1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
The Coming Destruction
Hear, you peoples, all of you;
pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it,
and let the Lord GOD be a witness against you,
the Lord from his holy temple.
For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place,
and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.
And the mountains will melt under him,
and the valleys will split open,
like wax before the fire,
like waters poured down a steep place.
All this is for the transgression of Jacob
and for the sins of the house of Israel.
What is the transgression of Jacob?
Is it not Samaria?
And what is the high place of Judah?
Is it not Jerusalem?
Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country,
a place for planting vineyards,
and I will pour down her stones into the valley
and uncover her foundations.
All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces,
all her wages shall be burned with fire,
and all her idols I will lay waste,
for from the fee of a prostitute she gathered them,
and to the fee of a prostitute they shall return.
For this I will lament and wail;
I will go stripped and naked;
I will make lamentation like the jackals,
and mourning like the ostriches.
For her wound is incurable,
and it has come to Judah;
it has reached to the gate of my people,
Tell it not in Gath;
weep not at all;
roll yourselves in the dust.
Pass on your way,
inhabitants of Shaphir,
in nakedness and shame;
the inhabitants of Zaanan
do not come out;
the lamentation of Beth-ezel
shall take away from you its standing place.
For the inhabitants of Maroth
wait anxiously for good,
because disaster has come down from the LORD
to the gate of Jerusalem.
Harness the steeds to the chariots,
inhabitants of Lachish;
it was the beginning of sin
to the daughter of Zion,
for in you were found
the transgressions of Israel.
Therefore you shall give parting gifts
the houses of Achzib shall be a deceitful thing
to the kings of Israel.
I will again bring a conqueror to you,
inhabitants of Mareshah;
the glory of Israel
shall come to Adullam.
Make yourselves bald and cut off your hair,
for the children of your delight;
make yourselves as bald as the eagle,
for they shall go from you into exile.
Micah 1 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Micah was a bold speaker of God’s Word much like his contemporary Isaiah, who was around the same time as himself. His message directed mainly at Judah, although a few places he speaks to Israel, his task given and words to deliver were strong. There’s not a lot of backstory on this man either. The seven chapters are short and punch to the point.
We hear the words that sadly have become so common today and miss the impact. The Christian lingo today has hijacked the power of the statement. God hates sin but loves the sinner. I know, you just let it somewhat roll over your thoughts a moment. That’s how this massive truth has lost its strength because the statement is so overused. The impact gone of what this really means. But this is absolutely the theme of the prophecies of Micah. The book is packed with judgment from God that is coming. Specific sins are almost bullet-points as to why his judgment will arrive when they least expect it.
But scattered throughout these hard words, Micah brings a message of hope. It’s that of God’s love. His anger is spoken, but God’s love is also in action as through the countless times the people have been given to turn themselves around, and judgment will come for their reckless choices, He still loves and wants them.
We should hold the same feelings. We are surrounded by very broken people, those who have made choices that have led them down paths of destruction. Many times we get to the point we simply write them off stating, “They’re getting what they deserve.” Good grief, if God did that to us, none of us would be in right standing. But as His love continues to reach to us wayward children, so should ours.
Smack in the middle of this prophecy we read some powerful words from Micah at the impact the blow of God’s judgment will bring. It brings complete sorrow to the man.
“Because of this I must lament and wail,Micah 1:8-9
I must go barefoot and naked;
I must make a lament like the jackals
And a mourning like the ostriches.
For her wound is incurable,
For it has come to Judah…”
Micah can’t just prophesy in a dispassionate or detached way. He’s affected greatly by the judgment coming to the people. His sorrow unprecedented as he wails and howls like jackals over the choices of the people that will lead to further heartache. He cared so deeply for these that he wept in brokenness for them.
As Ambassadors of Jesus Christ, our brokenness over others who have lost their way should be there. Our duty is not to just be representatives of Him in a few things but in all. And one of those is heart being torn by others and their choices which has led to separation. God needs to break our hearts for the things that break His.
Although stated their wounds are incurable, we know that the unhealed wounds remain to those who refuse to bring their brokenness to God. He can heal our wounds, but we must bring them before Him in the first place. We must allow Him to bring the healing we so desperately need but it requires moving toward His grace and mercy.
As Micah saw the hardness of heart of the people, he knew they would not do this and so their wounds would remain open, the judgment would surely come.
We need the Father Heart of God to infiltrate our heart where we see people like He does. We need to have a brokenness ourselves as we carry the burden for those who are so helpless and hopeless. This will affect everything as we move forward with the burden He’s placed and enable us to intercede with passion. Through the strength and power of the Holy Spirit to respond as God Himself would and live as an Ambassador of Jesus to the world like He did.
Micah 1 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Micah was a prophet during a very critical time for both Israel and Judah. He mostly served the nation of Judah and his ministry spanned over the kings of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. The Assyrian invasions would take place first on Israel but eventually would make their way to Judah. A lot of Micah’s predictions center around warning Judah of a national disaster that is looming.
The leaders of Jerusalem were confident that they would not be overtaken because of the presence and protection of their holy temple. Micah would be the one called upon by God to confront this arrogant attitude and align their allegiance back to the Lord. This destruction that Micah warned of would be delayed by God until 586 BC when finally the Babylonians would level the city. This delay can only be attributed to God’s mercy.
Sometimes we skim over passages without realizing the detail and meaning behind the words. Using creative wordplays, Micah would warn to cities of Judah that destruction was coming.
You people of Shaphir, go into exile, naked and ashamed. Those who live in Zaanan do not dare to come out of their city. When you hear the people of Bethezel mourn, you will know that there is no refuge there.Micah 1:11 GNB
Shaphir means “beautiful” which is why Micah predicts the city will be naked. Instead of beauty, the people would experience shame. Zaanan means “to go forth” but no one would dare venture out of their city once it was destroyed. Bethezel means “neighbor’s house” but as Micah predicts, there will be no refuge there.
The people of Maroth anxiously wait for relief, because the LORD has brought disaster close to Jerusalem.Micah 1:12 GNB
Jerusalem is a name that suggests “peace” but Micah predicts just the opposite. There would be nothing but disaster. Why was God so furious? His judgment stems from the rampant idol worship that tore the people’s hearts away from Him. Even the capital cities of Jerusalem and Samaria had embraced such wicked idolatry.
The reminder for us is that God is a jealous God. He is jealous for us because He loves us. Who could possibly know more about what we actually need than the One who created us and called us by name before we were even born? The Lord is righteous and full of truth but His mercy extends to those who embrace repentance.