What doth the Lord require of thee (2)
Judgment and Hope
“He has showed you, O man,
what is good.
And what does the Lord
require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your
The focus is on God’s hatred of sin, but also his promise to rescue those who would change their hearts and actions. The Bethlehem-born Messiah will be humankind’s deliverer.
Background and Purpose
The book of Micah is a collection of speeches. Micah forecasts about God’s impending judgment on Judah’s sins (chapters 1–3), and graphically describes both their sins and punishment. Micah goes on to prophesy a bright future after this judgment (chapters 4–5). The concluding two chapters are in the form of the Lord’s controversy with his people and the mercy he finally has on them.
Micah was a prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah. He is mentioned in Jeremiah 26:18, “Micah of Moresheth [in southern Judah] prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah.” Apart from that and what we learn about him from the book of Micah we know nothing about him.
We ascertain from the opening verse of Micah that the prophet prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. This makes Micah a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah. Micah must have prophesied between 750 BC and 686 BC.
1. Judgment against Israel and Judah 1:1–3:12
2. Hope for Israel and Judah 4:1–5:15
3. God’s case against Israel 6:1–16
4. Micah’s sad poem and a hopeful future 7:1–20
Christ in Micah
• Micah contains one of the clearest and most important prophecies about Jesus:
“ ‘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
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.’ ”