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Micah Declares Israel's Sins and Announces the Messiah

“Hear, all you peoples! Listen, O earth, and all that is in it! Let the

Lord GOD be a witness against you, The Lord from His holy temple.

For behold, the LORD is coming out of His place; He will come

down And tread on the high places of the earth” (1:2-3 NKJV*).

“Woe to those who devise iniquity, And work out evil on their

beds! At morning light they practice it, Because it is in the power

of their hand” (2:1).

“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the

LORD’S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And

shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it. Many

nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain

of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His

ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion the law shall

go forth, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (4:1-2).

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the

thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One

to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From

everlasting” (5:2).

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the

LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk

humbly with your God?” (6:8).

“Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the

transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His

anger forever, Because He delights in mercy” (7:18).

*All Scripture verses are taken from the NKJV.

Micah was a prophet from Moresheth, a community of rich farmland; like Amos, he was a farmer, not a city intellectual. God called him to go and cry out against Israel and Judah for

their sins. He was a contemporary of Isaiah, prophesying before the Assyrian conquest of

Israel and the Babylonian conquest of Judah.

In Micah’s day, Judah was prosperous but wicked. How often do these two go together

in history? He decries the abuse of the poor and those of lower status by the wealthy and

important. The prophets prophesied falsehoods to help the whole grist mill keep churning.

There were revivals in those days, in particular, led by Hezekiah, but they proved too

superficial to be of lasting value to subsequent generations. But God would not stand idly by

and let all this go unchecked. Micah thundered God’s decree of judgment on the north and

south. But that is not all; he also delivered a promise of a coming One Who would be the

true Ruler of Israel, the Messiah.

In the middle of his message, Micah gave one of the greatest one-verse summaries of what it

means to be God’s child in 6:8 to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. He echoes Job’s sentiments in chapter 7. Near the end, he wrote a beautiful tribute to Jehovah that we would do well to memorize.

Not much has changed in the intervening years; despite our technology and advancements, the world still has all the same problems that it had then. But we can take heart that God is watching all these things,and none of it goes unnoticed. The day of His judgment will come, in His own good time, against those who practice such things. Our call is to be faithful and separate from the world, to give them the message of our King, whether they listen or refuse.

We do serve the God Who delights in showing mercy. We are all recipients of that mercy in the person and work of Jesus Christ—the one Micah prophesied about but could only strain to see through prophetic eyes. May God help us to walk humbly with Him through this life.

—John Ostic

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