Click here for the reading today — I have presented the NIV and The Message — you might want to read it in The Message to put a new light on it. <<<smile>>>>>
There are 4 sections to this book:
A message to the PEOPLE concerning the sin in Israel
A message to the RULERS concerning the Coming of Christ
A message to the CHOSEN PEOPLE about God’s argument
Essentials of REAL religion
We are reading in the same time period as Isaiah, actually it is assumed that Micah and Isaiah knew each other. Remember Micah was no one special in human terms. He did his job as he was meant to do…..and one day God picks him to go speak the truth to Israel and Judah. Micah is speaking to Samaria (the capital of Israel, the Northern Kingdom) and Jerusalem (the capital of Judah, the Southern Kingdom). Two main sins addressed here: the perversion of worship and injustice towards others, mainly the poor. So Micah is telling them they are GUILTY of these two main sins!! HE also tells them their future will be bleak if they do not turn back to God….they will be exiled and into captivity. God’s Word is as true today as it was the day it was first pinned. Regardless of the age/era we are in God, will allow oppression for social injustice, unfaithfulness, dishonesty, and idolatry,
Biblical commentaries say that Micah most likely witnesses the fall of Israel in 722 BC. Israel’s fall came first because they refused to turn to the Lord. Their KINGS were evil and wanted NOTHING to do with God. Again… it shows us the important of having godly rulers/leaders and if they are not……PRAY all the MORE!!! Judah did not fall until 586 BC!! Can you see how long God tried to get HIS people’s attention to come back to HIM before they fell into captivity and went into exile?? This shows me how gracious and merciful God is…..in presenting opportunities to ALL to return to HIM….then and now!!!
Chapters 3-5 delivers the message to the rulers/the leaders (OUCH!!) Micah was called the prophet of HOPE. He always looked beyond the punishment to the Glory of God.
Chapters 4 and 5 say what will happen that in the last days …. COULD WE BE LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS before another captivity? Many biblical commentaries believe Micah is speaking of the 2nd coming of the Lord. Then in Chapter 5 A Direct Prophecy of the Messiah’s birthplace! This is a 700 year old Prophecy!
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times…. He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
Chapter 6 – 7. After God’s case against Israel what do they say “can we bring offerings”. They STILL DON’T GET IT! They were mostly a wealthy society, there was no middle class, and they were treating the poor, sick, and needy as if they were invisible!!! They felt their “offerings” of money would get God off their backs!!! Ummmmm…. HELLO……You can’t get into God’s Graces with deeds, money, acts, or ANYTHING except a personal relationship with HIM, with JESUS!!! Yet the people of Israel and Judah felt everything would be “hunky dory” if they did good deeds or threw their money that way. EVEN today, we often can do the same things, think the same things……but it is not the TRUTH!! Micah answers them with the TRUTH. He says in 6:8 “To act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Something to meditate on.
The book ends with what is TRUE Religion? Matthew describes it best and it matches what the Lord just said:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have NEGLECTED the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”
God DESIRES that we have a PERSONAL relationship with HIM through Jesus Christ!! We have ALL made CHOICES that were outside HIS perfect will and separated us from HIM (sin). We also have ALL lived with the CONSEQUENCES of our sin. NO SIN is so bad that God will not forgive us. However, once we commit the sin…..the consequences do not disappear. If you need a perfect example of this … Remember King David…he looked at Bathsheba as she bathed on her rooftop in the middle of the night. HE WANTED her so he sent someone for her. When she came to him they had an affair. Bathsheba was married to one of David’s loyal men!! Bathsheba became pregnant with David’s child. David KNEW and tried to cover it up by URGING Bathsheba’s husband to leave the army for one night and sleep with his wife. Bathsheba’s husband was so loyal and said he could not leave the men he fought with. David again tried to cover it up and conspired to kill her husband….by leaving him alone on the front lines….premeditated murder!!! David and Bathsheba marry, have a child, and the child dies. Nathan had to get David’s attention. David repented and turned back to The Lord…..and God lovingly took him; but as we saw in his life…his lust, his first son with Bathsheba died, conflict with his sons….the consequences still came to pass. YET through all of this …David is known “as a man after God’s own heart!”
The important thing is that God WANTS us to TURN back to HIM and REPENT…as David did. He loves us so deeply that HE WARNS us of things we are about to do or have done wrong and what their consequences will be. Sin is fun (if that stumps you …think about it!!) The consequences of our sin are very painful. but in the end when we totally believe in HIM and turn to God and surrender ALL to HIM…..we KNOW HIS love for us!!
He has forgiven us. He loves us. When we confess and repent, He is not sitting in anger pointing a finger at me saying “remember when you did….” Instead HE freely gives us HIS grace, mercy, compassion, love….and we can crawl in the the lap of our Abba Father and feel HIS peace…not condemnation!!