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Bible

Understanding

Made Easy

Micah

Introduction

  • Micah was God’s prophet from the city of Moresheth-gath in the Southern Kingdom of Judah (Micah 1:14). 

  • He spoke God’s Word to both the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah (Dehoff, 1989). 

  • Remember, Samaria is the capital of the Northern Kingdom and Jerusalem is the capital of the Southern Kingdom (Micah 1:1). 

  • Micah’s prophetic ministry was during the reigns of three kings of Judah: (1) Jotham; (2) Ahaz; and (3) Hezekiah (Micah 1:1).

Micah Is Disturbed By The Coming Judgment Upon The Northern Kingdom of Israel

  • In Micah 1, God is saying that He will judge the Northern Kingdom (i.e. Samaria) for their idolatry and wipe idolatry out of the land (Micah 1:5-7). 

  • Micah felt deep emotional sorrow for the news that the Northern Kingdom would be judged by God (Micah 1:8). 

  • This is the sign of a pure heart in a leader. 

  • We are to love the people that we lead no matter what they do to us. 

  • Sometimes, the more love one sheds upon people, the less he/she is loved, but love anyway even when it is not returned. 

  • The Apostle Paul went through this dilemma as an example for us as church leaders (2 Corinthians 12:15).

  • Bible school teachers, ministers, and elders in the church should feel a sense of sorrow when the people have gotten off track morally. 

  • This is the motivation of good church leaders in the Christian church today. 

  • That is, we should be concerned with the spiritual welfare of all that we lead to keep them in fellowship (i.e. peaceful unity) with God (Isaiah 59:2; 1 Peter 3:12). 

  • This is the thrust of our Biblical teaching (2 Timothy 3:16-17)! 

  • All spiritually minded people, which the church’s leaders must be, should be in the mindset of restoring the fallen Christians back to God with a gentle technique (Galatians 6:1). 

  • Teach the Word of God in its entirety and even when the audience does not want to hear it, because the Word of God corrects us and brings us back into a right relationship with God as it convicts us and causes us to change (i.e. repent) (2 Corinthians 7:10). 

  • Church leader, love the ones that you lead by being concerned and affected by their spiritual health issues! 

  • Also, do not neglect to address these issues as well in love and gentleness.

Both Kingdoms Were Involved In Idolatry

  • Returning to Micah, unfortunately, the Southern Kingdom of Judah was also involved in idolatry (Micah 1:9).

  • It is a shame, but the Jews of both kingdoms (Northern and Southern) would not abandon their false gods!

God Indicts The Northern Kingdom Regarding Their Sins

  • Micah 2 is a prophecy against the Northern Kingdom of Israel for their sins. 

  • Some of these sins included: (1) Seizing by force the lands of fellow Jews against the Law of Moses that gave these lands to specific families (Micah 2:2; Numbers 27:1-9) (Thompson, 1995); (2) desiring false prophecies of prosperity through false prophets (Micah 2:11); and (3) taking even the clothing of the poor where the Law of Moses says that if anyone gives his garment as a pledge, it must be returned by sun down (Micah 2:8; Exodus 22:26) (Coffman, 1986). 

  • By contrast, God shows the oppressive Jews of the Northern Kingdom that He was going to allow their fields to be taken by force as well, but obviously, this would be done by the Assyrian nation (Micah 2:4). 

  • The Northern Kingdom Jews are told by God that they cannot stay in the land which infers that the captivity was coming as punishment from God (Micah 2:10). 

  • The good news is that God would deliver them from captivity, because He said the following Words in Micah 2:12-13, which reads according to the New International Version, “12 . . . I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people. 13 One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.” 

  • This is, without a doubt, a reference to the future kingdom church of Jesus Christ!

  • The Northern Kingdom of Israel never returned to their land unified under a secular king. 

  • Thus, the King over God’s people could be no other than Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:14-15; Acts 2:41, 47; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:1-2, 13). 

  • This re-gathering of the children of Israel under One Head and in a single nation was started on that great Pentecost day in Acts 2 where Jews of all nations were gathered, 3,000 Jewish people were saved, and God added them to the church of Christ!

God Indicts The Rulers Of The Northern Kingdom Of Israel For Their Sins!

  • Micah 3 addressed both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of the Jews. 

  • God starts off exposing His dissatisfaction with the secular rulers of the Northern Kingdom of Jews, which means the government. 

  • God’s Word compares them to cannibals that devoured the people that they led (Micah 3:1-4). 

  • How did the rulers of the Northern Kingdom devour the people? 

  • They did it in many ways.

  • Remember, as we studied in previous books of the Bible, they would overtax them, steal their lands as Ahab did in his day via murder of its owner (1 Kings 12), and sold the poor off into slavery against the Law of Moses. 

  • Worst of all, the kings of the Northern Kingdom were notorious for being idol worshippers and their example made the Jews of the Northern Kingdom do the same. 

  • This idolatry of the Northern Kingdom kings started at the inception of the kingdom with its first king Jeroboam I (1 Kings 12:25-28) (Nave, 1995).

  • The leaders of the Northern Kingdom of Israel loved to do evil instead of good (Micah 3:2).

  • Since the U.S. gives its citizens the right to vote, the Christian people must be sure that we do our best to research candidates and elect those that will promote the Will of God. 

  • Pay attention to political debates, because they will reveal the hearts of the candidates. 

  • Nonetheless, no matter who is elected, we must pray, as Christians, they do God’s Will (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

God Indicts The False Prophets Of The Northern Kingdom Of Israel

  • As the other prophets of the Lord have done in other books of the Bible, God exposes His dissatisfaction with the false prophets of Northern Israel that misled the people by telling them that nothing bad is going to happen to them even though God says He is going to judge them (Micah 3:5). 

  • This is very destructive, because God’s Word is designed to get the people to repent and when the false prophets tell them that there are no consequences for their sinful actions, they will have no incentive to repent. 

  • Thus, God hates false doctrines because they fight against His truth and works in trying to get people to repent (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:8-9; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Matthew 15:19). 

  • Micah was a true prophet of the Lord, because He yielded to and answered the call of God to preach only truth even though it was hard messages that He had to prophesy to the Jews. 

  • Micah is a good example for church leaders, because as commonly taught in this Bible study by this author, sometimes you and I must stand alone in telling the truth. 

  • It is better to please God than man (Micah 3:8; Acts 5:29).

Both The Religious and Government Leaders Were Corrupt In the Southern Kingdom Of Judah

  • Moving forward, Micah 3:9 starts the Word of God regarding the Southern Kingdom of Judah. 

  • Their government officials were notorious for taking bribes, their religious priests were teaching for money, and the prophets were preaching for profit (Micah 3:11). 

  • Their religious and secular leaders exemplified the love of money being the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). 

  • This temptation comes to preachers of the Gospel and all Christian leaders today! 

  • Please make sure that it is the love of God being the motivating factor for our works for Him and not what we think we can gain materialistically. 

  • Otherwise, even Christian preachers and leaders will hear Jesus telling us to depart from Him at the judgment (Matthew 7:21-23). 

  • A sad part about the secular (i.e. government) and religious leaders of the Southern Kingdom of Judah was that they believed God was still with them and was going to give them prosperity and not judgment despite their hypocritical ways (Micah 3:11). 

  • God is the same in the Old Testament time period as He is in these New Testament days: willful, persistent sin separates us from Him and if we do not repent and ask Him for forgiveness, even Christians will not be saved (Isaiah 59:2; 1 Peter 3:12; Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:8-9; Matthew 7:21; Revelation 20:12-15). 

  • Micah tells the Jews of the Southern Kingdom that God was going to destroy Jerusalem despite the fact that the false prophets of Judah were falsely preaching peace and prosperity to these Jews (Micah 3:12). 

  • It is hard to say as to which destruction of Jerusalem God is referring to, because we know that Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians and also by the Romans in 70 A.D. 

  • Nonetheless, the message is clear: Jerusalem would be judged for the sins of the people of Judah.

The Coming Of The Church

  • Micah 4 is a very important chapter for the Christian, because it is a prophecy of the coming of the church of Christ. 

  • Unfortunately though, it is very misunderstood as well. 

  • The placement of Micah 4, after Micah 3 which speaks of God’s displeasure, is significant because it shows that although God can be angry, He can also be merciful. 

  • Micah 4 gives the Jews a tremendous amount of hope. 

  • We are being shown that God will be merciful to the remnant of the Jews left after the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, because Micah 4:1 says, “ . . . in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.” 

  • The “house of the Lord” and the “last days” are clues to this being prophetic language pertaining to the church of Christ that was still future in the time of Micah. 

  • How do we know this? 

  • Well, the “last days” are identified in the New Testament of the Bible as when God speaks to us through Jesus Christ, because Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds . . .”

  • Hebrews 1:1-2 identifies the last days as the times in which the church of Christ had already been established not the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. 

  • The last days began after Christ had spoken to us and from Bible history, we know that He taught us God’s ways during His earthly ministry in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all the way to His heavenly ministry as the resurrected and heavenly ascended King in the book of Revelation! 

  • The church of Christ (also known as the kingdom of God or kingdom of Christ) was established during the last days and exists during our present day (Matthew 16:16-18; Mark 9:1; Acts 2:38-41, 47; Colossians 1:1-18; Mark 15:43; Ephesians 5:5; 2 Peter 1:11). 

  • Actually, the modern-day church of Christ is actually called the “house of God” (1 Timothy 3:15).

  • Reader, you and I are living in the “last days!”

God Foretells The Inclusion Of The Non-Jewish Peoples Into the Church!

  • Moving forward, Micah 4:2 also gives the Christian a major dose of hope, because it was prophesied hundreds of years before it happened that God would include the non-Jewish people into the church, which further means that non-Jewish people would be saved as well (Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 5:23). 

  • God is foretelling the inclusion of non-Jews into the people of God as His own family contrary to some of the teachings of Jews through the centuries that believed that non-Jews would not be saved (Jacobs & Buttenwieser, 2002). 

  • Thus, it should have been no surprise to Jews or non-Jews that God was going to save both groups of faithful, obedient people that would become Christ’s followers (John 14:6).

Micah Foretells The First Preaching Of The Gospel Of Salvation In Jesus In Jerusalem

  • Micah 4:2 also is hope for the Christian because it foretells the first preaching of the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ starting at Jerusalem.

  • This is why Acts 2 is so important, because it was the inaugural day for those to obey the preaching of the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ to the world!

  • This preaching was at Jerusalem during the Pentecost! Hallelujah!

The Peace To Be Given To All Of God’s People

  • Micah 4:3-5 is most confusing for many people, because it talks about a time of peace for all nations and all men walking in obedience to God.

  • Many believe that since this is not the case today, this means that the church and the kingdom of God are not the same group of people. 

  • It has already been explained that the church and kingdom of God are the same thing. 

  • Thus, this author will not get into a lengthy discourse on the subject, but when studying a topic in the Bible, we must consider all Scriptures relating to the topic. 

  • Jesus further explained the nature of the kingdom church of Christ as it exists now. 

  • He said that it would be made up of fish of all kinds and some would be rejected (Matthew 13:47-50). 

  • This is showing that when Jesus Christ comes back the second time, He is going to clean up His kingdom church made up of people from all nations and then and only then will all men walk in the ways of the Lord and there will be complete peace among God’s people (Acts 10:35). 

  • There will be no need to cry in heaven (Revelation 21:4). 

  • When Jesus comes again, then will there be total peace and perfection of God’s people, because nothing sinful could have entrance into heaven to plague the children of God (Revelation 21:27).

Micah Foretells The Release Of The Jews Of Judah From Babylonian Captivity

  • Micah 4:10 foretells God’s mercy in releasing the Jews of Judah from the Babylonian captivity that was still in the future in relation to this prophecy.

  • God promised to make them a strong nation (Micah 4:8). 

  • Though the Jews returned to their homeland after the Babylonian captivity, the strong nation is another name for the church of Christ (1 Peter 2:9; Romans 16:16).

  • The kingdom would be restored to Jerusalem, but it was not the fleshly, carnal kingdom that the Jews expected, but the spiritual kingdom of God including mankind from all nations (Colossians 1:13; 4:11; Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27; Acts 2:38, 41, 47).

Micah Foretells The Coming Of The Savior

  • Micah 5:2 is very important to the Christian faith, because it foretells the coming of the Ruler of Israel centuries before He was born on this earth. 

  • It reads, “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.” 

  • Jesus was indeed born in the city of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-21) (Coffman, n.d.). 

  • This is why Herod, which was the ruler over the Jews during the time of Jesus Christ, wanted to kill all the first-born males in the land in order to retain his own power (Matthew 2:13). 

  • God caused Jesus to escape this slaughter by His family fleeing into Egypt (Matthew 2:13). 

  • The Bible, emphatically, tells us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in fulfillment of the Scriptures (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1).

God Shows His Love For Both The Northern Kingdom Of Israel and Southern Kingdom of Judah Historically

  • In Micah 6, God shows them His love, care, and blessings of the Jews of both kingdoms historically (Micah 6:4-5). 

  • Micah 6 is addressed to the Jews of both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms (Micah 6:1-5). 

  • God shows them that He does not want animal sacrifices to be appeased for their sins (hypocrites sacrifice to obtain a clear conscience as the Jews of both kingdoms were), but wants His people to live righteously, show compassion to others, and live in a humble, servitude way toward Him (Micah 6:6-8). 

  • Isn’t this the same way for the Christian? 

  • God does require us to give of our financial prosperity to Him, but this will never buy our salvation (2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Matthew 16:26; 1 Peter 1:18-19). 

  • Instead, He wants Christians also to live righteously (Matthew 7:21; James 2:20), be compassionate to others (Luke 6:30), and live a life of humble submission to Him (James 4:10). 

  • The Jews of both kingdoms, instead of responding with obedience to God after all of God’s blessings, responded with un-repented sin of all types and thus, God would have to come in judgment of them (Micah 6:9-16).

Micah Is Saddened Because Not One Righteous Person Could Be Found And The Coming Of The New Testament

  • Furthermore, in the last chapter of Micah, this prophet is saddened, because not one righteous person could be found among the Jews (Micah 7:1-7). 

  • The moral decay of the Jews was so bad that even each individual family among the Jews was disintegrating as children disrespected their parents (Micah 7:6). 

  • The hope of God’s forgiveness for the Jews was mentioned and closes the book in Micah 7:19-20. 

  • It reads, according to the New International Version, “19 You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. 20 You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago.”

  • As you may have noticed in many books of the Old Testament, God shows that He was going to punish the Jews of both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms, but He would not completely take His mercy away from them. 

  • He wouldsomeday forgive them of their sins and forget their sins ever more. 

  • This is a prophecy of the coming New Testament of the Bible as brought into being by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross (Hebrews 12:24; Colossians 2:14) where Jeremiah also said the same thing, which reads, “31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” 

  • This is an example of the mercy of God, because for centuries, the Jews of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms rebelled against God, but He did not wipe them out completely, but gave them a second-chance at a peaceful relationship with Him through Jesus Christ and only through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). 

  • Thus, Christian Jews will be saved (Acts 2)! 

  • The writers of the New Testament, emphatically, applied God’s forgiving and forgetting of sin to baptized believers in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 8:8-12). 

  • Even the non-Jews can share in this forgiveness and salvation (Acts 10-11).

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