The Book of Micah
"But, as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior...."
(Micah 7:7)

J. Deering,

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2. Micah's Ministry

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The Book Of Micah
Introduction to The Book of Micah
J. Deering,

Name: Micah (Who is like Yahweh?)

When: 730 B.C. (begins ministry), Contemporary of Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos.

To Whom: Samaria (Capital of Israel, Northern Kingdom) and Jerusalem (Capital of Judah, Southern Kingdom).

Message #1: The Rich oppress the Poor, Evictions an property stealing, The market place full of corruption, The rulers did not uphold justice for all, Idolatry among the Israelites. God said the result would be the imminent devastation of Judah (3:5-12).

Message #2: Hope, God would restore a remnant, A new Just and Righteous ruler would come (Matthew said Micah was talking of Jesus Christ).

Micah carried out his ministry during the reigns of Jotham (750-731 B.C.), Ahaz (743-715 B.C.), and Hezekiah (728-686 B.C.). He is unique as a writing prophet, being the only one whose ministry was directed to both the northern and southern kingdoms (1:1). The Assyrian crisis brought days of unrest, insecurity, and hardship for the people of the land. Accompanying the political unrest was the low spiritual and moral situation in the lives of the people.

Micah addressed problems of the common people. He lay bare Israel's sins, presenting God's complaints against His people. Ellisen observes, "While Isaiah depicts the social crimes of his time from the standpoint of the townsman in the capital, Micah shows us them from the standpoint of the suffering countryman" (Social not Political). The societal sins Micah rebuked are basically those against the common man. These include plundering and oppressing the poor and defenseless (2:2, 8-9), perversion of justice through bribery and dishonest business practices (3:11; 6:11; 7:3), idolatry and idolatrous practices (1:7; 5:13-14), violence and bloodshed (6:12; 7:2), and empty religious formalism (6:6-7).

Like the Prophet Isaiah, Micah offered a twofold solution to the moral and spiritual problems of society. The first is to "do well." God wanted the people to yield to the requirements of true religion, summed up so well in Micah 6:8, "to do justice, to love kindness." The second aspect of the solution is the coming of the Messiah.

Micah understood that individuals are responsible for providing social justice. But he recognized that the Lord is the One who will ultimately execute justice and see that relationships in society are arranged according to His divine norm. The execution of justice will take place during the millennium when the word of the Lord will go forth from Jerusalem (4:2). Messiah will bring peace (v. 3), provide security (v. 4), and free Israel from idolatry (v. 5). The messianic kingdom, by virtue of Christ's rule, will yield social justice as its fruit.

Outline of Micah

I. The Superscripton, 1:1

II. A Message of Destruction for Samaria and Judah, 1:2-2:13

A. The Revelation of the coming Judgment, 1:2-16
B. The Reasons for the Coming Judgment, 2:1-13

III. The Message of Doom and Deliverance, 3:1-5:15

A. Doom: The Coming Judgment, 3:1-12

1. Judgment on the leaders, 3:1-4
2. Judgment on the false prophets, 3:5-8
3. Judgment on Jerusalem, 3:9-12

B. Deliverance: The Coming Kingdom, 4:1-8

1. The glories of the kingdom, 4:1-8
2. The suffering that precedes the kingdom, 4:9-5:1

C. Deliverance: The Coming King, 5:2-15

1. His first coming, 5:2-3
2. His second coming, 5:4-15

IV. A Message of Denunciation, 6:1-7:10

A. god's first Indictment, 6:1-5
B. Israel's First Reply, 6:6-8
C. God's Second Indictment, 6:9-16
D. Israel's Second Reply, 7:1-10

V. Epilogue: Blessings for Israel, 7:11-20