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Micah 1 (Judah and Israel)

Micah verse 1 gives us the introductory comments for the book. Micah of Moresheth received the word of the Lord during the reign of Judah's kings, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.


Verse 1 continues with, "which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem." Presumably, the "which" refers to the word of the Lord. But he "saw" it. King James version uses the same word. I looked it up in Blue Letter Bible, and their Strong's Dictionary described it as a primitive root word, usually poetic, that means to behold or perceive, like a seer in an ecstatic state. So seeing a prophesy.

I guess it's not profound or anything; but it caught my eye. I think "hear" the word of the Lord, not "see". I also wonder why the translators chose "see", when "perceive" or "behold" would indicate more of the supernatural aspect. I wonder if that's really just the best translation in the context or if, in the Western World, we're inclined to want things more concrete and less supernatural? It's so important to go digging when something strikes you. Now that I know the translations of the modern western countries chose "servant" instead of "slave" for doulos, I have to remember that translators bring a worldview to their work.


Verses 2-4

Verse 2 calls all nations to hear of the judgment against His people. If His people are unwilling to be a Nation of priests, they will be used as a permanent example of what happens when you rebel and sin against the one living God. Still shining His light; but not reaping the benefits that they would have with "Plan A".

Micah's opening salvo is brutal. He starts with what the Lord will do. Often times that's the culminating description; but here, the lord is a witness against Israel (with capital of Samaria) and Judah (capital being Jerusalem). Micah describes the Lord, personally, taking a physical role in the judgement. Coming down and treading on the high places, melting the mountains, pouring down like water.

Then in verse 5 He provides his reason: the rebellion of Jacob and sin of Samaria.

In verse 6 He promises to lay ruins to Samaria, laying bare her foundations.

Verse 7 is another explicit description of why. Samaria's idols will be smashed; the money earned from them will burn up in fire; the images of the idols will be made desolate because they earned money for Samaria like a prostitute.

I think verse 8 returns the voice to Micah's, as opposed to the Lord's voice in verses 6 and 7. Micah expressed the grief for this coming desolation. barefoot, naked, mourning, and wounded are all images he gives us of the desperate situation coming.

In verse 9 he points out that not only is Samaria's coming wound incurable; but the disease has passed to Judah, even to the capital of Jerusalem. Verses 10-15 list specific places that will suffer in this calamity. The footnote in the Ryrie study bible says this tracks the path of the invaders from the Philistinian coast to the Jerusalem- with wordplay with the names of the locations.

Sadly, verse 16 is very clear. The grief will be so bad that you will cut off your hair in mourning because your children will be taken into exile.

In the Wiersbe commentary, Be Concerned, he points out that many of the towns listed in verse 10-15 are within 9 miles of Micah's home, Moresheth. These were his neighbors. No wonder his mourning feels so real. He knows these people and this region and he can see from the Lord that they will be destroyed.

In the introductions to this book, multiple commentators note the similarity of Amos and Micah. I have to agree. It's like the different between the writings of Peter and Paul. Peter was a fisherman while Paul was an academic. Isaiah was a noblemen and academic while Amos and Micah were "blue collar" workers. Their language is short, clear, and to the point. It comes out incredibly brutal, but it's effective because of its no-nonsense approach.

I like it.

All scripture is inspired and good; but some style appeal to someone personally. and I like the direct approach.

One thing I noticed was God's direct involvement in the destruction. In reality, it may take the shape of an invading army or a natural disaster; but God makes it clear that He is sovereign and His chasten is directly from Him. Our God is greater.

It's worth remembering that the Lord describes us, prior to salvation, as being at enmity with Him. Our sin and our rebellion left us condemned to His wrath. Only by the work and suffering and victory of Jesus Christ can we wear His white robe of righteousness- as opposed to facing this wrath. Meditate on that if you ever feel glee at hearing of the Lord bringing judgment on others. Thank you, Jesus!! Amen.

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