Book 33 of the OT, having 7 chapters. This minor prophetic book was written by Micah, sometime during his ministry between 742-687 BC, and was addressed to the whole Israelite nation warning that judgment was coming but pardon was available to all who repented. Isaiah and Hosea also had prophetic ministries during part of this time. Time to read: 20 mins.
Key people include: the people of Samaria and Jerusalem.
Outline. Micah’s message was against both the Southern and Northern Kingdoms because of their sinful idolatry and injustice towards others. This was particularly evident in the capital cities of each nation – Jerusalem and Samaria. Micah prophesied that Samaria would be destroyed (Mic 1:6). This took place in 722 BC (2 Kgs 17:1-18). In addition, he said that Jerusalem would meet a similar fate (Mic 3:12). Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army attacked in 586 BC (2 Kgs 25:1-21). Micah focused in on the leaders and their sins against the people then turned his attention to the citizens. Various prophecies relate to the coming of Jesus and the last days including the restoration of the Jews (e.g. Mic 4:1-13, 5:2-5).
Main lesson. Sin was deeply entrenched in the capital cities, through the lifestyle of the leaders and rulers, but spread and affected the whole country (Mic 1:5, 3:9-11). People look to their leaders to provide direction and they have a strong subtle influence on those in submission to them. What sort of attitude, example and standards am I projecting on those under me – Godly and wholesome or what the world accepts as normal and acceptable but which falls far short of His standards?
Key verses and thoughts: * Do not prophesy like this the false prophets said, disgrace will not overtake us (Mic 2:6, 3:5). These people-pleasing, so-called representatives of God had a wrong understanding of Him and tried to discourage Micah from bringing the harsh reality of the situation before the people. It is the responsibility of spiritual leaders to correctly speak forth Bible truths and not distort His message (2 Tim 2:15). Severe consequences await those who knowingly or intentionally misrepresent the Bible (Rev 22:18,19).
* The Lord is bringing a charge or case against His people (Mic 6:2,3). God had done nothing wrong but the people had continually done evil and refused to walk in His ways. Would more and better sacrifices correct this? No, the Lord requires a changed life, one that displays justice with mercy and walking in humility before Him (Mic 6:6-8). Allow the Holy Spirit to transform you from within so the motivations of your heart are pure, enabling you to consistently live righteously rather than just doing religious acts.
* “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin...and delights to show mercy?” (Mic 7:18,19). Sin breaks the clear communication that He desperately wants with us. God loves the sinner but hates the sin. Praise His name, He readily forgives when we confess our sin to Him and restores us back into right relationship with Himself. Is there something I need to put right with Him to regain close fellowship?
See also: Babylon, Hosea, injustice, Isaiah, leaders/leadership, prophets.