty" against Israel.
Israel cannot deny that they have received tremendous blessings from God, but
they must also blush with shame over their glaring ingratitude. The people must
admit that with such thankless behavior they have committed apostasy against the
Realizing their deep fall, the people
in verses 6-7 implore to the Lord, asking what they can do to recover the
Micah in verse 8 shows that works of
sinful men are insufficient to appease the wrath of God. All of man's own
efforts to win back God's favor are in vain.
The contents of these verses is this: Since there is no practice in those
virtues, mentioned in verse 8, such as Justice and honesty towards the neighbor,
love and mercy toward the poor and lowly, and no humility before God, it is for
that reason that the Lord must threaten and punish them.
In verse 9 the reproof of the people by the Lord begins. Verses 10-12 mention the principal sins, and these are reproved in verses 13-16. God traces their punishment back to their sins.
Chapter 7 contains a prayer for
repentance and the promise of God's forgiveness which is to follow. After the
Lord's threats have been set forth in chapter 6 the prophet Micah gives an
answer in the name of the Lord. His answer is the penitential prayer of verses
In this prayer Micah confesses and laments the deep corruption of his people,
and admits that God's visitation is most necessary.
The prophet expresses the confident hope in the name of his people that the Lord
will again allow the light of His grace to shine upon His chastened people.
Their enemies shall not triumph over them, but rather they shall be punished by
In verses 7-13 Micah confidently uttered that his trust is in the mercy of
God and His help. In verse 14 he proceeds with a plea that God should feed His
people as He did in the days of old.
appeal to the Lord's mercy and grace is not in vain. Here we have the Lord's
assurance that the prayer has been heard and that the Lord will again turn to
His penitent people.
Overawed by the majesty of the infinite
power, justice and grace displayed in God's redeeming word and work, the nations
lack words to express their thoughts. They will be deaf to the voice of sin, of
self-righteousness, and of self-indulgence. In all humility they
crawl, come trembling, and turn to the Lord. What a glorious promise regarding
the future of the Church. Even some of the enemies of the Church will turn to
the Lord and become a part of the Church.
concludes his prophecy with a grand doxology of divine grace. The Lord forgives
the transgressions of His penitent remnant.
adoration of the incomparable Lord God of forgiveness and grace.
Who is a God like unto Thee, O Lord!
we always worship and serve such a Lord God!
Soli Deo Gloria +
A Survey Of Old Testament
– Introduction Gleason L. Archer Jr. The Moody Bible Institute,
Chicago, IL. 1978 pp. 323-324
0ne-Volume Commentary on the Bible, Charles M Laymon editor Abingdon Press
Nashville and New York, 1971 pp. 483-490
George Stoeckhardt, Lectures
on The Prophet Micah translated by H.W. Degner.