MicahDuring the tumultuous times between 735-586 B.C. the Israelites were overshadowed by strong neighbors who were building major empires. Assyria to the north, Egypt to the south, and eventually Babylon to the east would all rise up as serious contenders for world domination and threaten Israel’s short-lived sovereignty. During that time, God raised up several prophets who began to call His people back from their ungodly lifestyles to repentance. Attributing these external threats as the direct result of wayward national sin, the prophets stood on street corners in the major cities and cried out against the leaders of the nation to return to who they once were under King David/Solomon. Back then the nation was relatively holy and prosperous, but now things were looking quite grim. Sort of reminds us of modern America in many ways. We find ourselves remembering a day in the past when the nation was young and seemingly blessed by the Lord. But sin and lawlessness have taken over, leaving a suspecting future.

One of those prophets called to warn the people was a country man named Micah. Like Amos, he was not a religious leader or politician – but rather an everyday farmer from Moresheth-gath (1:14), a tiny village located about 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem, in the Judean foothills. Like most farmers of that day, he would have probably owned a small plot of land on which he grew crops and fed his family. As well, Micah probably had heard tales of the terror coming against their sister nation Samaria, to the north, at the hands of Assyria. So Micah hears God tell him to travel to Jerusalem and begin to warn them about what is going to happen, should they not repent.

Micah brought a message of doom to the people of Jerusalem. He spoke of times of terror, and a great battle that would commence at the end of the world between Israel and the kingdoms of the anti-Christ. While much of what he prophesied applies to things that will happen AFTER Jesus returns – many others fit the bill for what was currently happening in Micah’s day (as well as our own). For example – check out this indictment against the leaders of Israel:

“Hear this, I pray you, you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, who abhor and reject justice and pervert all equity, Who build up Zion with blood and Jerusalem with iniquity.” Mic 3:9-10 AMP

For Micah, the leaders were to blame for the misdirection of the people. Much of what he says is a direct accusation/warning for them. In one of his most famous statements, Micah clearly spells out what the people are missing:

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?” Mic 6:8 AMP

Micah’s message served as a warning for God’s people to stop the pointless rituals and “church” that they had come to perfect, and instead seek the heart of the Lord. This heart will reflect in honest living, humility, caring for others, etc.

Yet, within this negative prospect there are still signs of God’s love and mercy. Mingled within his messages of doom, Micah reveals a song of hope. Should the people repent, then God will relent and save them from this threat. In fact, according to the leaders in Jeremiah’s day – that is exactly what happens. Like Micah, Jeremiah brought a warning to the city streets – a message which angered these self-righteous people. In a fit of rage they drag Jeremiah out to kill him, yet a voice of reason calms the crowd:

“Then certain of the elders of the land arose and said to all the assembly of the people, Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah and said to all the people of Judah, Thus says the Lord of hosts: Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps [of ruins], and the mountain of the house [of the Lord—Mount Moriah, on which stands the temple, shall become covered not with buildings, but] like a densely wooded height.  Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put [Micah] to death? Did he not [reverently] fear the Lord and entreat the Lord? And did not the Lord relent and reverse the decision concerning the evil which He had pronounced against them? But [here] we are thinking of committing what will be a great evil against ourselves.” – Jer 26:17-19 AMP

My friends, God has not changed, nor has the deadly cost of sin. It is His grace which protects us, and His blessing which treats us as we do not truly deserve. As in the days of Micah – so we stand in a nation that has turned its back on God (even reacting in anger towards His people, as in times past). BUT there is a hope! Jesus has come! Sin and death are not the victor! The future is not one of doom – as the Word has already paid the price!

Join with me in praying for our friends/family/neighbors who are currently blinded by sin. Pray for peace – pray for repentance – and like Micah, speak the Truth with boldness!

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

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