Micah - Judgment Now, Blessings Later (1:1-2:13)
1. The eighth century (800-700 B.C.) was filled with prophetic
a. Starting with Jonah, who prophesied to the city of
b. Continuing with prophets sent primarily to the northern kingdom
1) Amos (755 B.C.)
2) Hosea (750-725 B.C.)
c. The southern
was also the recipient of God's kingdomof Judah
1) Isaiah (740-700 B.C.)
2) Micah (735-700 B.C.)
2. In our study of "The Minor Prophets"...
a. We have looked at the works of Jonah, Amos, and Hosea
b. We now come to the works of Micah, the last prophet of the eighth
[Before we take a look at the messages of Micah as recorded in his
book, it may be helpful to first look at some...]
I. BACKGROUND MATERIAL
A. MICAH - THE MAN...
1. His name means "Who is like Jehovah?" - cf. Mic 7:18
2. His home was Moresheth-Gath - Mic 1:1,14
a. In the lowlands of
Judah, near Philistia
b. About 20-25 miles southwest of
3. Nothing is known of his occupation prior to becoming God's
a. "He was the prophet of the poor and downtrodden." (Homer
b. "He had Amos' passion for justice and Hosea's heart for
love." (J.M.P. Smith)
c. Comparing Micah to his contemporary Isaiah (as suggested by
1) Micah was a man of the fields, Isaiah was of the city
2) Micah took little interest in politics, giving himself
to the concern over spiritual and moral problems; Isaiah
was in close contact with world affairs, the associate
of kings and princes
3) Both Micah and Isaiah...
a) Saw God as the infinite Ruler of nations and men
b) Recognized the absolute holiness and majesty of God
c) Stressed that violating principles of God's divine
sovereignty and holiness would bring judgment and
B. MICAH - THE BOOK...
1. The date: 735-700 B.C.
a. During the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of
- Mic 1:1 Judah
b. Just as the northern kingdom of
was falling under Israel
2. The message: "Present Judgment, Future Blessings"
a. Judgment is coming because of
's unfaithfulness to Israel
b. Blessings will come because of God's faithfulness to
1) Cf. the promise God made to Abraham - Gen 22:18
2) God would fulfill in the person of Jesus Christ - cf.
3. A brief outline: The book appears to contain three messages
or oracles, all beginning with the word "Hear"; therefore the
book can be divided as follows:
a. The coming judgment, with a promise of restoration - Mic 1:
b. God's condemnation of
, with a glimpse of the future Israel
hope - Mic 3:1-5:15
c. God's indictment of
, with a plea for repentance and Israel
promise of forgiveness - Mic 6:1-7:20
[In the remaining part of this lesson, let's take look at Micah's first
II. THE COMING JUDGMENT AND PROMISED RESTORATION (1:1-2:13)
A. JUDGMENT PRONOUNCED ON
ISRAELAND ... JUDAH
1. Micah's message is for both
Samaria( Israel) and Jerusalem
) - Mic 1:1 Judah
2. The Lord announces His coming judgment - Mic 1:2-5
3. The destruction of
(representing the northern kingdom Samaria
) - Mic 1:6-7 Israel
4. Micah's mourning - Mic 1:8-16
a. For the judgment has reached even
b. His lament involves making a play on words involving the
names of cities; for example...
1) "Tell it not in
Gath" ( is similar to the Hebrew Gath
word for "tell")
2) "Weep not at all in Beth Aphrah, Roll yourself in the
dust" (Beth Aphrah means "house of dust")
3) "Pass by in naked shame, you inhabitant of Shaphir"
(Shaphir means "fair, beautiful, pleasant")
4) "The inhabitant of Zaanan does not go out" (Zaanan means
5) "Beth Ezel mourns; its place to stand is taken away
from you" (Beth Ezel can be paraphrased as "nearby
c. As revealed in verse 16, their judgment will involve
B. REASONS FOR THE INEVITABLE JUDGMENT...
1. The arrogance and violence of the nobles - Mic 2:1-5
a. For coveting fields and taking them by violence
b. So it will happen to them
2. For rejecting true prophets, and accepting false ones - Mic
a. They tell the prophets of God not to speak of God's words
b. They abuse the people of God
c. Destruction is coming, because they are defiled and accept
C. RESTORATION PROMISED...
1. It will involve God assembling a remnant - Mic 2:12
2. God will lead them like a flock of sheep, with a king at their
head - Mic 2:12-13
1. Later, Micah will tell us more about the ultimate fulfillment of
that restoration, and from where that "king" shall arise who shall
lead God's flock! - cf. Mic 5:2-5
2. But for now we have seen that Micah certainly follows the pattern of
God's prophets at that time...
a. Proclaiming the coming judgment, which would involve captivity
b. Providing the basis for such judgment, describing the nature of
their sins and departure from God
c. Promising that God would one day restore the good fortunes of
, but requiring repentance and involving a "remnant" Israel
3. How sad that many in
Israeland did not heed the words of such Judah
men like Micah, Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah...
a. But are we heeding God's spokesmen for today?
b. Such as His apostles Peter and Paul, and of course, His Son Jesus
We would do well to remember the preaching of Micah as we read in the
"For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we
have heard, lest we drift away from it. For if the word spoken
through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and
disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape if
we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first
spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who
heard, God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and
wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit
according to His own will. (He 2:1-4)
as a nation failed to heed the message sent to them; are we Israel
heeding the message for us today?
Micah - Judgment Now, Blessings Later (3:1-5:15)
1. In our previous lesson on the book of Micah...
a. We briefly considered some background material
1) Concerning Micah, the man
a) His name means "Who is like Jehovah?"
b) He was from Moresheth-Gath, 20-25 miles SW of Jerusalem
c) A contemporary of Isaiah
d) A prophet of the poor and downtrodden
2) Concerning Micah, the book
a) The prophecies occurred around 735-700 B.C.
b) They were directed toward both
c) The general theme appears to be "Present Judgment, Future
b. We briefly considered the first of three messages in the book
1) Each message begins with "Hear..." - Mic 1:2; 3:1; 6:1
2) The first message proclaimed "The Coming Judgment And Promised
Restoration", as it described:
a) The judgment pronounced upon
Israeland - Mic 1:2-16 Judah
b) The reasons for the coming judgment - Mic 2:1-11
c) The promise of the restoration of a remnant - Mic 2:12-13
2. In this lesson, we shall consider Micah's second message...
a. As presented in Mic 3:1-5:15
b. Which follows a similar theme as in the previous message:
1) God's condemnation of
2) With a glimpse of the future hope
[This second message has much more to say about the future hope,
especially regarding the Messiah. But it begins with...]
I. GOD'S CONDEMNATION OF
'S LEADERS ISRAEL
A. INDICTMENT OF
'S CIVIL LEADERS... ISRAEL
1. The outrageous conduct of the rulers - Mic 3:1-3
a. They hate good and love evil
b. They consume the people (i.e., oppress them)
2. The judgment to come upon them - Mic 3:4
a. They will cry to the Lord, but He will not hear them
b. He will hide His face from them
B. INDICTMENT OF
'S RELIGIOUS LEADERS... ISRAEL
1. The judgment to come upon the false prophets - Mic 3:5-7
a. Because they lead God's people astray
b. They shall have no vision, they shall be made ashamed
2. Micah's own ministry, in contrast to that of the false
prophets - Mic 3:8
a. He is full of the power of the Spirit, and of justice and
b. He declares the transgression and sin of
C. INDICTMENT OF
'S LEADERS RENEWED... ISRAEL
1. Addressing once again the rulers of
, their sins are Israel
categorized - Mic 3:9-11
a. They abhor justice and pervert equity (fairness)
b. They build up
with bloodshed and iniquity Jerusalem
c. Whether judges, priests, or prophets, they do it only for
the money, belying their claim to trust in the Lord
2. The judgment to come upon
because of them - Mic 3:12 Israel
shall be plowed like a field Zion
shall become heaps of ruins Jerusalem
[This prophecy of Micah was fulfilled when
in 586 B. C. (cf. 2 Chr 36:17-21). But his message is not finished; as
ominous as it was in proclaiming the coming judgment, he now continues
with a glimpse into the future...]
II. THE FUTURE EXALTATION OF
AND MESSIANIC HOPE ZION
A. THE GLORY TO COME IN "THE LATTER DAYS"...
1. What will happen "in the latter days"
a. The "mountain of the Lord's house" will be established, and
many people will want to go it - Mic 4:1-2
b. They will want to learn of God's ways, and the word of the
Lord will go forth from
- Mic 4:2 Jerusalem
c. The Lord will judge the nations, and there will be peace
- Mic 4:3
d. Everyone will be content, walking in the name of the Lord
forever - Mic 4:4-5
-- Isaiah had a similar prophecy - Isa 2:1-4
2. What is the fulfillment of this prophecy?
a. Some believe it is all yet to come (e.g., premillenialists)
b. Some believe it is all past (e.g., some amillenialists)
c. I am inclined to believe there are past, present, and
1) It began in
with the preaching of the gospel Jerusalem
a) For Peter identifies the events of that day as
beginning the fulfillment of what would occur in the
"last days" - cf. Joel 2:28-32; Ac 2:16-17
b) For Jesus said the gospel would go forth from
as prophesied - Lk 24:46-47; cf. Mic 4:2; Jerusalem
2) It continues as people respond to the gospel that
a) Such people "have come to Mount
" - He 12:22-24; Zion
cf. Mic 4:2
b) They learn the ways of the Lord - Ep 4:20-24; cf.
3) The "judging among many people" may be both present and
a) The book of Revelation reveals the Lord as judging
both in the present and in the future - cf. Re 1:5;
2:26-27; 17:14; 20:11-15
b) Peter viewed some of Isaiah's prophecies as yet to be
fulfilled - 2 Pe 3:13; cf. Isa 65:17-19; 66:22
c) Therefore Mic 4:3-5 may find some of its fulfillment
in the eternal destiny of the redeemed, as part of
the "New Jerusalem" of the "new heaven and new earth"
described in Re 21-22
3. As Micah continues, he describes what will occur "in that day"
- Mic 4:6-8
a. The Lord will assemble a remnant of those whom He afflicted
- cf. Ro 11:5
b. He will reign over them forever - cf. Lk 1:30-33
-- I understand that the fulfillment of this prophecy began
with the first coming of Christ, and that the church is a
spiritual kingdom in which the "former dominion" of
has been restored and given to Jesus who reigns from heaven
- cf. Mt 28:18; Ac 1:6-8; 2:30-36; Re 1:5; 2:26-27; 3:21
B. THE DISTRESS AND CAPTIVITY BEFORE RESTORATION...
1. The "Now" of Mic 4:9 suggests that Micah has returned from his
glimpse of the future hope to what will occur in the immediate
2. Their judgment will involve distress like a woman in labor, as
they will be delivered to
, from which they will also Babylon
be redeemed - Mic 4:9-10
3. Even "now", many nations (e.g.,
Assyria) have come up against
them - Mic 4:11-5:1
a. Who seek to defile
, whom God will use to break them Zion
into many pieces
b. Yet the daughter of
Zion( ) shall be humbled also Israel
- cf. Mic 5:1
C. THE COMING MESSIAH...
1. Here we find the prophecy of the Messiah's birthplace - Mic
5:2; cf. Mt 2:1-6
a. The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah
b. He would become the ruler of
- cf. Isa 9:6-7; Lk Israel
c. His "goings forth have been from old, from everlasting"
- cf. Jn 1:1-3
2. The Messiah will lead His people in peace - Mic 5:3
a. Though first they must be given up for a short time
b. Then a remnant shall return, whom the Ruler shall feed in
the strength of the Lord
D. FURTHER JUDGMENT ON
AND HER ENEMIES... ISRAEL
1. Some take this section to be Messianic
2. I tend to take it as pertaining to Micah's day and those that
followed shortly after...
a. The Assyrian threat would prove to be no real threat (for
- Mic 5:5b-6; cf. Isa 36-37 Judah
b. When the remnant is dispersed (as a result of Babylonian
captivity), they shall be a lion among flocks of sheep
- Mic 5:7-9 (e.g., Daniel, Esther?)
c. God would cut off her false strengths (such as horses and
chariots, cf. Isa 31:1) and her idolatry - Mic 5:10-15
1. With the recurrent theme in his messages ("Present Judgment, Future
Blessings"), Micah's purpose appears to be two-fold...
a. To warn the people, that they may repent as necessary
b. To encourage the people, that their hope for the future might
help them to endure the hard times to come
2. A similar two-fold message is found in the New Testament as well...
a. Warnings to persevere, lest we fall away - e.g., He 4:1,11
b. Promises to encourage us for whatever lies ahead - e.g., 2 Pe 3:
3. Today, we have an advantage over the Israelites of Micah's day...
a. We have already seen much of his prophecy fulfilled with the
first coming of the Messiah
b. As Peter wrote, "we also have the prophetic word made more sure"
- 2 Pe 1:19
c. Made more sure by virtue of its fulfillment, it can serve to
comfort us and strengthen our hope regarding any future promise
of God - cf. Ro 15:4
-- If God kept His promise concerning the first coming of His
Messiah, we can have confidence He will keep His promise
concerning His return!
Perhaps that is why Peter went on to say concerning "the prophetic
word" (e.g., The Minor Prophets)...
"which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place,
until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts"
(2 Pe 1:19)
By careful study and consideration of the prophets, both in the Old
Testament and New Testament, our hope for the future is strengthened!
Micah - Judgment Now, Blessings Later (6:1-7:20)
1. This is the third of three lessons in our survey of the book of
a. Micah was a prophet of God, a contemporary of Isaiah (ca. 735-700
b. His prophecies were directed to both
Israeland , though Judah
mostly to the latter
c. His general theme: "Present Judgment, Future Blessings"
2. In his first message...
a. He proclaimed "The Coming Judgment And Promised Restoration"
b. In which he described:
1) The judgment pronounced upon
Israeland - Mic 1:2-16 Judah
2) The reasons for the coming judgment - Mic 2:1-11
3) The promise of the restoration of a remnant - Mic 2:12-13
3. In his second message...
a. He proclaimed "God's Condemnation of
, And The Future Hope" Israel
b. In which he described:
1) God's condemnation of
's civil and religious leaders Israel
- Mic 3:1-12
2) The future exaltation of
and Messianic hope - Mic 4:1-5:15 Zion
4. In his third and final message, Micah's message is "God's Indictment
, With A Promise Of Forgiveness And Restoration" - Mic 6:1-7:20 Israel
[Similar to what we saw in Hosea, the prophet Micah presents the Lord's
complaint as though He were taking
to court...] Israel
I. THE LORD'S CONTROVERSY WITH
A. GOD'S COMPLAINT...
1. The people called to present their case against God, as He has
a complaint against them - Mic 6:1-2
2. How has the Lord wearied them? Testify against Him! - Mic 6:3
3. Did He not redeem them from Egyptian bondage with the aid of
His servants Moses, Aaron, and Miriam? - Mic 6:4
4. Remember how He even had Balaam counter the counsel of Balak
- Mic 6:5
B. WHAT THE LORD REQUIRED OF THEM...
1. What must they offer for their sins? - Mic 6:6-7
2. What God wanted was for them to do justly, love mercy, and
walk humbly before Him - Mic 6:8
C. THE PUNISHMENT FOR
'S INJUSTICE... ISRAEL
1. Justified, for they were full of dishonesty and violence - Mic
2. Judgment is coming in the form of desolation, for they hold on
to the idolatry of Omri and works of Ahab - Mic 6:13-16
[Once again, for the third time, Micah has foretold of the judgment to
come. As before, he does not close without offering a hope for
blessings in the future...]
II. A LAMENT FOLLOWED BY A PROMISE OF RESTORATION
A. PERHAPS SPEAKING FOR THE FAITHFUL REMNANT, MICAH LAMENTS...
1. His sorrow because the faithful man had perished - Mic 7:1-4
2. Things are so bad, only the Lord can be trusted - Mic 7:5-7
B. A CONFESSION OF SIN, WITH COMFORT IN WHAT THE LORD WILL BRING...
1. His enemy is not to rejoice over him - Mic 7:8
a. For though he may fall, he will arise; the Lord will be a
light to him
b. He is willing to bear the indignation of the Lord, for he
has sinned; he knows also that the Lord will eventually
plead his case and execute justice for him
2. He takes comfort in the future restoration of
- Mic 7: Zion
a. Though first to be trampled down like mire in the streets
b. When restored, all will come to her (a messianic reference
akin to Mic 4:1-2?)
c. But first there will be desolation (cf. the destruction of
the city by
C. A CLOSING PRAYER, WITH PRAISE TO GOD...
1. A prayer for God's protection, to shepherd them as in days
gone by - Mic 7:14
2. God answer: "I will show them marvelous things" - Mic 7:15
3. Micah's song of praise - Mic 7:16-20
a. The nations shall be made afraid when they see what the
Lord has done
b. Who is a God like Jehovah?
1) Who pardons iniquity
2) Who passes over the transgressions of the remnant of His
3) Who does not retain anger forever, for He delights in
4) Who will again have compassion, subdue their sins, and
cast their sins away
5) Who will give truth and mercy to Jacob and Abraham
(i.e., their descendants) as He has sworn from days of
old (cf. Gen 12:2-3)
1. Thus Micah ends his book like he ended each of his three messages:
offering hope concerning the future for the people of Israel
2. In our previous lesson we noted how these promises concerning a
glorious future to a great extent were fulfilled "in the latter
days", beginning with the coming of our Lord
a. Certainly the restoration and rebuilding of temple following
Babylonian captivity was a partial fulfillment
b. But even that was just a glimpse of what Jesus Christ would offer
in His spiritual kingdom, which we now enjoy by being in Him
3. From Micah, we can learn a lot about...
a. The nature of God - cf. Mic 7:18-20
b. How God would have us live - cf. Mic 6:6-8
4. We also can have our faith strengthened by observing those
prophecies which have been fulfilled...
a. Such as the birthplace of the Messiah - Mic 5:2
b. Such as the establishment of the Lord's house - Mic 4:1-2
So while Micah may have been sent first to the nation of Israel, let's
not forget what Peter said concerning the Old Testament prophets...
"To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they
were ministering the things which now have been reported to you
through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy
Spirit sent from heaven; things which angels desire to look into."
(1 Pe 1:12)
Yes, when the prophets like Micah foretold of the "the glories that
would follow", they were serving us who would be later be in the
kingdom of God. Do we appreciate how blessed we are? If so, then let's
also do what God requires of us, as expressed in Micah's own words:
"to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God"