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An Introduction To Micah

Majoring In The Minor Prophets  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Greeting...
The theme continues to night with “Majoring In The Minor Prophets.”
We are going to be looking today at the great book of Micah.

The Historical Background Information

The author

Micah’s name means “Who is like Jehovah” and it is interesting that Micah ends his book with very similar language as his name.
Micah 7:18 ESV
18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.
We are not given much information concerning Micah’s upbringing or occupation before he became a prophet for God.
We know he was from the small down of Moresheth which was on the border of Judah and Philistia. This would put it about 23 miles south west of Jerusalem.
Micah 1:1 ESV
1 The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 26:18 ESV
18 “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and said to all the people of Judah: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “ ‘Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.’
Mic
Micah is from the town Moresheth-gath (, & )
This town is about 22 to 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem. (See map)
We are told by Micah that he preached with power.
Micah
Micah 3:8 ESV
8 But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.
Whereas Hosea was know as the prophet of love or Amos as the prophet of international justice, Micah is known as the “prophet of the poor.”

The date

Micah was prophesying during the reign of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
It was during the reign of the Southern Kingdom kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
Micah 1:1 ESV
1 The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
As we see, he was preaching to Samaria and the Southern Kingdom of Judah concerning the things “he saw” in the cities of Samaria and Jerusalem.
ESVThe word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
ESV“Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and said to all the people of Judah: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “ ‘Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.’ Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Did he not fear the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, and did not the Lord relent of the disaster that he had pronounced against them? But we are about to bring great disaster upon ourselves.”
seems to indicate that Samaria had not yet fallen to the Assyrians in 722 BC.
It is very likely Micah prophesied before Samaria’s fall in 722 BC.This means the book was probably written between 735 and 700 BC
All of this tells us that the book of Micah should be dated around 735 B.C.
A few things to note...
This means Micah preached during the same time as the great prophet Isaiah.
This means Micah witnessed the fall of his brethren in the Northern Kingdom to Assyria in 722 BC.

The context

During the days of king Uzziah or Azariah, the Southern Kingdom was extremely prosperous materially speaking because Uzziah loved the LORD ().
Some, I read, suggested that God’s people hadn’t seen such prosperity since the days of Solomon.
Uzziah’s success on the battlefield, his reviving of commerce and agriculture helped secure the nations great wealth ().
Unfortunately for king Uzziah, pride became his downfall ().
So much so that he thought he could burn incense to the LORD in the temple but was struck with leprosy. He had it for the rest of his life.
His son Jotham succeeded him and we read in that Jotham went back to serving the LORD faithfully.
This is where we find the prophet Micah come into the picture, during a time of great prosperity and the king of Judah leading the people righteously.
However, like so many of the kings, Jotham’s son Ahaz did not follow in his father’s footsteps and serve the LORD.
In fact, during the reign of Ahaz, he imitated the kings of Israel and served the Baals.
During Ahaz’s reign we even read of him offering his children as sacrifices to the false god Baal ().
It’s at this time that Judah was threatened by an alliance between the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Syria.
The Southern Kingdom of Judah would not join Israel and Syria in their rebellion of Assyria ().
Ahaz instead appealed to Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria, for help ().
It’s with all this chaos going on when Ahaz’s son Hezekiah takes over.
King Hezekiah’s reforms were massive after all the harm and spiritual degradation his father had put God’s people through ().
During Hezekiah’s reign is when both Sargon II and Sennacharib, kings of Assyria, tried to invade Judah and destroy Jerusalem ().
Had it not been for Hezekiah’s reforms the Southern Kingdom might have fallen to the Assyrian’s as well.
All this contextual history gives us the backdrop to the book of Micah.
Despite Judah’s prosperity going back all the way to king Uzziah, Judah was morally bankrupt.
Micah witnessed Samaria and Jerusalem’s rulers and wealthy “enlarged their possessions” by driving small land-owners from their property and taking their homes.
Micah 2:1–2 ESV
1 Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand. 2 They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.
Micah 2:2 ESV
2 They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.
These rulers and wealthy robbed the poor of their homes as well.
Micah 2:9 ESV
9 The women of my people you drive out from their delightful houses; from their young children you take away my splendor forever.
Micah 2:8–9 ESV
8 But lately my people have risen up as an enemy; you strip the rich robe from those who pass by trustingly with no thought of war. 9 The women of my people you drive out from their delightful houses; from their young children you take away my splendor forever.
They did this by metaphorically “cannibalizing” anyone that borrowed from them.
Micah 3:1–3 ESV
1 And I said: Hear, you heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel! Is it not for you to know justice?— 2 you who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin from off my people and their flesh from off their bones, 3 who eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones in pieces and chop them up like meat in a pot, like flesh in a cauldron.
Micah 3:
Micah witnessed Judges being bribed () and Merchants cheating their customers ().
He saw Priests speak for hire only () and people could buy what the prophets would teach ().
As far as Micah was concerned not one righteous man was to be found in Judah, and the “most upright” were no better than a thorn hedge.
Micah 7:2–4 ESV
2 The godly has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among mankind; they all lie in wait for blood, and each hunts the other with a net. 3 Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well; the prince and the judge ask for a bribe, and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul; thus they weave it together. 4 The best of them is like a brier, the most upright of them a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen, of your punishment, has come; now their confusion is at hand.

Summery

Summery

Despite Hezekiah’s reforms the hearts of the people were wholly engrossed in evil and wickedness.
This is why Micah was asked by God to be “the prophet to the poor.”

The Outline

Judgment coming to Samaria and Judah (1-2)

Micah 1:1 ESV
1 The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Present destruction and future restoration (3-5)

Micah 3:6 ESV
6 Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without divination. The sun shall go down on the prophets, and the day shall be black over them;
Micah 3:
Micah 4:1 ESV
1 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it,

God’s vs His people (6-7)

Micah 6:1–2 ESV
1 Hear what the Lord says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. 2 Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against his people, and he will contend with Israel.

Conclusion

Isaiah 59:1–2 ESV
1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; 2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Philippians 2:6–7 ESV
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
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