THE PROPHECY OF MICAH
Micah, the Morasthite, prophesied in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah kings of Judah. His message concerned both Samaria and Jerusalem. He was a contemporary of Isaiah, and his ministry extended over a period of about forty years.
The book had three natural divisions each commencing with the word “hear” as follows:
1. Chs. 1 & 2. “Hear”, all ye people.
2. Chs. 3 to 5. “Hear”...o heads of Jacob.
3. Chs. 6 & 7. “Hear”...what the Lord saith.
“HEAR, ALL YE PEOPLE”.
Jehovah had a controversy with the whole house of Israel. Both in Samaria and in Jerusalem, He found them bent on sinning, Ch.1:1, and because of it they were both to be overthrown, vs. 6,12. To so treat the people it would seem that God was unable to help them, Ch.2:7, but He can only do good to them that walk uprightly. The promise of restoration is given, however, to the godly remnant, vs.12-13, and the Lord Himself shall go before them, to do them good.
“HEAR...O HEADS OF JACOB”
In Ch. 6:1 the prophet addresses the leaders of the people. This included the prophets, the princes, and the priests, (vs. 5-7, 9, 11), who were turning the people away from God. For this Zion would be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem become heaps, v.12.
This came to pass by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Following this prediction a word is said about the future kingdom of their Messiah. It shall be the leading kingdom of the world, Ch.4:1; Jerusalem shall be the headquarters of world government, v.2, the kingdom shall bring about universal peace, v.3; and the whole earth shall become prosperous because of it, vs.4-5. Israel will be re-gathered in that day, vs.6-7, and the Lord shall reign forever.
The latter part of Chapter 4 tells of trouble for the people. First of all they were to be removed to Babylon, v.10, and then in the last days many nations shall unite and invade the land to overthrow the Jew, but in reality they meet to their own undoing, for that is the way the Lord will turn the tables upon them, vs. 11-13. He shall regard them as sheaves and Israel will perform the thrashing of them.
In Ch. 5, we have a few word of parenthesis. The crucifixion of Christ is foretold, and Bethlehem is mentioned as His birthplace, vs.1-2. Because Israel knew not the day of her visitation and rejected her Messiah, God also has rejected her until in the last days she turns to Him in great soul travail, v.3. Then her restoration will take place.
During the parenthetical period of Israel’s rejection the church age runs its course. In the kingdom age so great shall be the blessing bestowed upon Israel as a nation among the nations that she shall be as a lion among the beasts of the forest, that is, her power shall be as such, v.8. All past pomp will be banished, v.10; no more idolatry shall be seen in the land, v.13; and their enemies shall have a visitation of judgment from God, v.15, such as has never been heard of before.
“O HEAR. . .WHAT THE LORD SAITH”
In Ch. 5, we have an appeal of God to the nations to hear His case against Israel, v.2. He is universally known as a God of love and mercy with all power to do good, and because of the calamities which would come to His people it would seem as though their God had weakened. Mention is made of their deliverance from Egypt, v.4, and the reason He had to punish them because of the incident of Balaam was due to the fact that they had yielded to the enticements of Balak, king of Moab, v.5.
Even though His people brought their many sacrifices to Him is availed nothing as long as they failed to observe the ordinary rules of righteous living, vs. 7-8. Because of their looseness God would smite them and make them sick, v.13, for instead of heeding His word they observed the teaching of Omri and Ahab, v.16, two of the most idolatrous kings of Israel.
After a few more remarks about the sins of the people, Ch.7:1-6, the prophet offers a prayer in which he acknowledges the justice of God’s treatment, and then looks forward to the day when the nations shall be overthrown, and God will perform His Word to Jacob and remember His covenant with Abraham, vs. 16 -20.
Someone has said that the prayer itself is prophetic and foretells the kind of supplication, which will be made by the remnant in the last days.