Updated: May 15, 2021
Welcome to the study of the Old Testament book of Micah! This will be an in-depth study of a book which captures the 8th Century B.C. time period in which Israel and Judah were shaken to the core by the global terror of the Assyrian War Machine. This was a result of God’s judgement upon His people for the social sins of oppression, injustice, and corruption perpetrated upon the poor and for their spiritual sins of idolatry and rebellion against God. Political leaders and false teachers alike led the people into grave sins and shipwrecked the theocracy meant to be a light to the nations. Instead, they followed after the gods of those nations garnering judgement of Yahweh.
God raised up several prophet’s during the 8th Century to call His people to repent and to warn of coming judgement. It’s been rightly said that these prophets “came to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comforted.” This is where we see the great prophet Isaiah and the fiery prophet, Micah thunder upon Israel’s national stage. Although very little is known of Micah, we see his impact a hundred years later as the prophet Jeremiah quotes him. This signals his national recognition as a prophet of God and the relevance of his lasting message of repentance.
The politcal landscape was littered by internal and external tension and violence. The civil war between Israel and Judah erupted as each region sought to alleviate the choak hold of the Assyrian Empire. The power and swiftness of this empire cannot be exaggerated nor the destruction it left in its wake. They obliterated the Northern kingdom into oblivion and had it not been for Yahweh’s intervention, Jerusalem would have fallen as well.
In this study we come to know and understand that God hates idolatry, injustice, rebellion, breach of covenant, empty ritualism, and sin of any kind. Yet, he delights in pardoning those who repent. In our secularized Christianity which over emphasizes God’s love at the cost of His holiness—we can refamiliarize ourselves with an understanding of God which holds both attributes in tension and better reflects the witness of the full Canon of Scripture. In that, we may avoid devising a god of our own imagination, a god after the image of our synchronistic culture, or an anthropocentric god. In short, we hope to avoid the same mistake as did Israel and Judah during their day.
With such a serious message of judgement and warnings can we detect a hopeful message in this book? Good question! Yes, indeed we will encounter a hopeful message as each of the three sections speak of judgement and then a coming salvation. The God who punishes sin also promises to deliver and restore and bless His people again. The deliverance is indeed Jesus Christ!
In our current forecast of political and social tensions, a global pandemic, uncertainties of every kind, and lingering questions as to how all this relates to our faith—this study could not be more timely and helpful to the body of Christ. As God’s people, we must repent from putting our trust in governments, material possessions, ourselves, and others and commit ourselves not to the comforts of this world but to knowing, loving, and doing the will of God. May we receive a freshness from God’s word as we study over the coming months and may we grow in knowledge, love, and obedience of the Lord.
I invite you to read, study, and ask questions as this will only make this a richer study. I am excited to go on this journey with you!