reviewed, June 29, 2001
THE BOOK OF MICAH
MICAH was a native of Moresheth, not the same as Mareshah in #Mic 1:15, but the town called Moresheth-gath (#Mic 1:14), which lay near Eleutheropolis, west of Jerusalem, on the border of the Philistine country; so called to distinguish it from Moresheth of Judah. His full name is Micaiah (not the Micaiah mentioned #1Ki 22:8, the son of Imlah), signifying, Who is like Jehovah? The time of his prophesying is stated in the introduction to be in the reigns of Jotham. Ahaz, and Hezekiah, that is, between 757 and 699 B.C. Jeremiah (#Jer 26:18) quotes #Mic 3:12, as delivered in the reign of Hezekiah. He was thus a contemporary of Isaiah and Hosea. The idolatries practised in the reign of Ahaz accord with Micah's denunciations of such gross evils, and confirm the truth of the time assigned #Mic 1:1. His prophecies are partly against Israel (Samaria), partly against Judah. As Samaria, Israel's metropolis, was taken first, and Jerusalem, the capital of Judah subsequently, in the introductory heading, #Mic 1:1, Samaria is put first, then Jerusalem. He prophesies the capture of both; the Jews captivity and restoration; and the coming and reign of Messiah. His style is full, round, and perspicuous; his diction pure, and his parallelisms regular. His description of Jehovah (#Mic 7:18,19) is not surpassed by any elsewhere in Scripture. The similarity between Isaiah and Micah in some passages (compare #Mic 4:1-3, with #Isa 2:2-4) is to be accounted for by their being contemporaries, acquainted with each other's inspired writings, and having the same subjects for their theme. HENGSTENBERG maintains that the passage in Micah is the original. Isaiah was somewhat the older, being a prophet in the reign of Uzziah, Jotham's predecessor, whereas Micah began his prophecies under Jotham.
The book consists of two parts: (1) the first through fifth chapters; (2) the sixth and seventh chapters, a dialogue or contestation between Jehovah and His people, in which He reproaches them with their unnatural and ungrateful conduct, and threatens judgment for their corruptions, but consoles them with the promise of restoration from captivity.
Micah stands sixth of the minor prophets in the Hebrew canon, but third in the Septuagint. (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown [JFB])
The persons addressed are the scandalous leaders of the house of Israel, i.e. of the covenant nation, and primarily those living in his own time, though by no means those only, but all who share their character and ungodliness, so that the words apply to succeeding generations quite as much as to his contemporaries. (Commentary on the Old Testament, v. 10.467. Keil-Delitzsch. Micah 3:12, for your sakes...)
The Argument-Micah the prophet of the tribe of Judah served in the work of the Lord concerning Judah and Israel at least thirty years: during which time Isaiah prophesied. He declares the destruction first of the one kingdom, and then of the other, because of their manifold wickedness, but chiefly because of their idolatry. And to this end he notes the wickedness of the people, the cruelty of the princes and governors, and the allowing of the false prophets, and the delighting in them. Then he sets forth the coming of Christ, his kingdom, and the felicity of it. This Prophet was not that Micah who resisted Ahab and all his false prophets, #1Ki 22:8 but another with the same name. (a) Born in Mareshah, a city of Judah. (Geneva)
Micah was composed in the reign of Hezekiah. (Ohler, OT Theology,
Here we see a prophecy to Israel containing God's controversy with Israel. Israel could be considered God's people of all times and in every place.
We have no problem picking up the division of time here. Micah spoke to the people of God during the reign of Jetham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, the kings of Judah, about the same time as Isaiah. The next division which stands out is the day of the promised Messiah born of virgin, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah--." Then the time period after the Messiah came as a man walking among men.
Even though there are time periods outlined here in these 7 chapters, the truths contained in them are timeless. The same principles of God's word hold true after the Messiah came as did before he came, in Micah's day. The same sin is common today, and will be until there is no more sin nature. The same results of sin are still with us and will be with us until there is no more sin nature.
The purpose of the Messiah's coming was not to free God's people (Israel, if you please, Gal. 6:15, 16 and etc.) from the physical results of their sin in this life, but to give power (grace) over that sin nature which seeks to control us (I Pet. 1:18, 19). Of course we are also set free from the eternal results of our sin through the atoning work of Christ.
So we see then that we today, as God's people, face the exact same situations which were prevalent in Micah's day. The results will be the same. God gave us these insights into sin and its results, so we could avoid them by his grace which came by Jesus Christ our Lord, Gal. 4:24; Jn. 1:17, etc.
Micah warns God's people here of the prevalent sin. This sin has prevailed since sin began. The sin of self-sufficiency. With his warning, comes the results of it. This sin is identified as idolatry in the complete word of God, from beginning to end. God will not tolerate it anymore today in his people than what he did in Micah's day. It is just as rampant today as it was then. It only has a different suit of clothes on, but the same man is in it.
This book also contains some of the greatest promises in scripture as God shows Micah the future work of grace, 5:7-15. Promises which God's people can lay claim to if they only will lay aside the works of their hands for the works of his hands. Notice the "I wills" of 5:7-15. This shows that it is God who turns the hearts of his people to himself.
One more thing. This may be a history book, but it cannot be dismissed as a history book, nor can any of the Old Testament be dismissed as such. This, as it all of the Old Testament, is a history of God's dealing with his people. Their faithfulness and their sins, as well as the promised result of both. These books are written as instructions to God's people, not as instructions to the heathens. (1 Tim. 3:16.) There is only one message here for the heathen repent and be saved, Acts 2:38. The message to God's people is repent and be healed. The rest of the word of God is instructions to God's people on how to live and the promises involved as we live as we do. Both negative and positive promises.
Therefore, Micah is a book just as much for God's people today as it was for His people the day it was written. It is the living word of God. It is alive for us today, mirroring or reflecting the heart of men back themselves. (Ja. 1:22-27.)
V. 1, Micah identifies himself simply by the town from which he came. He mentions Samaria first because Samaria (Israel's ten tribes) is the closest to judgment. Its cup is the closest to being filled. Jerusalem is the capital of Judah, the other two tribes.
V. 2, Micah calls the whole earth and all that is therein as witnesses. The whole earth, all of creation can see the tremendous conflict between the two kingdoms the kingdom of light and truth vs the kingdom of darkness and lies. We might point out Ephesians 3:10, 11, that the same battle is still being waged, and all the earth is witness to it. It would seem that the kingdom of light and truth is losing ground, but it isn't. We just can't see the overall picture.
Notice Deut. 29:24, 29. There the Lord points out that all of the heathen world can watch and see His judgment against the sins of His people.
Deuteronomy Chapter 29
Our God' is calling our attention to the results of ignoring his law-word. Obey his covenant, his law-word and prosper, and we will be established, 29:9-13. But, allow our heart to turn away from his law-word and inherit this curse, 29:18, 19. V. 19, his people convince themselves that even though they are walking in the imagination of their heart, they will not face God's wrath, anger or judgment. Maybe they say in their heart, "We are God's chosen people. God redeemed us from Egypt. He has kept us safe these 40 years. Surely he wouldn't judge us in wrath and anger."
V.21, our Lord points out he will separate for himself that evil doer only not for good but for judgment. Here is a hint of hope that the righteous will be spared in His day of anger. This is echoed in Joel 2:12-14. We do know that the godly of Israel and of Juda were carried away with the ungodly.
V. 22, now look closely at this. He is leading up to a statement right out of nowhere and hangs it on the end of this passage. The comparison here is: 1.) Do good and inherit His blessings. Do good and obey His law-word (covenant) and be established, prosper. V. 15 allows anyone to be covered in this covenant. Anyone can enter in by faith and obedience.
Now the second side, 2.) Do evil after the imagine of our hearts and serve the foolish, vain, empty gods of wood, stone, silver and gold of the heathens around us and inherit, not a blessing, but gall and wormwood, v. 18. That person will not be spared. The Lord will move in jealousy as we serve these false gods. The courses of the book will be the inheritance rather than the blessings.
This leads up to v. 22, "So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you,---, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land--- wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this land? What meaneth the heat of this great anger?
And the text goes onto answer the question raised by the children. So the terrible things of vv. 23-28 takes place so others can look at it, point to it and say, "This is the result of turning from God." Not the heathens turning from God but those people of v. 15. Anyone who has entered into his covenant. Anyone who has claimed to be his.
Which brings us to v. 29, "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."
This seems to be kind of a strange verse, seemingly out of context, hung onto the end of this passage. What does the context say about this verse?
God is talking her about open judgment against sin in the context. He has pointed out that his judgment against the sins of his people will be very clear and easy for all to see. The context of this verse seems to be saying that judgment (and blessings) will be so clear that people cannot help but see it. This should be an encouragement to do all the words of His law.
Once again, I think this points out that God's law-word, Gen. through Rev. was given to show man how to please God. First, how to be saved, then how to live a life that is pleasing to him. One of the ways he goes this is by showing us in the lives of these people of his word, both the blessings of obedience and the "curses" of disobedience. This is open and clear. There can be no mistaking of the cause and affects if we will only read and study his word. God has given us all we need to know.
Going further. God has not given us his word to satisfy our curiosity about the unknown. There is plenty of unknown, I think that if we search His word to satisfy this curiosity about the unknown (even the future) we can get into some very difficult situations. From this verse here (29) it looks like the limit of our knowledge is to be how to please God and the results if we do or if we don't. Searching his word out of curiosity about the unknown can lead to some unknown results.
A good example would be the book of Revelations. To study it out of curiosity about the future can lead to some strange doctrine. To study it trying to find how to better please God with our lives will show us the result of rebellion against Him as well as the results of following the Lamb of God wherever he goes. It will give hope, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost if it is studies in this manner. Otherwise it may create confusion, doubts and fears. God gave this book to us for the same reason he gave the other 65 books. To show us the blessedness of obedience as compared to the curses of disobedience.
If all of the word of God is viewed in this light it sure will be easier to comprehend and applied to our lives.
Conclusion: 1.) Let's leave the secret things to God. Let's not try to find them out nor understand the. 2.) Let's take the things which are revealed to us and go with them. a.) How to be saved and lead others to this saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. b.) The blessedness of obedience promised to anyone who will enter into this by faith; c.) The curses of disobedience for those who walk after the imagination of their hearts and serve the idols of the heathens around them. d.) The sure and coming judgment of both the well doing and evil doing.
Finally, "--and to our children--." Let us show our children the blessedness of obedience or they will see the curses of disobedience.
Let us leave the secret things with our Lord. He can take care of them. Yet let us take the things which have been given to us and do them with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength for Him.
Which brings us back to Micah 1:2. All of the world will see the results, as will the Lord himself. All will be witness one way or the other. Not only are our children at stake, but so are those around us.
A young man spoke with me the other day as he was trying to make a decision of what to do with his life. I told him that his life will bring glory to God no matter which way he goes. If he decides "against the Lord," the resulting judgments will point to the Lord. If he obeys God, the resulting blessings will point to God. How much better for us if it would be the blessings which point to Him.
An example is a drunkard he can remain drunk and destroy his own body, yet the result can be that his children or close friends develop a new determination not to drink because they see the results. The same could be said about smoking as well as a large list of other things.
Let us glorify God with our inherited blessings of obedience to his every law-word. As the world watches, might they see "patience continuance in well doing," in our lives and service for our Lord. (Rom. 2:6-10.) This will take an abundance of the grace of God, yet it will be worth it all in the end.
V. 2, temple (Ps. 11:4; Is. 26:21) There will be no escaping our Lord. No man can hide from him. God in His holy temple sees all the works of men, and will judge them accordingly.
The Lord from his holy temple, and from there He will send forth His judgment against His people.
Psalms 11:4 ¶ The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S
throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children
Psalms 28:2 Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.
Jonah 2:7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
Habakkuk 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.
And, of course,
Daniel 4:26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.
The general Christian idea today is that Christ must set on a literal throne in Jerusalem before He can rule the earth with His rod of iron. (Ps. 2:9, Rev. 2:27, 12:5, 19:15.) However, we see that the Lord dwells in heaven, and from there, He executes justice, judgement and even wrath, i.e., the rod of iron.
1 Kings 8:30 And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive.
"What about God dwelling with man?"
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
V. 3, is not speaking of a literal temple with a throne in it for the Lord. It is speaking about Christ indwelling the believers here on this earth:
Ver. 3. What is said here, is applicable to the church of God in this life, yea, to every true believer, whose body is said to be the temple of the Lord, and in whom the Lord dwells, according to the phrase of the Holy Ghost in many places of the New Testament; of whom it is also true, that God is with them, and will be their God; but more especially applicable to the church triumphant, as dwelling signifies a constancy of abode, and more full manifestation of a person. The state of the saints in glory is thus described by a being ever with the Lord, # 1Th 4:17 (Matthew Poole.)
Verses 3, 4, speaks of judgment. Cometh forth and will come. Micah warns that the Lord's judgment against His people's indifference toward God.
In both the Old and the New Testaments, the Lord dwelling place is in the heavens, and from there He executes His works upon this earth, even using evil and wicked rulers as the rod of His anger against His people.
high places--- the proud will be brought low.
fire-- speaking of the judgment. All will melt as wax before Him.
V. 5, He identifies their sin for which he calls them into account. Samaria was the home of the rival system of worship of the Lord God. There He was worshiped under the calves. It was a supposedly worshiped of the "one true God," but the worship was in ways not authorized by Him at Jerusalem.
Yet Jerusalem was corrupt also. Even while the true worship was continued at the temple, the people had fled to their false gods. (II Chron. 28:3, 24, 25.)
Ezekiel 16:31, the people had built their false alters at the head of every street. Furthermore, Jeremiah 32:29 tells us that the incense to Baal went up from the roofs of the houses.
First, Samaria was worshiping Jehovah God in a corrupt way, that worship being in the wrong place and under the calves.
Second, Jerusalem kept the true worship going the temple, the sacrifices, the incense burning, &c. Yet all the while, the people had their false gods on each street, and their incense to the false gods ascended up from each home. Their outward, public actions professed service to the Lord God at the temple, yet their walk in the street and their home was service to false gods.
Third, God is going to judge both Samaria and Jerusalem.
The picture here is God himself coming down and walking physically upon the earth in judgment. But this is not at all what is meant. We know both from prophecy and history that he sent heathen nations against Samaria and against Jerusalem to accomplish this judgment. (e.g., Isa. 10:5, 6; 37:26; Jer. 32:29, &c.)
Micah is an illustration of judgment against sin. It shows us God's principles which will last until there is no more sin. Therefore:
First, we have the sin of Samaria those who do not worship Him under His authority in accordance with His word.
It is God's judgment against the outright sin of refusing to worship him, and to serve him in the manner which he has prescribed. Now, keep in mind here that those who are not saved, those who have never been redeemed by the blood of the Lam, ARE NOT included in this judgment. Though they may have all of the outward words, signs, evidences, yet if they have not trusted Christ, they are not his.
Second, we have the sin of Jerusalem, those who do remain faithful to the outward form of worshiping the Lord in holiness.
V. 5 tells us of God's judgment against those who remain 'true' to his worship and service. They have tried to keep the temple going correctly. They have tried to keep the temple worship pure according to His word. But when they get away from the temple, or public meeting place, they have their idols and false gods parked outside. In fact, at the head of every street and in the center of their homes, they have their alters.
When one goes into their homes, they will find their false gods and alters of incense. Their religion is for the temple only. They have their sacred lives and their secular lives. Their idea of God's service is 1 or maybe 2 or more times a week, but the rest of the time, they serve Baal or self.
Remember, both Samaria and Jerusalem are God's people; they are not the Babylonians or Assyrians.
They are not those outside of the redemptive work of Christ.
They are the chosen of God.
They are the ones who are His.
We cannot overlook these with "Well, they weren't HIS people, therefore He did this because they would not turn to Him as their Redeemer." No! We are continually told that these were God's people.
One last thing. Probably the hardest of all here. The Lord didn't step down personally and physically; rather, he sent heathen nations against his people. He sent them because His people refused to serve him with an undivided heart. Traditional prophecy today looks for a physical walking of our Lord in judgment as indicated here in vv. 3, 4. Yet we are shown here that "literal judgment by the literal hand of the Lord" is not the case. The words signify something. We see here that v. 4 represents something, and that something is not a literal fire and melting. The Lord sent heathen nations to fulfill his word of judgment.
Psalms 97:5 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the
LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
Nahum 1:5 The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 ¶ Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
Zechariah 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
I find it interesting that the literalists will admit to Micah 1:3, 4 being figurative, but refuse to admit that passages like Zechariah can be figurative or spiritual.
But we can not leave these threats of doom without looking at the grace of God, Micah 5:7-15 shows me that it is his grace, "I will's" which is going to cut off the false gods in the street and homes. My hope is in the Lord and his mercy and grace.
v. 6. The judgment came first to Samaria. She was first in sin, first in judgment. Also her judgment should have called Judah to repentance, but it didn't.
Now a couple of things: first, "like a vineyard."
First, notice here that the call is not for a total ruin. Out of the complete judgment came vineyards and fruitful fields. The busy streets of the city as well as the beautiful buildings and works of mens hands are pulled down, heaped together in piles into the valley and fruitful fields planted in their place. Where at one time people refused to give God the "fruit" of worship and service, now the "fruit" is being extracted. The very foundations are removed, and fruitful fields planted in their place. Judgment upon the works of mens hands came. Replaced by the works of God as seen in fields of vineyards. The vineyards now grew there. Thus, we see that God can bring things of beauty out of the destruction of judgment.
Second, as we have already mentioned, God himself didn't came down from heaven as the angels did at Sodom. V. 6 gives three I wills, yet the Lord God did not do it personally. He places it in the hearts of evil men to accomplish his will here on this earth. (Rev. 17:17.) We should be careful about reading to much literal interpretation into his word, and on the other hand careful about spiritualizing to much away. "I will' and he did. Assyria did this for him very willingly.
We see these 'I wills' all through the Old Testament. I believe we take to much for granted with them. Many times, we take them far to literal. One example would be Psalms 45. I believe modern theology has carried over the old Jewish traditional interpretation of it. I think it is far more 'spiritual' than modern thought would like to admit. C.H.S. viewed it as far more spiritual than it is viewed today.
V. 5, I will and He did. And those he used to do it would never admit that they were God's tool, and I'm sure that Samaria did not see God in the Assyrians as the Assyrians raped, plundered and burned Samaria. Yet God said, "i will."
Third, just because some thing does not happen as we believe it should or according to our interpretation of Scriptures, does not mean God did not fulfill his word. We can be assured, either His word has been, is or will be fulfilled. We may not know how, when or where until we see Jesus.
Observe Luke 24:44, 45. It clearly points out that all of the law, prophets and the psalms are fulfilled in Christ. All that is left to be fulfilled is the delivering up of the kingdom by the KING to the Father and the last judgment. Or maybe we should say, 'at' the last judgment. (1 Cor. 15:24.)
Micah's "I wills" shows us that God's promises do not have to 'work out' or come to pass as they seem to read or as seems best in our reasoning for them to be fulfilled. God is not bound by traditional interpretation.
Fourth, is this why Judah, Jerusalem, could not or did not 'look and learn?' They did not see the prophecies come to pass as it seemed to say or they thought they should, therefore they did not pay any attention to them. A good example would be the USSR today. God promises judgment against sin. Yet because Russia hates God so much, the average Western Christian cannot see the warning of God to repent as Russia rises to the place of the number one military power in the world. Since putting this together, the USSR had "fallen apart." But we can be assured that God will rase up another power to chastize His proud people when His timing is right. (July 11, 2001)
I think scripture and history are clear either His people quite playing at Christianity or judgment will certainly come.
Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Is there another judgment coming before he moves in the hearts of his people? Will he move before it comes? Into what period of time are passages such as Micah 5:7-15, 7:15-20 placed? Every prophet has such passages that promise great physical blessings yet to come. The Psalms are full of them. Moses scattered them out throughout his five books also. Only God knows how and when these will take place. Only he knows his timetable on these. All we know is enough to enable us to effectively please him.
Micah 1:7, the idols which God's people served are going to be utterly destroyed. Notice all. Three time in v. 7, God uses all. You would think he was trying to get a point across that all was going to be removed or destroyed.
"--hire --she gathered --etc." Samaria served her idols. Actually, Samariah did not serve "idols" ; rather, she served the Lord God in the wrong manner. Her's was a corrupt method of worshiping and serving the Lord, and God considered it idol worship. If we do not serve him in his way under his authority, it is idol worship. Samaria's false worship started with Jeroboam at Samaria, so his people would not have to go to Jerusalem to worship God.
Certainly, no one can deny that here is a profit to be made in compromise. But compromise, even in the smallest area, is whoredom, and the gain which is accumulated in that compromise is identified as "the hire of an harlot." And the more attractive an harlot is, the more hire she will receive.
A church or a Christian can see "gain" in compromise with the state or with evil. But the problem arises because we do see 'gain', or increase, in the compromise, we feel that God is in it. Because his people prosper in the compromised area, they believe they have God's blessing.
Jeroboam's compromise, sin, at Samaria seemed to prosper for hundreds of years, so they saw no reason to turn from it, and worship the true God truly at Jerusalem.
Fresh on my mine (7/8/87) is a conversation with a well known pastor of our area. He showed me, and told me of the prosperity (both in numbers and in finances) which he had enjoyed over the past years, which he, of course, attributed to God. Now, I have no way of knowing what is behind the scenes there with his church, so I have no way of knowing this. If he is incorporated, he has compromised the authority over his church. His 'great works' and prosperity which has come his way has not been gained under the authority of the Lord God. The prosperity which he is enjoying therefore would be the "hire of an harlot."
Prosperity does not mean we are right with God. Neither prosperity in numbers nor finances. Only God's word determines if we are right with God. Jeroboam's church at Samaria was prosperous, having larger crowds than did the church at Jerusalem (ten tribes vs. two). They had the money, yet by denying God's authority over them, they served their idols. Any time we deny God's authority (even in our good works), we serve idols.
God hep us to realize that money and numbers do not mean we are a success in God's eyes. These prophets clearly show us that there can be prosperity in compromise. We look at the wicked and claim Psalms 37 and 73, saying that their prosperity isn't of God. Yet we look at a child of God doing something in the name of God, and we see him prosper, we are prone to say, "Look at how God has blessed him. He must be right with God."
Certainly, his blessing could be from God, who gave it strictly in His mercy, but the bulk of Scripture points to the prosperity being, "the hire of an harlot."
God, through Micah here, clearly tells us there is profit in compromise. There is profit in serving other gods, which is called idolatry. Micah is written to God's people, not to the heathen.
Those pastors who look at their prosperity in numbers or finances and say, "God is surely with us" need to get their heads in the book and into the inner workings of their churches, and see if it is built on the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is profit in compromise. We see it all around us. There is profit in whoredoms, serving other gods. But there is also judgment in compromise.
Notice, the profit which they fainted from their compromise is going to go to another people who serve their false god, Assyria. The hire that God's people got from serving Jeroboam's false worship is going to be given to Assyria. The false gods of Assyria are going to have the victory over Jeroboam's religion.
Now, I believe we are seeing this very thing today. God's people have prospered in their compromise on God's authority. God is raising up the heathens who are taking this prosperity away from them. The Humanist, the Socialist, the Marxist, the woods is full of this God hating crowd and God is going to perform his "I will's" against His people who refuse to glorify him as God over his church (God as God).
The prosperity which they have gained in this compromise will go to these other false gods. Any hope, of course, repent and return to glorifying God as God over our lives, worship and service of our God.
God help us to get to the place where we can get to the place where we can look past numbers, offerings, buildings, traditions and a whole list of other things and honestly examine his word to see if we are right with him in every area.
Have we compromised? If so, we are reaping "The hire of an harlot," and we will also reap the reward of an harlot from God. Prosperity is here, but judgment is called for, and God's people just cannot believe there is judgment because there is prosperity. The human mind has a hard time grasping that there is prosperity in compromise, but there is.
Keep in mind that Samaria refused to glorify God as God (Jeroboam's sin), yet in her judgment we see a vineyard yielding fruit. Out of judgment comes fruit, but how much better would be fruit to start with?
Furthermore, prosperity does not mean the plan of salvation is right, nor any of the rest of the foundation building blocks. Only the word of God can make those determinations.
V. 8, describes the mourning that the people will do because of the judgment, although this sounds more like Micah himself doing the mourning. If so, this would show that even though he has spoken hard against sin, he has done it out of a tender heart. The results come to pass as he warns, yet rather than saying, "I told you so," he wails and howls. He mourns over them.
V. 9, Her wound is incurable, not because God could not cure, but He would not. He would not cure because Israel would not repent and turn from sin there is a Physician, but they refused to go to Him and follow His orders..
Judah had the same problem. Soon after Sameria and the ten tribes were destroyed, Sennacherib laid seige to Jerusalem. But he was unable to take the city. Judgment came to Judah, even right to the gate of Jerusalem, II Ki. 18:13. Jerusalem lasted another 14 years. Which would show us that God gives plenty of opportunity to repent. He holds back judgment as long as he can to give people the chance to change.
V. 10, at Gath, the home of Goliath. Micah quotes David of 2 Samuel 1:20. Don't tell others of God's chastening hand, or His enemies will rejoice. Don't wash your dirty laundry where others can see it.
Roll thyself in the dust. When judgment is seen and Sennacherib is at the door, the best thing one can do is roll in the dust that is, humble yourself before the God of Judgment.
V. 12, for the inhabitant of Maroth wanted carefully for good; but evil came down from the Lord---"
This is the only place the word Maroth is used. The meaning of the name is bitterness or rebellion. This town or location is probably used in this text because of the word's meaning. If the meanings are right, look at what this verse says.
The people who lived in "bitterness" or "rebellion" expected God to do them good. Instead of the good they expected, judgment came.
Observe how this applies today: The average "Christian" has been convinced (willingly, I might add), that he does not need to obey God's law-word, for His law does not apply for us today. It has been done away with, and now we only do what we are "convicted" over. "I am saved and that is all that matters." Because he is 'saved' he expects good from God. Because he is a child of the king, he expects blessings from the king. (Remember Amnon, King David's son. He demanded that his lusts be fulfilled because he was a son of the king.)
The child of God expects blessings simply because he is a child of God, and he overlooks the rebellion in his heart. Rather than blessing, evil came down from the Lord. Take this with v. 9 and we see that this evil was not complete destruction at this time. The sparing from total destruction was meant to call them to repentance, but rather than them repenting, far to many times they see this as a sign that everything is okay. They only become more hardened in their sin. (Cf., Romans 2.)
V. 13, Lachish was destroyed by the Israelites, and became one of the strongest fortresses of Judah under Rehoboam. Lachish lay close to Israel, and was evidently the entering place of sin from Israel into Judah. Being the leader in sin, Lachish will be the leader in judgment.
Note: The Lord knows where to place the blame for sin, and He will judge accordingly.
V. 14, God's people, Israel, will try to purchase help from Moreshethgath (Micha's birth place, and probably a suburb of Gath), but to no avail. They will hope in Achzib (falsehood, or lie), but that will fail also.
Observe: There are many things offered to God's people to spare them of God's judgment against sin, but they are all Achzib, a lie. God's people hope in anything to avoid God's judgment, except repent and return to Him they were not about to give up their calves, though they knew the calves were wrong. How like human nature. We would many times rather horribly perish in our sins than to admit sin, and repent and return to Him.
Micah 1:15, an heir, a legal term denoting the proper division of property among the legal heirs (an illegitimate child could not be an heir). Mareshah means "possession," and Israel had fallen heir to this "possession" when it was given the land by God. But now because of sin, God was giving the "possession" to another nation, Assyria. Just as a man can pass his "possessions" on to his heirs according to his desires, God can leave His "possession" to whomsoever He pleases. And fighting over who owns the inheritance is not uncommon, though the owner made it clear to whom passed it on.
For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. (1 Cor. 10:26, Ps. 24:1.)
Adullam had been one of the royal cities of the Canaanites. Not far from Gath, it had been the scene of David's memorable victory over Goliath. (1Sa. 17:2.) It was one of the towns which Rehoboam fortified against Egypt. (2 Ch. 11:7.) At this place is a hill some 500 feet high pierced with numerous caverns, in one of which David gathered together "every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented". (1Sa 22:2.) Here in v. 15, it is called "the glory of Israel."
First, no piece of land belongs to any people; it all belongs to God. And thus Canaan, the promised land, never belonged to Israel. Israel was simply a steward for a time of a piece of property that belonged to someone else (as we all are, and that owner is not the State).
Second, because the land belongs to God, He can and does give it to whomsoever He will, and no man can say "What doest thou?" (Dan. 4:17, 25, 35, Job 9:12.)
Third, though God had given the land to Israel, He was now sending another heir to possess it, the Assyrians in this case.
Fourth, no place nor nation is "sacred" to the Lord God. He sent the new heir to Adullam, the glory of Israel. It is significant that the location being passed down to the new heir is Adullam, the place where David's glorious "reign" started. Though this was not where he was anointed, this is the place he came into public notice when he killed Goliath. This is also the place where men started gathering to him.
V. 15, He warned the people through His prophet that He was bringing the next legal heir to the property to take possession of it, but Israel still refused to heed the warning. So He passed it on, taking it from His people, and giving it to the pagans. The new heirs of the land had to throw Israel off the land. (See Is. chapter 10.)
There are those who say that God gave the land of Palestine as an everlasting possession to Israel. But here we are clearly told that the land belongs to God, and Israel lost the inheritance because of sin. God then dispossessed the faithless people, and HE MADE another nation, a pagan nation, the legal heir. (Did God violate His own law of inheritance when He made a pagan nation legal heir to His property?)
V. 16, Micah seem to be calling for the whole land of Judah to weep and mourn for those who are taken into captivity.
Delicate children are not used to the hard bondage that they will face as a result of sin. They have been spoiled by the ease of life, as their parents enjoyed the benefits and blessings of God, with no thought of the results of their sins.