God is witness against evil
1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. 2 Hear, all you people; listen, O earth, and all that is in it: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. 3 For, behold, the LORD comes out of his place. He will come down, and walk on the high places of the earth. 4 And the mountains will be melted under him, the valleys will be split like wax before the fire, and as waters that are poured down a steep place.
- The name ‘Micah (mi-ka-yah)’ means ‘who is like Jehovah?’
- Imagine being sued in the court of heaven and the witness against you is God Himself!
- Micah 7:18 Who is a God like you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He does not keep his anger forever, because he delights in mercy.
- 2Samuel 7:22 You are great, O LORD God: for there is none like you, neither is there any God beside You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
5 All this is for the rebellion of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what are the high places of Judah? Are they not Jerusalem? 6 Therefore I will make Samaria like a heap of ruins in open country, places for planting for a vineyard: and I will pour down its stones into the valley, and I will lay bare its foundations. 7 And all its carved images will be beaten to pieces, and all her earnings will be burned with the fire, and I will make all of her idols desolate: for she collected them as a harlot’s wages, and to the earnings of a harlot they will return.
- High places were beautiful groves on the mountains and hills of Israel made for their idols.
- Idols lead people to eternal death.
- They are from evil; the source of evil is Satan himself.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
8 Because of this I must wail and howl, I must go stripped and naked: I must make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls. 9 For her wound is incurable; it has come to Judah; he has come to the gate of my people, to Jerusalem.
- The wound is only incurable when people won’t return to God, their Maker.
- The northern kingdom of Israel had golden calves placed at the northern and southern ends of their land.
- Idolatry had spread to Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel with Jerusalem as the capital city.
10 Do not declare it at Gath; do not weep at all: house of dust roll yourself in the dust. 11 Go your way, you dwellers of Saphir, having your shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan did not come out in the mourning of Beth-ezel; he will receive his standing from you. 12 For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD to the gate of Jerusalem. 13 O inhabitants of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in you. 14 Therefore you will give presents to Moresheth-gath: the houses of Achzib/lies will be a lie to the kings of Israel.
- In Genesis 3 God made coats of skins and covered the nakedness of Adam and Eve because of their sin.
- An animal had to die to make the coats of skins.
- That showed God’s promise of a Savior
to deliver them from their sins.
- 'Achzib’ means the lie. The lie was the idols that they worshipped.
- The children of God’s people would be taken captive.
- The ‘little maid’ of 2 Kings 5 who told about the prophet in Israel that could cure leprosy was such a child.
- Better days are coming.
- Revelation 21:27 (New Jerusalem) And there will in no way enter into it any thing that defiles, or whatever works abomination, or makes a lie: but those that are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
15 Yet I will bring an heir to you, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he will come to Adullam the glory of Israel. 16 Make yourself bald, and cut off your hair for your delicate children; enlarge your baldness as the eagle; for they have gone into captivity from you.
- The heir who will come is Christ.
- God reminded the people of His promise in the midst of this judgment.
- Psalm 2:6 I have set my king on my holy hill of Zion. 7 I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will give you the heathen for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.
1 Cries of grief to them that devise iniquity, and work evil on their beds! When the morning is light, they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand. 2 They covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: they rob a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. 3 Therefore the Lord says this; Behold, I devise an evil against this family from which you will not remove your necks; neither will you go haughtily: for this time is evil. 4 In that day someone will take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, saying, We are utterly spoiled: he has changed the portion of my people: how he has removed it from me! Turning away, he has divided our fields. 5 Therefore you will have no one that will cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD. 6 They say to those that prophesy Do not prophesy: if they do not speak out against these things reproaches will not be turned back.
- God has said what is good and what is evil.
- Remember in Eden there were two trees in the center of the garden.
- The first was the tree of life and the second was the knowledge of good and evil.
- When times are evil the majority of men are following the ideas and suggestions of the evil one rather than what God has plainly said.
- These people stole and killed to get property and goods. God was going to do it back to them.
- Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what the LORD requires of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
God’s words do good to those that walk uprightly
7 O you that are called the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD limited? Are these his doings? Do not my words do good to him that walks uprightly? 8 Even yesterday my people have risen up as an enemy: you strip the robe off the garment from unsuspecting passers-by, from those returning from war. 9 You have cast out the women of my people from their pleasant houses; you have taken away my glory from their children forever.
- The glory of God is the person of God.
- He is infinite and eternal knowledge, power, righteousness, and love.
- The appearance of His glory is described in Ezekiel 1.
- The leaders of the nation were to lead the people to God.
- They led their children away from the living and true God into idolatry.
- The glory of God, the Shekinah glory, dwelt in their temple until they filled it with idols.
- Ezekiel 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and on the throne was the likeness of a man above upon it. 27 And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from his loins upward, and from his loins downward, I saw the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. 28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
10 Arise and depart; for this is not your rest because it is polluted. It will destroy you with a grievous destruction. 11 If a man, walking in the spirit and falsehood lies, saying, I will prophesy to you of wine and of strong drink; he will be the prophet of this people. 12 I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they will make great noise because of the multitude of men. 13 The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and have gone out by it: and their king will pass before them, and the LORD at the head of them.
- In these very last phrases God comforted the people that followed Him by focusing their thoughts on the future when God will restore and Messiah will reign.
- Psalm 93:1 The LORD reigns, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, with which he has girded himself: the world also is established, that it cannot be moved. 2 Your throne is established of old: you are from everlasting.
1 And I said, Listen, I beg you, O leaders of Jacob, and you princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment? 2 Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; 3 Who also eat the flesh of my people, and strip their skin off them; and they break their bones and chop them in pieces, as for the pot and as flesh in the caldron.
- Not only were the leaders taking all the living of the people by taking their profit and property but human sacrifice and other grossly violent acts were common.
God hides His face from extorting leaders
4 Then they will cry to the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will hide his face from them at that time, as they have done evil in their doings. 5 The Lord God says this concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth and cry, Peace; and whoever does not give to their mouths, they prepare war against him. 6 Therefore it will be night for you, you will not have a vision; and it will be dark to you without divination; and the sun will go down over the prophets, and the day will be dark over them. 7 Then the seers will be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yes, they will all cover their upper lips; for there is no answer from God.
- God was the ruler of Israel and they relied on Him for advice.
- Prophets were originally called seers because they saw what God was doing through His word that He spoke to them.
- God also appeared to some.
- God said that He was going to stop answering them.
- If the people didn’t give them a bribe they became violent against them.
8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. 9 Hear this, I beg you, you heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor justice, and pervert all uprightness. 10 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. 11 Its leaders judge for a bribe, and its priests teach for a price, and its profits divine for silver: yet they lean on the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? No evil can come upon us. 12 Therefore, because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem will become ruins, and the mountain of the house/temple as the high places of the forest.
- God gave fair warning of judgment if they did not turn back to Him in obedience and rightness.
- They should have known God’s law and taught it to the people.
- They should have lead them gently into a dynamic relationship with their Maker.
- Ezekiel 34:11 I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them on the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture…16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong…
1 But in the last days it will come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established in the top of the mountains, and it will be exalted above the hills; and people will flow unto it. 2 And many nations will come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law will go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
- God is going to shift the landmasses of planet earth so that Jerusalem will be the highest mountain on earth.
- Jesus will reign from His throne in Jerusalem.
- Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man will come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory: 32 And all nations will be gathered before Him.
Jesus is coming to earth to end war and judge the earth
3 And he will judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations far away; and they will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation will not lift up a sword against nation, neither will they learn war any more. 4 But every man will sit under his own vine and under his fig tree; and no one will make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken it.
- God, the Maker of the universe, has said this is going to happen.
- Psalm 96:13 (rejoice) Before the LORD: for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth: he will judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name/person of the LORD our God forever and ever. 6 In that day, says the LORD, I will gather the lame, and I will gather the banished, and those I have afflicted; 7 And I will make the lame a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD will reign over them in mount Zion from then on even forever.
- Our God will wonderfully care for everyone and not abuse or exploit anyone.
- Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in judgment.
8 And you, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, to you it will come, even the first dominion; the kingdom will come to the daughter of Jerusalem. 9 Now why do you cry out aloud? Is there no king in you? Has your counselor perished? For pangs have taken you like a woman in childbirth.
- Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions will serve and obey him.
- Job 36:15 He delivers the poor in his affliction, and opens their ears in oppression.
10 Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in childbirth: for now you will go out of the city, and you will live in the field, and you will go to Babylon; there you will be delivered; there the LORD will redeem you from the hand of your enemies. 11 Now many nations have gathered against you, that say, Let her be defiled, and our eye on Zion. 12 But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, nor do they understand his counsel: for he will gather them as the sheaves into the threshing floor. 13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hooves brass: and you will beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain to the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.
- Iron was the strongest metal of that day.
- Brass is the scriptural symbol for judgment.
- Suffering caused God’s people return to Him so that these blessings could happen.
- God is life. He is holy. He doesn’t bless evil.
- 1Peter 1:18 you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your empty way of life received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot.
SUMMARY: Micah 1-4
- God is witness against evil
- God’s words do good to those that walk uprightly
- God hides His face from extorting leaders
- Jesus is coming to earth to end war and judge the earth