From our Bible Study Leader, Lee: Thank you to every single one of you who have joined us as we devote ourselves to studying Scripture – book by book, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. What an amazing privilege to study the Word of G-d together! The Bereans were commended for their readiness to receive the Scripture as well as for their daily searching of Scripture to find truth (Acts 17v11) My prayer is that the L-rd Yeshua will reveal Himself to you, more and more, in the weeks and months ahead.
Prophecy, normally, begins with the fact that G-d is not pleased with His people. Within it, though, we find messages of hope and redemption. By and large, prophecy is given in order to turn people back to G-d. Micah began to prophesy before the exile of the Northern kingdom – +-721BC. He spoke to both kingdoms but his emphasis was mainly to Judah (the southern kingdom). He was calling them not to follow in the footsteps of their “brothers” up North who engaged in idolatry.
For the purpose of our study I’ll be commenting out of the NKJV. We begin by reading chapter 1v1-7
v1 The name Micah refers to the uniqueness of G-d. It means “Who is like G-d?”
✨at the same time as these kings were in the South there were also kings in the North. The Northern kingdom (called Israel, with its capital being Samaria)was initiated in rebellion and wanted nothing to do with the plans and purposes of G-d. They rejected the truth of G-d and began to behave rebelliously and soon found themselves in idolatry.
✨Jerusalem was the capital of the Southern kingdom (the capital that G-d recognized and the place where His kings ruled from – and will rule from🎊 – Jer 3v17)
v2 We hear or listen in order to respond(Lk 11v28)
✨listen O Earth – what is going to be said has implications for all of humanity.
✨a witness- the language here is reminiscent of a court room. G-d is summoning a heavenly court to judge the people. There is only one witness – G-d. He does not need any other testimony or witness in order to make His judgment. This reveals to us His sovereignty.
✨the word “Holy temple”, in the original, speaks of the Holy of Holies.
v3 tread = step upon
✨high places can also be understood as “high” in the sense of pride. G-d is going to move against pride and its manifestation in the world. High places were known as places of idolatry. Idolatry will bring the judgement of G-d upon His people and upon the world.
v4 G-d’s hot anger will cause these mountains to be reduced back into their original form – the form they were in before G-d moulded and shaped them.
✨wax cannot be stopped from melting when it is close to fire.
✨water poured down a steep place moves quickly and also cannot be stopped. Nothing in our power can change these laws set into nature. When G-d’s judgement comes we will not be able to stop it either. Yet – even in judgement – G-d will extend mercy and grace to those who respond to Him.
v5 transgression, at its core, is knowing what is right but willfully rebelling against it – knowingly choosing what is wrong.
✨all this: this wilful rebellion is what G-d is angry about and it is because of this that His judgement will come.
✨Samaria was the capital of idolatry for the kingdom of the North. This idolatry caused an incorrect rule/government that did not reflect the character of G-d.
✨those in Jerusalem at this time would have been highly offended to have been lumped in the same basket as Samaria (as they are in this verse). Those in the South knew their brothers in the North were corrupt and wicked but they didn’t think of themselves being like them in any way. Micah was telling those in Judah that G-d was as displeased about their behavior as He was about those who lived up North.
v6 a heap of ruins – under the kings of the North (example Ahab) Samaria had become a city of great prosperity and splendor. What men had so carefully and pridefully built up G-d was going to destroy.
✨uncover her foundations – G-d was going to reveal or expose her corruption – rotten to the very core, her very foundation.
v7 pay as a harlot – she received income for her sexual immorality. There is a link between idolatry and sexual immorality. Idolatrous temple worship involved immorality and people would pay dearly for it. The government would turn a blind eye as they also benefitted financially from this.
What Micah is saying here is that this wage is no longer going to go to the leaders but will return to the harlot. In other words, the people who engaged in idolatry, and the leaders who had legalized and profited from it, were no longer going to gain anything from it.