Dr. S. Lewis Johnson comments on Micah's lament for the wayward Israel, and specifically their idolatry of the very land given to them by God.
[Message] Tonight we’re turning to another one of those great “him”s, Micah, for the study in Micah chapter 2. So before we turn to Micah 2, verse 1 through verse 5 and Micah’s topic tonight is “Micah on Civil Rights.” We are looking to the Lord in a word of prayer.
[prayer removed from audio]
[Message] Tonight we are turning to Micah chapter 2, verse 1 through verse 5, and as I mentioned before our prayer, the subject is “Micah on Civil Rights.” The prophets were prophets of civil rights in Israel, not in the modern sense in the sense that their thoughts went beyond the Nation Israel to the Gentiles and over the face of the earth, but in the sense that they contended for the justice of God in the affairs of the nation. No doubt, if they had had opportunity they would have been prophets of a universal character. But their ministry was given by the Lord to them in order that they might preach the word to the Nation Israel and to Judah.
It is true that some of the messages that the prophets set out were messages that were addressed to some of the gentile peoples about them. But essentially they were prophets who contended for the justice of God in the affairs of the Nation Israel. And Micah stood very strongly in that tradition as we learn from just this brief section in chapter 2.
The structure of these verses is very plain. There is an introductory accusation by the prophet, and that is found in verse 1 and verse 2. And that is followed by a statement of divine intervention in their history, and that is described for us in verse 3 and verse 4. You notice the little word “therefore” that begins the third verse. The Hebrew word lawhen which is used there is very similar to a Greek “therefore” and introduces an inference that one might derive from the preceding. We’ll say more about that in a moment. And then there follows a logical conclusion in verse 5, again introduced by “Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot.”
The general picture of these verses is that of a funeral lament, and in fact, it’s almost as if we have here a funeral song. And some of the things that are said are things that might be said when one made reference to obituary information. The prophet speaks as if the die is cast for the nation, and they are going to suffer the judgment of God.
He opens with the word “Woe” which has as its background a relationship to a funeral. It was the custom, and you will find references in the Old Testament to this, for individuals who were mourning over an individual who had died or who had been slain, that they often began their comments by “alas.” And this is one of the cases of that. “Alas for those who devise wickedness and work evil upon their beds!”
One thinks of 1 Kings chapter 13 and verse 30 where we have a similar kind of thing. I’d like to read just a few verses here for you to catch the force of it. In verse 26 the author writes,
“And when the prophet who had brought him back from the way heard of it, he said, “It is the man of God who disobeyed the word of the LORD; therefore the LORD has given him to the lion, which has torn him and slain him, according to the word which the LORD spoke to him.” And he said to his sons, “Saddle the ass for me.” And they saddled it. And he went and found his body thrown in the road, and the ass and the lion standing beside the body. The lion had not eaten the body or torn the ass. And the prophet took up the body of the man of God and laid it upon the ass and brought it back to the city to mourn and bury him. And he laid the body in his own grave. And they mourned over him, saying “Alas, my brother!” (Well, that’s the word that is used here that begins chapter 2 of the Book of Micah.) “Alas, my brother!” And after he had buried him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.”
So here is an instance in which Micah uses a term that is associated with a funeral lament. This is a funeral lament for many in the nation Israel who had been disobedient to the Law of Moses.
Well, the best way to study the word of God, it seems to me, is to read it and ponder the words that are found in the text. And so let’s read the opening two verses which give us the introductory accusation.
“Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil upon their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.”
Now the people for whom God has this lamentable fate are now described, and he describes them generally in the first verse and then specifically in verse 2. And we’ll just note two or three of the words that the prophet emphasizes.
He says, “Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil upon their beds.” These are not individuals who have stumbled into evil, but they are individuals who carefully plan their evil. And they plan it from the place where their thoughts ought to be directed toward the Lord God.
When you read in the Psalms, it seems that many of the people who were spiritual in the days of the psalmist were people who on their beds were meditating concerning divine things. We read in Psalm 4 and verse 4, “Be angry, but sin not; commune with your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.”
And of course in the first Psalm, we read here in the opening verses of the Psalm, “And on his law he meditates day and night.” Characteristic of the saints of God is that when they go to bed they often think about the things of the Lord. And when they wake up, they often think about the things of the Lord. And through the night when they awaken during the night, they think about the things of the Lord. That’s one of the proper places in order to meditate on the things of the Lord. I’m sure that those of you who have done any meditation at all can recollect times when lying upon your bed you meditated concerning the word of God and concerning the things of the Lord.
Well, these individuals, Micah says, instead of devising thoughts concerning the Lord God, devise evil. And they work that evil upon their beds. They carefully plan the things that they’re going to be doing toward those that they are oppressing. And when the morning dawns, he says, they perform it. They’re not sluggards, these people. They are individuals who are very busy, very excited about the evil that they are performing. They are not lazy at all. They are workers. And furthermore, he says they have the power to achieve their evil ends for he says, “Because it is in the power of their hand.”
So, the picture then is a people who lie upon their bed in order to devise evil toward others. They think of the things that they’re going to do and they can hardly wait for the sun to come up in order to do it. It’s a scathing word sketch of individuals who are dedicated villains, dedicated to things that are contrary to the law of God.
One often reads of white-collar crime in the newspapers and one often reads or looks at accounts concerning white-collar crime on the TV screen. And one gains the impression when he thinks of these elaborate schemes that are worked out, and many of them are now worked out through the agencies of computers, that individuals must have spent an awful long time thinking about how they may do their do their evil deeds.
In Israel it was just like that. Individuals who ought to have been spending their time meditating upon the Law of Moses are thinking up things that they might do toward the helpless and toward the innocent, toward those who were unable to cope with them.
Specifically in verse 2 he says, “They covet fields and they seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.”
Now this plainly specifies their misconduct. One thinks of the prophecy of Isaiah, and remember that Isaiah prophesied in much the same time that Micah did. In chapter 5 and verse 8, I believe it is, in one of the most interesting of Isaiah’s prophesies, he says, “Woe to those who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is no more room and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land.” So he thinks about individuals who are coveting more and more properties, seeking to add more and more acres to their possessions. And again the prophet speaks like the prophet Micah, “Who to those who join house to house.” So when we think of robber land barons, we should think also of Israel and Judah as well.
When I think of robber land barons, I’m sure there are some in the United States. But when I think of them, I think of Central and South America because in those countries we do have vast amounts of territory that generally speaking are under the control of just a few people.
Now, I’m sure there are many good people in whose hands that land is held. But one of the perennial problems to the south of us is the problem of the land. And this scathing word sketch here of dedicated villains remind me of those who like to keep in suppression those who do not have the opportunity to cope with them. Now, I know there are many things that might be said with reference to this, so we’ll kind of confine our comments to the nation Israel.
Remember in the days of Aziah, Israel had become quite a powerful nation. And there was a great deal of creation of new wealth under Aziah. He was a very important king and a very successful one, so successful that when Aziah died there was a great deal fainting of heart in Israel. That’s why God gave Isaiah his vision of the “Lord high and lifted up in the temple” reminding him that though mighty men fall, the Lord God is still there.
But here are individuals, and they are living in the days of Micah and Isaiah, and they are coveting fields and grabbing them. The word translated seize in the Revised Standard Version is a word that really means to grab. So they covet fields and they grab them.
And incidentally that word covet is the word that is found in the decalogue or the Ten Commandments. In Exodus 20 and verse 17 Moses writes, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” So you shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
We sometimes overlook that and think only about coveting our neighbor’s wife, but the text begins with “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.” But here are individuals who covet fields and they grab them, and houses and they take them away. Covetousness, that’s one of the characteristic sins of us, is it not?
When we turn over to the Apostle Paul, he has a word concerning covetousness in Colossians chapter 3 that I’ve always thought was very interesting. And speaking of covetousness, the apostle adds a little descriptive clause. In Colossians chapter 3 and verse 5 he says to those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and have been seated with him at the right hand of God, he says, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
“Covetousness which is idolatry.” There is a sort of religious purpose, a sort of devotion of the soul to greed that makes the sin of the miser idolatry. In fact, it is a kind of devotion of the soul to greed that makes the sin of the miser hateful to God. There’s hardly anything in the Old Testament that God speaks out against more than idolatry. “Thou shalt not have any other gods before me.”
But it’s possible for our desire for possessions, our coveting of things to become idolatry. Here are people who “covet fields and they grab them.” They grab and do violence. These two expressions here: “They covet fields and seize them, and houses and take them away; they oppress a man and his house,” they’re words here to grab and do violence that are often paired in the Old Testament, and one gains the impression from this that it was a rather common thing.
What was the Old Testament concept of the land? Or what was the economic theory of Israel? Well, the economic theory of Israel was that the land belonged to the Lord. Remember Leviticus chapter 25 in verse 23. I’ll turn to it and read it, if I can. In Leviticus chapter 23 we read, “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me.”
To whom did the land belong in Israel? Why the land belonged to Yahweh. All the land was his. And when Israel went into the land, they were given parcels of that land. Each had his own little place. And furthermore, no matter what happened at the end of the fiftieth year: the Jubilee, everything went back to its original owners, to their families and descendants and heirs. So that it was Yahweh who owned the land. It all belonged to him.
There’s an interesting story in the Old Testament in 1 Kings chapter 21 which I’m sure you’re familiar with if you’ve ever read 1 Kings because it’s one of the most interesting there. And it’s the story of Ahab and Naboth and how Ahab coveted the vineyard of Naboth. And we read in 1 Kings 21,
“Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. After this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money. (Now he was coveting and pretty soon he’s going to take it, but at any rate) Naboth says to Ahab, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers. (This was the land that had been parceled out to Naboth and his family.) And Ahab went into his house (and he was so sulky and sullen over it) because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said, that because he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” that he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and wouldn’t eat any food.”
And you know when Jezebel came in, she said, What’s the matter with you Ahab? He wouldn’t even talk to her. And finally he replied in a very surly way that Naboth wouldn’t give him the vineyard that he wanted. And so Jezebel said, ‘Why is your spirit so vexed that you eat no food?’ He said, “I spoke to Naboth and said ‘Give me your vineyard. I’ll give you money for it.’ But he said, ‘I’ll not give you my vineyard.'” Well, Jezebel said to him, ‘Who’s the king in Israel? Are you the king in Israel? Arise, eat bread and let your heart be cheerful; and I’ll give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. And of course you know what happened. Naboth was stoned and was dead, and the vineyard was taken.
Well, evidently that happened more often than the Bible records because here we read, “They covet fields and they take them, and houses, and they take them away.” So the incident of Ahab and Naboth was an illustration of what was going on.
The last part of that verse says, “They oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.”
What is it that makes a man desire a villa on this earth more than the mansions in paradise which are reserved for him? What is it that makes him willing to do almost anything in order to possess something down here when he’s going to possess something there that is so far greater than anything down here that there is no comparison whosoever?
I was in Nashville this past weekend to visit my son and my two granddaughters, such beautiful young girls. I got a chance to see them just a few times. They are so beautiful I’m amazed. No doubt, it’s family characteristic of course, [Laughter] but while I was there, you know, I heard an interesting comment made by one of the wealthiest young ladies in the city of Nashville. Her father, who it was my privilege to marry to his present wife some ten years ago, ten or eleven years ago just by a happenstance, happens to be one of the wealthiest men in that part of the country. He’s not wealthy in the sense of five or ten million, but his wealth has been well over a hundred million. And his daughter is his heir. I am not sure whether there is another son or another child, but she literally has millions, millions. She can have anything that she wants.
Now she made an interesting comment to my daughter-in-law. They were discussing something not long ago about something that had to do with money and with acquiring things, and Barbara looked at my daughter-in-law and said, “Well, of course you know, that you never have enough.”
You think of course that if you could just get a few hundred thousand together, that everything would be great. Or maybe a million or two. Or maybe ten million. What would you have to worry about? But she was right. You never have enough because the moment you have that ten, you want twelve. And if the opportunity comes for another ten or twelve that’s what you want. That’s part of human nature. We are acquisitive by nature. That’s one of our failings.
And the saddest thing about it is that we go to the utmost end to acquire something down here, a villa down here, when we have those wonderful mansions in heaven that the Lord is preparing for us. Covetousness which is idolatry.
Now of course, Micah is speaking about Israel and Judah, but Micah’s words are very contemporary, aren’t’ they? There isn’t a single one of us, no matter what our economic status may be, that does not stand in danger of falling into the same kind of sin that these people fell into. No matter what status we are, that’s one of our weaknesses. “They oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.”
Well, Micah is a very logical thinker. He begins the next section in which the divine intervention is described by the word “therefore”. “Therefore,” one of the commentators says this is a hinge linking cause and effect. Well, here is the effect by which the preceding verses are the cause.
“Therefore thus says the LORD.” Now I think in this grimly ironic message that we shall see, we should notice first of all that this is something that comes from the Lord as a decree from him. So Micah begins the third verse by saying, “Therefore thus says the LORD.” This is not something the prophet has devised. This is something that comes as a decree from him. And ironically, he says the scheming and plotting of these individuals on their beds and the execution of it when the sun begins to come up in the morning is going to find its counterpart in the scheming and planning of God.
“Therefore thus says the LORD: Behold, against this family I am devising evil.” Do you notice verse 1? “Woe to those who devise wickedness.” “Therefore thus says the LORD: (verse 3) behold against this family I am devising evil.” Same word in the Hebrew text.
So against those who devise wickedness, he’s going to devise evil. That’s very ironic. Micah has a keen sense of fair play and a passion for poetic justice, it has been said. But that’s part of God because throughout the Bible we have this expressed. And some of us may have from time to time experienced some of the irony of God.
Over in Galatians chapter 6 the Apostle Paul puts the same principle in this way. He says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” That text has always interested me because it says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that (not what he thought, not what he hoped), but whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”
So there is a likeness between the sowing and the reaping. One naturally follows from the other. It’s a sense of a passion for poetic justice; it’s a passion for fair play. That is true but it comes from the Lord.
Now notice, he says, “Behold against this family I am devising evil.” And this word “this family”, I have forgotten what the New American Standard Bible says. I did read it, but I’ve forgotten what it says. This word “family” is a disparaging word. It really means family but in many places, but in this case it’s very disparaging. It’s rendered by some commentators “cleek”. It’s rendered by some translations like the New English Bible, brood, this brood. “Behold against this brood I am devising evil.” It’s rendered by the Jerusalem Bible as breed, “Against this breed I am devising evil.”
One wonders: What is Micah talking about specifically? Now of course, God has many ways by which he may devise evil against those who are devising wickedness. Is he perhaps here expressing his presentiment of the Assyrian invasion which is to come? And Israel is going to be taken off into captivity? Perhaps. But perhaps he’s just saying that the time is coming surely when God is going to do something about the evil in the nation, because this is his principle. This is his way of acting. “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” “Be sure your sin will find you out,” the Bible says. We cannot escape this.
Some may hope to escape it for a time. Some may even escape its ultimate significance in this life, but sooner or later, your sin will find you out. Whatever you sow that you shall reap. Don’t be mocked. Don’t be surprised. Don’t be upset. God is not mocked. So, “Against this brood I am devising evil.”
Now the term “evil” is a term that has two significances. It can mean moral evil. It can mean something like a natural evil, like a catastrophe or a calamity. I would imagine that the ultimate fulfillment of this more specifically is the blow that was to come from the Assyrians. And so “Against this brood” God was already planning to bring the Assyrians down and they were going to overrun the land and these people who had gone out of their way to devise evil by gathering field to field so that finally they were left like somebody who was by himself in the midst of vast territories would discover that all of their land was taken away by the Assyrians. We’ll say more about that in a moment.
He continues the 3rd verse by saying, “Against this brood I am devising evil, from which you cannot remove your necks.” That suggests going into captivity and being prisoners. But that’s not specifically stated, so perhaps we should just leave it as a presentiment on his part.
“And you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be an evil time.” He’s begun the verse by saying, “Behold against this brood I am devising evil.” And it concludes by “It’s an evil time.” In other words, there’s an echo of the fact that by their covetousness they are bringing upon themselves a catastrophe. Someone has described this repetition of the evil as a repeated thunderclap heralding the storm that is to come.
The result of the intervention is described in the 4th verse. “In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you and wail with bitter lamentation, and say, ‘We are utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people; how he removes it from me! Among our captors (or among the rebellious) he divides our fields.'”
Well here is their grim consequence of the actions of the land barons and profiteers. They’re going to be the objects of a “taunt song”. That word “taunt song” is the Hebrew word mashal which really means something like an example or an object lesson. But obviously this is a mourning kind of song, so it’s a funeral lament. “In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you and wail with bitter lamentation, and say as they wail for you, We’re utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people.”
So they’re going to become an object lesson. They’re going to cry out, ‘We’re utterly ruined.’ It’s a cry of utter desolation, like we’re lost, we’re lost! And then isn’t it interesting, that in there there’s a line there in that 4th verse that says, “He changes the portion of my people.” That was a legal term for the transference of land by some act of conveyance. And they are saying things like, How could God do that to us? Why, he’s taken our land away from us. And furthermore, he’s giving it to these heathen people.
Evidently that’s in mind when he says, “He changes the portion of my people; among our captors he divides our fields.” Or if that word which in Hebrew is the rebellious, if the conjecture which this rendering represents is correct, it’s a reference to the Assyrians and the land given to them. But if it’s a reference to the rebellious, then it’s a kind of condescension on the part of the people to the fact that they’re going to go off into captivity but the land is going to be left in the hand of the erstwhile serfs and peasants that they had as their servants.
Of course, a lot of that happened when the Assyrians took people into captivity. They often took the elite into captivity and left the land in the hands of those who were the peasants. And so here are people who think themselves to be the important people of the land, even think themselves to be the meritorious individuals in the land, perhaps even the religious people of the land and they are saying, How could God do such a thing? He’s taken away my land and further he’s given it to these people who don’t deserve to have it.
You know, there is a principle here that reminds me of one of the great incidents in the New Testament, and that of course is the way in which God dealt with the nation Israel finally in the coming of our Lord. The disobedience reflected here which brought on the captivities is just simply an illustration of the disobedience that led to the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the scattering of the nation to the four corners of the earth.
The Apostle Paul, when he was in Antioch in Pisidia says in Acts chapter 13 and verse 46 some words like this which I think bear on this point. The apostle says, we read in verse 46,
“And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.'”
We know that’s what’s happened. When Israel rejected the Lord Jesus Christ they were scattered to the four corners of the earth. God took the kingdom from them and gave it to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And this nation in that particular parable turns out to be the Gentiles as the apostle says here.
And the Gentiles have received the blessing of worldwide salvation as the messengers from the Apostle Paul on down to the present time have gone out pointing out the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one who has accomplished the atoning work and that one may have eternal life by simply believing in him. And at the same time also pointing out the fact that those who had the great privileges, of whom were the covenants and the promises and the law and above all the messiah, they have turned away from the Lord and there is only a remnant of them left.
There is a great divine application that both the experience of Micah and Israel and Judah and the experience of the Jews in the days of our Lord have for us. Because the Apostle Paul said in Romans chapter 11 when he was talking about the fact that the natural branches have been cut off and the unnatural branches have been grafted in, he says,
“You will say, ‘You Gentiles, the branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.’ That’s true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast only through faith. So don’t become proud, but stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.”
The apostle warned the Gentiles who had received the blessing of the Lord that if they turn away from the truth of God as the nations then they like Israel shall suffer the judgment of God.
Now that principle is a principle in our own personal life, too. If we turn away from the things of the Lord, if we turn away from the Scriptures, if we turn away from meditation, if we turn away from obedience to the things that we know, if we become cold and indifferent to the things of the Lord, if the spiritual life becomes dead to us and we don’t take advantage of the opportunities that we have, if the vitality is gone, if there is no prayer time, if there is no getting down on our knees to lift our hearts to the Lord God , if there is no desire to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord, you can be sure that the deadening pall of divine judgment falls upon the saints as well.
And while of course, if we have truly believed in the Lord, we know the saints will persevere. As a body the Gentiles, we know from the Scripture, shall do just exactly what the apostle is speaking about here: shall turn away from the Lord. And by a mighty act of divine grace he shall turn again to Israel. He shall move upon them with a spirit of grace and supplication and they shall look upon him whom they’ve pierced and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only son. That of course is divine efficacious grace with respect to the nation Israel.
It’s a very solemn thing to know the Lord. It’s a very solemn thing to say we belong to him. It’s a very solemn thing to have a Bible in our hands. It’s a very solemn thing to be acquainted with the Lord, to know the Lord, to know the doctrines of the word of God, to know that our responsibilities are to pray and to witness and to seek to live for the glory of God. It’s a solemn thing.
And there are great consequences. Judgment, Peter says, will begin at the house of God. The Scriptures speak of the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. Every one of us shall stand at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ and we shall receive in our body the things that we’ve done, whether good or worthless. Paul said he made it his ambition to be well-pleasing to the Lord. What a wonderful ambition. And what a goal in life. May God give us that kind of goal.
Well the logical conclusion follows in verse 5. It’s kind of a supplementary conclusion to that of verse 3. You’ll notice it begins also with a “therefore”. “Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot in the assembly of the LORD.” Qahal adonai.
In other words, those who formerly had the land, who formerly coveted the land and grabbed it from the others, not only are they going to lose their land by going into captivity, but when God brings them back into the land, and divides the land again, they’re not going to be there. They’re not going to have any portion. They’re going to lose it forever. There is no hope of rehabilitation for them. There is full and final excommunication.
Well this is a powerful display of moral indignation is it not on the part of Micah the prophet? This is Micah on civil rights, civil rights in Israel.
Now we don’t live in a theocratic nation. And of course we cannot carry out the things that the prophet called upon the leaders to carry out. Our nation is a godless nation, has been a godless nation so far as I can tell, so far as its outward manner is concerned. Many Godly people within it, thank God, but it’s not a theocratic nation and so one should be careful to make the distinguish between them. But those who are evangelical Christians and who hold to the truths of the word of God ought to be interested in the same principles that Micah was interested in. It’s the believers who ought to be concerned about true justice and righteousness.
You’ll notice that Micah, though he was a man who had tremendous moral indignation, was not an active revolutionary. He did not say, Let’s take to the streets with our sticks and stones and take over the government from the leaders. He was not an active revolutionary.
Why was he not an active revolutionary? Well, so far as I can tell, we can only infer from what the Scriptures seem to say. What the Bible seems to say is that the prophets thought of history as what someone has called the moral workshop of Yahweh. And so they thought of history as under the control of God. And they knew that justice would eventually be done. And they conceived of their task as the warning of the nation of the consequences of their evil and sin and specifically their disobedience toward the Law of Moses.
So he was not an active revolutionary who took up violence in the streets in order to enforce the will of God. He was simply a person who preached the word of God, warned the people of what was to come, and knew that God was not mocked, that whatever a man sows, that he shall also eventually reap. And Micah rested in that fact content that God would do what he said he would do in the word.
Well, may the Lord speak to us through this remarkable prophet. May God help us to be the kinds of men and women that will be well-pleasing to the Lord God.
Let’s bow in a word of prayer.
Prayer] Father, we are thankful to Thee for this wonderful section from the prophecy of Micah and we pray that its lessons may come home to us with great force. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.