by Rev. Chris Skinner
Micah was a prophet of the 8th century around the same time as Isaiah. He was born in Moresheth about 40 kilometres from Jerusalem and his name means ‘who is like Jehovah’ .
Isaiah was from the upper class and Micah from a peasant farming background which goes to show that the Lord uses those who he considers suitable for a particular task no matter who we are. As with most of the prophets, they are speaking about the issues of the day and trying to lead people back to God and predicting the consequences.
As has been said many times when looking at the prophets, they were used by the Lord at a time when Israel had degenerated into idolatry, vice and there were many social and political injustices. Micah, like all the others, was trying to remind them of God’s covenant with them, and theirs with him. They were completely forgetting this covenant.
The seven chapters of Micah go between warnings of judgement and then provision of a sense of hope. This message of doom and gloom is particularly apparent in chapters 1-3. It should however be recognised that God never leaves us completely without hope, and the Word and the message of Micah always comes back to it.
The Word of God has a number of levels. It is a commentary on the signs of the times in which it is written. It is about God’s love and at a deeper level it is about our own spiritual path. Just as the Jews had turned to idolatry and selfishness, so do we if we focus on the world and our own needs alone. We often persuade ourselves that what we are doing is right but we are really falsifying the truth. The Israelites were chosen to show our own nature to ourselves, how we wander in the wilderness and worship graven images.
In chapters 1-3, in wonderful imagery, we see how people are led away from God. In chapter 4 we see a complete contrast where it talks about the mountain of the Lord’s house being established. This is about the sense of love and truth in our mind where the house of God lies. The contrast between selfishness and love to the neighbour.
‘Sit under his vine and under his fig tree’ Chapter 4 v4 is a visual picture of peace after turmoil. The vine representing interior thought and the fig tree, external thought, which are both turned to the Lord. Chapter 6 talks about the covenant being breached by the people and the Lord showing them how to renew it with the special verse 8: ‘what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God’. Living the true life at all levels. It talks also about God working with the remnant. All of this conveys a wonderful picture of our God never leaving us, never leaving his people. He does not want sacrifices but the internal worship of the heart. The last three verses of the book bring us back to the love and compassion of God. In so many ways this book shows us about the way God is always there either to bring us back or two lead us forward. Let us see the Word of God talking to people down the ages but particularly to each one of us. It links us to the angels as we read because it is from heaven.
Each generation faces similar problems if the Covenant of God is kept then social injustices, wars etc will cease and God is always trying to draw us and establish His kingdom here on earth.