December 20th Micah 1
A. Future judgment for past sin
(Hear – all the people)
The Lord will Judge
1: The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. 2: Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. 3: For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth. 4: And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place. 5: For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem? 6: Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof. 7: And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot. 8: Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls. 9: For her wound is incurable; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem. 10: Declare ye it not at Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust. 11: Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Beth-ezel; he shall receive of you his standing. 12: For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem. 13: O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee. 14: Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moresheth-gath: the houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel. 15: Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel. 16: Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.
Micah 2 (Hear – all the leaders)
Judgment - oppressing the poor
1: Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. 2: And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. 3: Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil. 4: In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields. 5: Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD. 6: Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame. 7: O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly? 8: Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war. 9: The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory for ever. 10: Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction. 11: If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people. 12: I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men. 13: The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.
Micah 3 (Hear – to every individual) The Lord blames the leaders
1: And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment? 2: Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; 3: Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. 4: Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. 5: Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. 6: Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. 7: Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God. 8: But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. 9: Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. 10: They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. 11: The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us. 12: Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.
This book of only seven chapters was written by Micah at about 742 – 687 BC. Micah wrote to both the southern and northern kingdoms, to warn them that the judgement of the Lord is coming. Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah and prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. He was younger than Isaiah and his prophesy is a shorted version of Isaiah’s prophesy. He saw the capture of the northern Kingdom and spoke to both Samaria and Jerusalem. The theme is Judgement and redemption. This book is often the favourite Minor Prophet because the message is simple powerful and to the point. There are a number of famous passages. (5v2, 6v6-8, 7v18-19) Micah speaks to the cities of city troubles, Violence, corruption, robbery, covetousness and gross materialism.
Micah gives the historical setting of the days in which he ministered to the Lord. He says listen to me all the inhabited earth and let the Lord GOD witness against you because he speaks from his holy temple. The Lord describes the wickedness of Israel and their idolatry. He declares Gods sudden and complete judgment on those who forsake him. Micah declares a woe against those who invent new ways to be crooked and think up ways to defile their beds. They covet after the fields of other people and take them by violence. They oppress the poor man and steal what little he has. The children of Israel had come to love evil and hate what is good. Their judgment will be to be butchered by their enemies and when they cry unto the Lord he will not hear them. The prophets will have no message from the Lord. Jerusalem is in a very sorry state. The wealth of some men is built up by murder and crooked dealings. The judges take bribes, the priests only teach for hire, the prophets give their messages for money. They presume on the Lords presence and blessing.
- How would you describe the message of Micah?
- Why does Micah blame the leaders?
- How will God judge Israel?