Friday, January 20, 2017

Micah, part 1



The next book in the Old Testament is Micah. The name means “who is like God?” The prophet Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah and he spoke out strongly against immorality, social injustices and the oppression of the poor by the rich. Let’s look first at chapter 1 verse 2:
2 Hear, you peoples, all of you,
   listen, earth and all who live in it,
that the Sovereign LORD may bear witness against you,
   the Lord from his holy temple.
So is this prophecy for you? Appears so. And it looks like the Lord is going to bear witness against us.
What did we do? Hmm, the usual . . . See here in chapter 2, verses 1-2 man’s plans:
 1 Woe to those who plan iniquity,
   to those who plot evil on their beds!
At morning’s light they carry it out
   because it is in their power to do it.
2 They covet fields and seize them,
   and houses, and take them.
They defraud people of their homes,
   they rob them of their inheritance.

Iniquity, evil, fraud, covetousness, theft . . .  sounds like a pretty thorough assessment of mankind. But not only that, this passage directly relates back to chapter 21 of 1st Kings and the story about Naboth’s vineyard and how Jezebel urges Ahab to seize that coveted field.
Those are man’s plans. What are God’s? 2: 3-4:

 3 Therefore, the LORD says:
   “I am planning disaster against this people,
   from which you cannot save yourselves.
You will no longer walk proudly,
   for it will be a time of calamity.
4 In that day people will ridicule you;
   they will taunt you with this mournful song:
‘We are utterly ruined;
   my people’s possession is divided up.
He takes it from me!
   He assigns our fields to traitors.’”

A disaster. A time of calamity. Ridicule and taunting. Chapter 2 goes on with a warning against false prophets (boy, that comes up a lot in the Bible), but deliverance is promised along with a glimpse of the Messiah king, 2:12-13:
 12 “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;
   I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
   like a flock in its pasture;
   the place will throng with people.
13 The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;
   they will break through the gate and go out.
Their King will pass through before them,
   the LORD at their head.”


Next week we’ll look at some end time prophecies in Micah.