VIDEO Prophet Micah

Introducing The Minor Prophet Micah

Micah Historical Setting

The period is approx 770-710 B.C . although it is generally thought that the book was written just before the fall and destruction of Samaria (the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel) by the Assyrians in 721. During this time Judah is ruled in turn by a series of kings. Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.

Read Ch1 v1

This is also confirmed in Jeremiah 26:17 “…..Micah of Moresheth prophesied during the days of Hezekiah king of Judah”

It is during this period that we see the rise of Assyria as a major world player under the kingship of Tiglath-Pileser 111 (745-727bc) one of the most successful military commanders in world history – and an impending threat to the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Micah’s Ministry

the prophet micah summaryWhat’s in a name?  Micah means “Who is like unto the Lord”

Little is known about the personal life of Micah, though it is generally thought that he was a man of the soil, and closely connected to the common people – a farmer perhaps. We know that he was from Moresheth in the southern kingdom of Judah (about 25 miles from Jerusalem) and it’s worth noting that he was indeed a contemporary of the prophets  Isaiah, Amos and Hosea.

As is the way of most of the ‘minor’ prophets, Micah spoke out about the injustice he seen around him. This was a time when the wealthy landowners were growing richer by bribing corrupt judges to fix land deeds in their favour, thereby putting the smaller landowners out of business. The peasants and the landless of course suffered the most during this time.

 Read Ch2:1-3…..7:2-3

This in turn led to an overcrowding in the cities as the small farmers looked for employment elsewhere.

Along with this practice there was a general move away from the worship of the true God and the corruption of the covenants he had set aside for them to follow.

The country was being led by corrupt leaders as is emphasised in Ch2:11 “If a man walking after wind and falsehood had told lies and said ‘I will speak out to you concerning wine and liquor’ He would be spokesman to this people”

The Lord was saying here- none to subtly- that they were being led by a bunch of lying, thieving drunkards !

summary of the prophet micah

The worship of Baal and other pagan deities added to the general backslidden state of the nation. It is in this light that we see the foretold destruction of Samaria-one of the leaders of the conspiracy- in Ch1:2-15.

Both Amos and Hosea had tackled the same questions in the Northern Kingdom. Their answer had been that the Northern Kingdom would not survive. By the time Micah began his ministry, Isaiah of Jerusalem had already been addressing the same questions for 20 years. The Northern Kingdom had already been destroyed, or would be in a matter of months. And as both prophets looked at the Southern Kingdom of Judah, they saw much the same conditions as had existed in the Northern Kingdom.

Judah’s future was not certain. But both Isaiah and Micah consistently proclaimed that a change, a return to faithfulness to God, was essential if the Southern Kingdom was to have any future.

This is a hope borne out by these passages referring to a coming saviour and redemption. Ch4:1-7 and Ch7:7-8 “But as for me I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. 8. Do not rejoice over me O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness the Lord is a light for me.”

Applications for Today

Main lesson – The Lord God hates injustice, corruption, false dealing as much as he hates the worship of false idols and the manipulation of his statutes and laws to suit our own ends !

The leaders of Micah’s time were doing just that, they twisted the laws of the land to suit themselves, and no doubt called it piety !

Jesus condemned the same attitude in the Pharisees – the religious leaders of his time.

This is a classic example to us that all things must be taken not only on ‘face value’ but according to the context in which they are written.

I could start a new cult tomorrow – Jims apostles and latter day saints- and easily use the Bible to back it up!

How ? I simply decide what I would like out of my personal cult and then look up all the passages I can find to support my cause – ignoring along the way the context in which they are written and of course all the passages against it.

I might even get a reprint of the bible with some subtly altered passages, endorsed by a corrupt translator who is quite happy to lend his name to it for the parting of some cash !

Lets call it ‘The New World Truth Bible’

Throughout history, right up to modern times numerous cults, movements and sects have mis-quoted scripture in order to justify their particular actions. Che Guevara the Marxist revolutionary quoted  scripture when it suited the cause; and Charismatic preachers like Jim Jones or David Koresh are just two examples of how the Scriptures can be corrupted to suit evil means. Both Mussolini and Adolph Hitler claimed at various times to be Christian; Hitler promoting his ‘positive christianity’ which was the Nazi ideal of a Christianity without Jews or any other undesirables, and which was infused with Nazi doctrines.

The Word of God must be ‘correctly divined’ as they used to say. We cannot quote  Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. without reading the whole chapter which includes –

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. EPH 5

The leaders  of Israel and Judah had grown complacent and corrupt. They had forgotten that they were dealing with a living God who sees all and who will demand recompense.

While we have of course a New Covenant and are Justified not by our own works but by the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross we are nevertheless still called on to ‘do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly before our God’ Ch6:8

The inherent danger of any society in any age is that power drifts into the hands of corrupt people, who will use this power and influence not for the common good – but to line their own pockets.

The old adage that ‘power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ is as applicable now as it has been throughout the centuries from the beginning of time.

There is indeed – as the preacher says in the book of Ecclesiastes – nothing new under the sun, and corruption is as prevalent now as it ever was. It is also true that “all it needs for evil to succeed, is for good people to stand by and do nothing while it is happening.”

Question:

Micah spoke out against the corruption in high places that he witnessed in his time – what examples do you see before you in the times in which we live?

Original here


Overview: Micah


Unlocking the Old Testament Part 52 – Micah


 

God Looms Larger

You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty. 1 Samuel 17:45

Giles Kelmanson, a South African game ranger, described the incredible scene: two honey badgers battling a pride of six lions. Although outnumbered, the honey badgers refused to back down from ferocious predators ten times their size. The lions thought the kill would be simple, but video footage shows the badgers walking away with something like a swagger.

David and Goliath offer an even more improbable story. Young, inexperienced David confronted the fierce Philistine Goliath. Towering above his young combatant, Goliath possessed brute strength and unrivaled weaponry—bronze armor and a lethal, razor-edged javelin (1 Samuel 17:5–6). David, a fledgling shepherd, carried only a slingshot when he arrived at the battlefield with bread and cheeses for his brothers (vv. 17–18).

Goliath challenged Israel to engage in battle, but no one was willing to fight. King Saul and “all the Israelites were . . . terrified” (v. 11). Imagine the shock when David stepped into the fray. What gave him the courage none of Israel’s hardened warriors possessed? For most, Goliath dominated their vision. David, however, saw God. “The Lord will deliver [Goliath] into my hands,” he insisted (v. 46). While everyone else believed Goliath controlled the story, he believed God loomed larger. And, with a single stone to the giant’s forehead, David’s faith proved true.

We’re tempted to believe that “Goliath” (our troubles) directs the story. God is larger, however. He dominates the story of our lives.

By Winn Collier

Reflect & Pray

What concerns threaten to overwhelm you these days? How does God’s reality, the fact that He’s larger, transform your perspective?

The Field Trip of Trials

Psalm 119:65-72

When we were still children in school, most of us preferred field trips to sitting still and listening to classroom lectures. However, believers would probably all prefer to learn our lessons from the textbook of God’s Word rather than on a field trip of trials. But the truth is that there are some things we learn best through experience.

Although trials are not always the result of sin, they do play a big corrective role in our lives. The heavenly Father may use them to draw our attention to sins we have tolerated, overlooked, or accepted as normal. These could be habits, attitudes, activities, or anything else that is not God’s absolute best for His child. No matter how trivial we may think it is, no sin should have a place in a believer’s life.

At other times, the Lord may be showing us we need to release something that’s not necessarily sinful but nevertheless is preventing us from reaching our God-given potential—perhaps a relationship, our goals and ambitions, a job, or a home. It could be a reminder to prioritize Him over our desires so that we might know and love Him more.

If we never had any troubles, we’d continue in what’s comfortable, easy, and enjoyable but would end up missing God’s best for our life. That’s why the psalmist said, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (Psalm 119:71). Any hardship that drives us to God and His Word is good for us. That’s because what we gain in knowing the Lord is worth so much more than all the wealth, power, and fame the world could offer us.

Your Garments of Salvation

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

One of the beautiful biblical metaphors of salvation is that of clothing appropriate for coming into God’s presence. Such clothing is not something we ourselves can make or purchase; it must be prepared and provided by God.

Adam and Eve tried to dress themselves in fig leaves, but that could not avail. Their Creator God first had to slay two innocent animals, and then He made “coats of skins and clothed them” (see Genesis 3:7, 21).

So it is today. If we try to come to God dressed in our works of righteousness, we can never make it, for “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” in the presence of a holy God (Isaiah 64:6). He must provide the clothing. As our text says, “he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.”

In Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast for the king’s son, there was one man who wanted to participate in the feast, but who tried to come in his own attire, disdaining the wedding garment provided by the king for his guests. When the king asked, “How camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?” he was speechless (Matthew 22:12), and then was bound hand and foot and thrown “into outer darkness” (v. 13).

When “the marriage of the Lamb is come,” His bride must be “arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: . . . the righteousness of saints” (Revelation 19:7-8). But this righteousness will be His, “for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10). Therefore, we are exhorted to “put on thy beautiful garments” (Isaiah 52:1) and be prepared to meet our King. HMM

Too Much Commotion, Not Enough Devotion

And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

—1 Kings 19:12

The accent in the Church today,” says Leonard Ravenhill, the English evangelist, “is not on devotion, but on commotion.” Religious extroversion has been carried to such an extreme in evangelical circles that hardly anyone has the desire, to say nothing of the courage, to question the soundness of it. Externalism has taken over. God now speaks by the wind and the earthquake only; the still small voice can be heard no more. The whole religious machine has become a noisemaker. The adolescent taste which loves the loud horn and the thundering exhaust has gotten into the activities of modern Christians. The old question, “What is the chief end of man?” is now answered, “To dash about the world and add to the din thereof.”…

We must begin the needed reform by challenging the spiritual validity of externalism. What a man is must be shown to be more important than what he does. While the moral quality of any act is imparted by the condition of the heart, there may be a world of religious activity which arises not from within but from without and which would seem to have little or no moral content. Such religious conduct is imitative or reflex. It stems from the current cult of commotion and possesses no sound inner life.   ROR078-076

Lord quiet my heart today in the midst of the rush and din of church busyness, that I might be able to hear the “still small voice.” Amen.

 

Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men

And, whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.—Colossians 3:23.

 

If you love Him as I want you to do, you will offer Him the whole use of your day, as you open your eyes to the light of each morning, to be spent in active-service or silent suffering, according to His good pleasure. You will not select the most agreeable task, but His task, whatever it may be; you will not disdain humble service, or be ambitious for distinguished service; you will lie, like a straw, on the current of His will, to be swept away and be forgotten, if it pleases Him, or to be caught up by His mighty hand and transformed thereby into a thunderbolt.

Elizabeth Prentiss.

 

Let us pray Him, therefore, to shed abroad in us the mind that was in Christ; that we may offer up ourselves to be disposed of as He sees best, whether for joy or sorrow; to be slighted, or esteemed; to have many friends, or to dwell in a lonely home; to be passed by, or called to serve Him and His kingdom in our own land, or among people of a strange tongue; to be, to go, to do, to suffer even as He wills, even as He ordains, even as Christ endured, “who, through the Eternal Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God.”

Henry Edward Manning.

 

Hear the Mountain Choir

“Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.” Isa. 49:13

So sweet are the comforts of the Lord, that not only the saints themselves may sing of them, but even the Heavens and the earth may take up the song. It takes something to make a mountain sing; and yet the prophet summons quite a choir of them. Lebanon, and Sirion, and the high hills of Bashan and Moab, He would set them all singing because of Jehovah’s grace to His own Zion. May we not also make mountains of difficulty, and trial, and mystery, and labor become occasions for praise unto our God? “Break forth into singing, O mountains!”

This word of promise, that our God will have mercy upon His afflicted, has a whole peal of bells connected with it. Hear their music — “Sing!” “Be joyful!” “Break forth into singing.” The Lord would have His people happy because of His unfailing love. He would not have us sad and doubtful; He claims from us the worship of believing hearts. He cannot fail us: why should we sigh or sulk as if He would do so? Oh for a well-tuned harp! Oh for voices like those of the cherubim before the throne!