MICAH ARRANGES his nineteen prophesies into three cycles, each of which begins with prophecies of judgment and ends with a prophecy or prophecies of salvation and each of which begins with the same Hebrew word rendered "hear" (1:2; 3:1; 6:1). The middle cycle has three prophecies of judgment (ch.3) and seven of salvation (chs. 4;5). The prophet uses word plays to predict judgment and achieves vividness and immediacy by quoting his subjects (e.g., the false prophets trying to silence him, 2:6-7; and the converted Gentiles going up to Jerusalem to worship, 4:2).
Micah primarily is a book of judgment proclaimed. The prophet declares that the holy and righteous God will no longer tolerate the persistent evil of His people (1:3). Many of Israel's sins are mentioned, ranging from idolatry and sorcery (5:12-14) to deceit and fraudulent dealings (6:10, 11). But Micah heaps special condemnation on those who oppressed the poor by seizing lands that God had intended as an inheritance for all His people. (2:1-5; Num. 2:1-11). Judah's leaders, both political and spiritual, are also condemned for their oppression of the people and for their disregard of justice and truth (ch. 3).
Despite his prevailing tone of impending punishment, Micah also looks beyond the judgment to future restoration and blessing. This too is rooted in God's covenant relationship with His people (Gen. 17:2). Faithful to His covenant promises to the patriarchs (7:20), the Lord will preserve a remnant of His people (2:12; 4:7; 5:3, 7, 8), and will raise up a Ruler out of Bethlehem in Judah - the Messiah Himself (5:1-5). Throughout the prophecies of salvation, Micah recognizes that Israel's restoration depends solely on the Lord's merciful forgiveness and sovereign initiative, not on the works of their hands (7:18,19).
- The Reformation Study Bible
Published by Ligonier Ministries, Sanford FL
Permission to quote granted by Ligonier Ministries