The Book of Micah
Conclusion: Sinners cannot expect to rest in a land which they have polluted by their sins against God, foe He will certainly cause it to spew them out with terrible judgments. With every threatening of judgment, however, there is a promise of mercy for a remnant who will acknowledge their King and walk in His ways.
Key Word: Sore destruction, v. 10.
Strong verses: 1, 7.
Christ Seen: v.13. Christ is the King Who will, after the great Armageddon,
Introduction: In this chapter we have, I. the sins with which
the people of
Charged—covetousness and oppression, fraudulent and violent practices (v. 1, 2), dealing barbarously, even with women and children, and other harmless people (v. 8, 9). Opposition of God’s prophets and silencing them (v. 6, 7), and delighting in false prophets (v. 11). II. The judgments with which they are threatened for those sins, that they should be humbled, and impoverished (v. 3-5), and banished (v. 10). III. Gracious promises of comfort, reserved for the good people among them, in the Messiah (v. 12, 13). And this is the sum and scope of most of the chapters of this and other prophecies.
Seven sins of all
Verse 1: Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! When the morning is light, they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand.
Woe to them that devise iniquity—Who lay schemes and plans for transgressions; who make it their study to find out new modes of sinning; and make these things their nocturnal meditations, that, having fixed their plan, they may begin to execute it as soon as it is light in the morning.
Because it is in the power of their hand—they think they may do whatever they have power and opportunity to do.
They covet fields—these are the rich and mighty in the land; and, like Ahab, they will take the vineyard or inheritance of any poor Naboth on which they may fix their covetous eye; so that they take away even the heritage of the poor.
Judgment on all
Verse 3: Therefore thus saith the LORD; behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.
Just as nothing could stop
Israelfrom her evil deeds, so no one would be able to stop God from just punishment. The people would feel his oppression like a heavy yoke. They would not accept their responsibilities to God (Matt. 11:29, 30) and so would have to suffer the consequences.
Verse 4: In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! Turning away he hath divided our fields.
It is difficult to discern whether the speaker in this verse is one of the guilty exploiters or one of their captors making fun of them. It is probably best to understand this lament as being spoken by one of the corrupt landowners on behalf of his friends.
One takes up a parable against you—their enemies would laugh at the corrupt landowners because they were so proud of their strength.
Lament with a doleful lamentation—the words of this lamentation illustrate the monotonous, continuous wailing that would fill the ears of the people.
he hath changed the portion of my people—The people were angry with God for taking what had been theirs and giving it to their enemies (1:15).
Turning away he hath divided our fields—The Lord has turned from his people to their enemies, and had given those enemies what had once belonged to them. They would be sent into foreign countries and their land would be divided among the rebels.
Verse 5: Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD.
You will no more have your inheritance divided to you by lot, as it was to your fathers; ye shall neither have fields nor possessions of any kind. The prophet is speaking for God. In the congregation of the Lord—the people had no right to be angry with God for their punishment, as they had brought it upon themselves.
Sins and judgment on Jacob (2:6—11)
Verse 6: Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame.
The Israelites welcomed those who told them falsehoods, but they did not want to hear the painful truth. Because of their attitude, God was forced to give them over to their sin: “You should have listened to the prophets and you would have been saved, but you did not, so I will take them from you and leave you to your sin” (Isa. 30:10; Amos 2:12; 7:16). God always fits the punishment to the crime. The word “prophesy” literally means “drop” (Deut. 32:2; Ezek. 21:2).
Verse 7: O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? Are these his doings? Do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?
O thou that art named the house of Jacob. Called after that great and good man, and reckoned the people of God, and have the character of being religious persons; but, alas! Have but a name, and not the thing, and are the degenerate offspring of that famous patriarch:
Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened? Or "shortened" the Spirit of the Lord in his prophets, is it to be limited and restrained according to the will of men? Or, if these prophets are forbid to prophesy, and they are silenced, is not the residue of the Spirit with the Lord? Cannot he raise up others to prophesy in his name? Or is the Spirit of the Lord confined, as a spirit of prophesy, only to foretell good things, and not evil? May it not threaten with, punishment for sin, as well as promise peace and prosperity? and is it to be reckoned narrow and strait, because it now does not? The fault is not in that, but in you, who make it necessary, by your conduct, that not good, but evil things should be predicted of you:
Are these his doings? Either Jacob's doings, such things as Jacob did? Did he ever forbid the prophets of the Lord from prophesying? or did he do such things as required such menaces and threatenings as now delivered by the prophets? Or are these becoming such persons as go by his name? Or are such works as are done by you pleasing to God? Were they, no such terrible messages would be sent by his prophets: or are these the Lord's doings? Are judgments the works he is continually doing and taking delight in? Are they not his acts, his strange acts? Did you behave otherwise than you do, you would hear nothing of this kind:
Do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly? That walks in a right way, and according to the rule of the divine word, in the uprightness and integrity of his heart, aiming at the honor and glory of God in all his ways? to such a man the words of the Lord by his prophets speak good things, promise him good things here and hereafter, and do him good, exhilarate his spirits, cheer, refresh, and comfort his soul.
Verse 8: Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war.
These people were not being punished for things they had done long ago, but for things they were doing that very day. They did not just hurt those they disliked, but they even turned their backs on their friends who had never done anything to hurt them.
Verse 9: The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory for ever.
These ruthless people even took advantage of the women. And since only women are mentioned, it can be assumed that helpless widows are in mind. These money-hungry people were hurting the helpless, proving themselves corrupt and cowardly. From their children—Women and children, especially widows and orphans, were to be treated with utmost respect. However, these people had no respect for anyone.
Verse 10: Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.
Arise ye, and depart—this is no longer an exhortation to turn from their wicked ways, but a command to leave the land which they have corrupted. Canaan has not been to them what God wanted it to be. They thought that because God had promised to be with them, they were exempt from his punishment.
Shall destroy you—they had polluted and defiled the land; now they had to face the consequences.
Verse 11: If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.
The meaning is: If a man who professes to be divinely inspired do lie, by prophesying of plenty, etc., then such a person shall be received as a true prophet by this people. It frequently happens that the Christless worldling, who has got into the priest’s office for a maintenance, and who leaves the people undisturbed in their unregenerate state, is better received than the faithful pastor, who proclaims the justice of the Lord, and the necessity of repentance and forsaking sin, in order to their being made partakers of that holiness without which no man shall see God.
Second Advent of the Messiah (2:12—13)
Verse 12: I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.
This verse marks a sudden transition from terrible threats to a promise of blessing. After God has punished the people thoroughly, he will gather them from the lands of exile and give them back their land with a new and happy life.
All of thee—this does not refer to the restoration from Babylon, because that was an incomplete restoration. This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled (Rom. 11:26).
Jacob . . . Israel—It
will include the ten tribes (Hos.
As the sheep of Bozrah—a region famous for its
rich pastures (2 Kings
3:4). This was a city of
Verse 13: The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them and the LORD on the head of them.
“The Messiah will lead you back into your land and you will not have to leave
it again. God is taking your land away from you now, but later he will restore
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