After a brief mention of Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, Micah’s ministry was principally to Jerusalem and Judah.
Micah and his Times. The Northern Kingdom of Israel had almost run its course as Micah began his ministry. Assyria was on the horizon as God’s instrument to take the 10 tribes into Captivity. Judah, complacent, and defiled by idolatry, is warned by Micah that she too will not be immune from the judgement of God if remaining in unrepentance. Micah prophesied Israel’s Captivity to Assyria and lived through this turbulent period.
Micah and the prevailing Conditions. After the long reigns of Uzziah in Judah (52 years), and Jeroboam in Israel (41 years), the nation developed from being mainly agricultural to having a strong commercial interest with a rich middle class. Sadly, this also resulted in idolatry (1:7). During Micah’s ministry, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, introduced an altar from Damascus into the Temple at Jerusalem (2 Kings 16 & 2 Chronicles 28:22-25). The land was also marked by, covetousness (2:2), leaders practising evil (3:1-2), false prophets (3:5), injustice (6:10), and corruption (7:3).
Micah and his God. Micah’s name means, “Who is like Jehovah”? One of the most encouraging details in the history of the kings of Israel and Judah, is God’s interest in His people. Despite all their provocation and departure, He sent multiple prophets to them. As Micah was primarily a prophet to Judah just look at the prophets that God used to speak to his people in Judah… During the Captivity…. Return from Exile!
Major prophets… Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel & Daniel.
Minor Prophets… Joel, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk & Zephaniah.
Postexilic Prophets… Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi.
Note: another interesting study is where God strategically placed the prophets, especially during the Babylonian Captivity, and the prophets who saw their ministry literally fulfilled!
MICAH… Prophet of Messiah’s Advent! (Dr F. A. Tatford)
Outline: Micah has three main divisions, each one beginning with, “Hear…” (1:2, 3:1, 6:1). Within the three sections there is a recurring “Cyclical Order” of: Their Sins, Coming Judgment and Future Blessing!
Introduction 1:1. Micah’s name, his place of birth and the period of his ministry identified by three kings of Judah. Note: his ministry was directed to capital cities… Samaria/capital of Israel & Jerusalem/capital of Judah!
Coming Judgment! (2:1-11). Woe pronounced. Devising in the mind in the night season. Practising it in the morning light. Their sins, therefore, judgment deserved (2:1-5). Refusing to hear God’s prophet
(2:6-7). The apple of God’s eye has become as His enemy, accepting the false prophets (2:8-11).
Future Blessing! (2:12-13). Remnant mentioned in all three blessing sections.
Second Message! “Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel…” (3:1-5:15).
Their Sins! (3:1-4). Hate good, love evil. Behaved ill.
Coming Judgment! (3:5-12). “Thus saith the Lord…” (3:5). “Therefore…” (3:6). There is always a reason for God moving in judgment. Note: Samaria and Jerusalem (1:1), sin spreading from “Capital” to “Country”! In chapter 3, heads (judges), princes, priests, and prophets. Sin spreading from “Leaders” to “Laymen”.
Future Blessing! (4:1-5:15). The last days! Remnant (4:7, 5:7-8). Nations coming to Jerusalem. Law going forth from Zion and the Word of God from Jerusalem (4:2). Peace… agricultural/horticultural scenes prominent (4:3-5). Judge of Israel smitten (5:1). Is this a reference to Christ or to Zedekiah, the last king before Babylonian Captivity? “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2). This lovely verse seems to be contradicted when it is quoted in Matthew 2:6. There, Bethlehem is described as…. not the least! Seeming contradictions in the Bible are a disturbing factor for saints. In 1 Samuel 1:3, the sons of Eli are described as priests of the Lord! In 1 Samuel 2:12, they are described as sons of Belial! The answer? In 1 Samuel 1:3, we have what they were officially. In 1 Samuel 2:12, we have what they were morally. Bethlehem Ephratah, small, insignificant, unnoticed! Everyone now has heard of Bethlehem, where Christ was born! So, in Matthew because of the birth of Christ, the little has become not the least! Notice the mention of the heathen or nations throughout chapters 4 & 5. Is this why we have the plural expression “peoples” (1:2)? The message then of Micah covers a wide period and extends ultimately to all peoples!
Third Message! “Hear ye now what the Lord saith; Arise…” (6:1-7:20).
Their Sins! (6:1-12). The Goodness of God in the past is forgotten and unappreciated (6:1-5). Ignorance of the Law and what the Lord requires (6:6-9). See also: Deuteronomy 10:12-13. Injustice and general corruption (6:10-12).
Coming Judgment! (6:13-16). Therefore! Notice the emphatic, I. What God will do.
Woe is me! Micah is lamenting the sins of the people (7:1-6). Micah’s confidence in God (7:7-13).
Future Blessing! (7:14-20).
Micah’s prayer (7:14-17). Micah’s praise (7:18-20). Remnant in v18.
Additional notes: Micah Quoted in the Old Testament: Jeremiah 26:18. Micah Quoted in the New Testament: Matthew 2:6. Micah alluded to in the New Testament: Matt 10:35-36, Luke 12:52-53, John 7:42.