This is Episode #268 and today we’ll read Micah chapters 1-7 together. He has told you what is good and what the Lord requires: act justly, love faithfulness, and walk humbly with your God.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #268 and today we’ll read Micah chapters 1-7 together. He has told you what is good and what the Lord requires: act justly, love faithfulness, and walk humbly with your God.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Intro to Micah
This time, it’s Israel’s and Judah’s turn in the hot seat about their injustices. Micah prophecies that someday, God will return His people to the land and rule in perfect justice.
Micah Chapter 1
The word of the Lord that came to Micah the Moreshite — what he saw regarding Samaria and Jerusalem in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Coming Judgment on Israel
Listen, all you peoples;
pay attention, earth and everyone in it!
The Lord God will be a witness against you,
the Lord, from his holy temple.
Look, the Lord is leaving his place
and coming down to trample
the heights of the earth.
The mountains will melt beneath him,
and the valleys will split apart,
like wax near a fire,
like water cascading down a mountainside.
All this will happen because of Jacob’s rebellion
and the sins of the house of Israel.
What is the rebellion of Jacob?
Isn’t it Samaria?
And what is the high place of Judah?
Isn’t it Jerusalem?
Therefore, I will make Samaria
a heap of ruins in the countryside,
a planting area for a vineyard.
I will roll her stones into the valley
and expose her foundations.
All her carved images will be smashed to pieces;
all her wages will be burned in the fire,
and I will destroy all her idols.
Since she collected the wages of a prostitute,
they will be used again for a prostitute.
Because of this I will lament and wail;
I will walk barefoot and naked.
I will howl like the jackals
and mourn like ostriches.
For her wound is incurable
and has reached even Judah;
it has approached my people’s city gate,
as far as Jerusalem.
Don’t announce it in Gath,
don’t weep at all.
Roll in the dust in Beth-leaphrah.
Depart in shameful nakedness,
you residents of Shaphir;
the residents of Zaanan will not come out.
Beth-ezel is lamenting;
its support is taken from you.
Though the residents of Maroth
anxiously wait for something good,
disaster has come from the Lord
to the gate of Jerusalem.
Harness the horses to the chariot,
you residents of Lachish.
This was the beginning of sin for Daughter Zion
because Israel’s acts of rebellion can be traced to you.
Therefore, send farewell gifts to Moresheth-gath;
the houses of Achzib are a deception
to the kings of Israel.
I will again bring a conqueror
against you who live in Mareshah.
The nobility of Israel will come to Adullam.
Shave yourselves bald and cut off your hair
in sorrow for your precious children;
make yourselves as bald as an eagle,
for they have been taken from you into exile.
Micah Chapter 2
Woe to those who dream up wickedness
and prepare evil plans on their beds!
At morning light they accomplish it
because the power is in their hands.
They covet fields and seize them;
they also take houses.
They deprive a man of his home,
a person of his inheritance.
Therefore, the Lord says:
I am now planning a disaster
against this nation;
you cannot free your necks from it.
Then you will not walk so proudly
because it will be an evil time.
In that day one will take up a taunt against you
and lament mournfully, saying,
“We are totally ruined!
He measures out the allotted land of my people.
How he removes it from me!
He allots our fields to traitors.”
Therefore, there will be no one
in the assembly of the Lord
to divide the land by casting lots.
God’s Word Rejected
“Quit your preaching,” they preach.
“They should not preach these things;
shame will not overtake us.”
House of Jacob, should it be asked,
“Is the Spirit of the Lord impatient?
Are these the things he does?”
Don’t my words bring good
to the one who walks uprightly?
But recently my people have risen up
like an enemy:
You strip off the splendid robe
from those who are passing through confidently,
like those returning from war.
You force the women of my people
out of their comfortable homes,
and you take my blessing
from their children forever.
Get up and leave,
for this is not your place of rest
because defilement brings destruction —
a grievous destruction!
If a man comes
and utters empty lies —
“I will preach to you about wine and beer” —
he would be just the preacher for this people!
The Remnant Regathered
I will indeed gather all of you, Jacob;
I will collect the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
like a flock in the middle of its pasture.
It will be noisy with people.
One who breaks open the way
will advance before them;
they will break out, pass through the city gate,
and leave by it.
Their King will pass through before them,
the Lord as their leader.
Micah Chapter 3
Unjust Leaders Judged
Then I said, “Now listen, leaders of Jacob,
you rulers of the house of Israel.
Aren’t you supposed to know what is just?
You hate good and love evil.
You tear off people’s skin
and strip their flesh from their bones.
You eat the flesh of my people
after you strip their skin from them
and break their bones.
You chop them up
like flesh for the cooking pot,
like meat in a cauldron.”
Then they will cry out to the Lord,
but he will not answer them.
He will hide his face from them at that time
because of the crimes they have committed.
False Prophets Judged
This is what the Lord says
concerning the prophets
who lead my people astray,
who proclaim peace
when they have food to sink their teeth into
but declare war against the one
who puts nothing in their mouths.
Therefore, it will be night for you —
it will grow dark for you —
The sun will set on these prophets,
and the daylight will turn black over them.
Then the seers will be ashamed
and the diviners disappointed.
They will all cover their mouths
because there will be no answer from God.
As for me, however, I am filled with power
by the Spirit of the Lord,
with justice and courage,
to proclaim to Jacob his rebellion
and to Israel his sin.
Listen to this, leaders of the house of Jacob,
you rulers of the house of Israel,
who abhor justice
and pervert everything that is right,
who build Zion with bloodshed
and Jerusalem with injustice.
Her leaders issue rulings for a bribe,
her priests teach for payment,
and her prophets practice divination for silver.
Yet they lean on the Lord, saying,
“Isn’t the Lord among us?
No disaster will overtake us.”
Therefore, because of you,
Zion will be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem will become ruins,
and the temple’s mountain
will be a high thicket.
Micah Chapter 4
The Lord’s Rule from Restored Zion
In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s house
will be established
at the top of the mountains
and will be raised above the hills.
Peoples will stream to it,
and many nations will come and say,
“Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us about his ways
so we may walk in his paths.”
For instruction will go out of Zion
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will settle disputes among many peoples
and provide arbitration for strong nations
that are far away.
They will beat their swords into plows
and their spears into pruning knives.
Nation will not take up the sword against nation,
and they will never again train for war.
But each person will sit under his grapevine
and under his fig tree
with no one to frighten him.
For the mouth of the Lord of Armies
Though all the peoples walk
in the name of their own gods,
we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
forever and ever.
On that day —
this is the Lord’s declaration —
I will assemble the lame
and gather the scattered,
those I have injured.
I will make the lame into a remnant,
those far removed into a strong nation.
Then the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
from this time on and forever.
And you, watchtower for the flock,
fortified hill of Daughter Zion,
the former rule will come to you;
sovereignty will come to Daughter Jerusalem.
From Exile to Victory
Now, why are you shouting loudly?
Is there no king with you?
Has your counselor perished
so that anguish grips you like a woman in labor?
Writhe and cry out, Daughter Zion,
like a woman in labor,
for now you will leave the city
and camp in the open fields.
You will go to Babylon;
there you will be rescued;
there the Lord will redeem you
from the grasp of your enemies!
Many nations have now assembled against you;
they say, “Let her be defiled,
and let us feast our eyes on Zion.”
But they do not know the Lord’s intentions
or understand his plan,
that he has gathered them
like sheaves to the threshing floor.
Rise and thresh, Daughter Zion,
for I will make your horns iron
and your hooves bronze
so you can crush many peoples.
Then you will set apart their plunder
for the Lord,
their wealth for the Lord of the whole earth.
Micah Chapter 5
From Defeated Ruler to Conquering King
Now, daughter who is under attack,
you slash yourself in grief;
a siege is set against us!
They are striking the judge of Israel
on the cheek with a rod.
you are small among the clans of Judah;
one will come from you
to be ruler over Israel for me.
His origin is from antiquity,
from ancient times.
Therefore, Israel will be abandoned until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of the ruler’s brothers will return
to the people of Israel.
He will stand and shepherd them
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majestic name of the Lord his God.
They will live securely,
for then his greatness will extend
to the ends of the earth.
He will be their peace.
When Assyria invades our land,
when it marches against our fortresses,
we will raise against it seven shepherds,
even eight leaders of men.
They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword,
the land of Nimrod with a drawn blade.
So he will rescue us from Assyria
when it invades our land,
when it marches against our territory.
The Glorious and Purified Remnant
Then the remnant of Jacob
will be among many peoples
like dew from the Lord,
like showers on the grass,
which do not wait for anyone
or linger for mankind.
Then the remnant of Jacob
will be among the nations, among many peoples,
like a lion among animals of the forest,
like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
which tramples and tears as it passes through,
and there is no one to rescue them.
Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries,
and all your enemies will be destroyed.
In that day —
this is the Lord’s declaration —
I will remove your horses from you
and wreck your chariots.
I will remove the cities of your land
and tear down all your fortresses.
I will remove sorceries from your hands,
and you will not have any more fortune-tellers.
I will remove your carved images
and sacred pillars from you
so that you will no longer worship
the work of your hands.
I will pull up the Asherah poles from among you
and demolish your cities.
I will take vengeance in anger and wrath
against the nations that have not obeyed me.
Micah Chapter 6
God’s Lawsuit against Judah
Now listen to what the Lord is saying:
Rise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your complaint.
Listen to the Lord’s lawsuit,
you mountains and enduring foundations of the earth,
because the Lord has a case against his people,
and he will argue it against Israel.
My people, what have I done to you,
or how have I wearied you?
Testify against me!
Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt
and redeemed you from that place of slavery.
I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam ahead of you.
remember what King Balak of Moab proposed,
what Balaam son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from the Acacia Grove to Gilgal
so that you may acknowledge
the Lord’s righteous acts.
What should I bring before the Lord
when I come to bow before God on high?
Should I come before him with burnt offerings,
with year-old calves?
Would the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams
or with ten thousand streams of oil?
Should I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the offspring of my body for my own sin?
Mankind, he has told each of you what is good
and what it is the Lord requires of you:
to act justly,
to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Verdict of Judgment
The voice of the Lord calls out to the city
(and it is wise to fear your name):
“Pay attention to the rod
and the one who ordained it.
Are there still the treasures of wickedness
and the accursed short measure
in the house of the wicked?
Can I excuse wicked scales
or bags of deceptive weights?
For the wealthy of the city are full of violence,
and its residents speak lies;
the tongues in their mouths are deceitful.
“As a result, I have begun to strike you severely,
bringing desolation because of your sins.
You will eat but not be satisfied,
for there will be hunger within you.
What you acquire, you cannot save,
and what you do save,
I will give to the sword.
You will sow but not reap;
you will press olives
but not anoint yourself with oil;
and you will tread grapes
but not drink the wine.
The statutes of Omri
and all the practices of Ahab’s house
have been observed;
you have followed their policies.
Therefore, I will make you a desolate place
and the city’s residents an object of contempt;
you will bear the scorn of my people.”
Micah Chapter 7
Israel’s Moral Decline
How sad for me!
For I am like one who —
when the summer fruit has been gathered
after the gleaning of the grape harvest —
finds no grape cluster to eat,
no early fig, which I crave.
Faithful people have vanished from the land;
there is no one upright among the people.
All of them wait in ambush to shed blood;
they hunt each other with a net.
Both hands are good at accomplishing evil:
the official and the judge demand a bribe;
when the powerful man communicates his evil desire,
they plot it together.
The best of them is like a brier;
the most upright is worse than a hedge of thorns.
The day of your watchmen,
the day of your punishment, is coming;
at this time their panic is here.
Do not rely on a friend;
don’t trust in a close companion.
Seal your mouth
from the woman who lies in your arms.
Surely a son considers his father a fool,
a daughter opposes her mother,
and a daughter-in-law is against her mother-in-law;
a man’s enemies are the men of his own household.
But I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation.
My God will hear me.
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will stand up;
though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light.
Because I have sinned against him,
I must endure the Lord’s fury
until he champions my cause
and establishes justice for me.
He will bring me into the light;
I will see his salvation.
Then my enemy will see,
and she will be covered with shame,
the one who said to me,
“Where is the Lord your God?”
My eyes will look at her in triumph;
at that time she will be trampled
like mud in the streets.
A day will come for rebuilding your walls;
on that day your boundary will be extended.
On that day people will come to you
from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
even from Egypt to the Euphrates River
and from sea to sea
and mountain to mountain.
Then the earth will become a wasteland
because of its inhabitants
and as a result of their actions.
Micah’s Prayer Answered
Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock that is your possession.
They live alone in a woodland
surrounded by pastures.
Let them graze in Bashan and Gilead
as in ancient times.
I will perform miracles for them
as in the days of your exodus
from the land of Egypt.
Nations will see and be ashamed
of all their power.
They will put their hands over their mouths,
and their ears will become deaf.
They will lick the dust like a snake;
they will come trembling out of their hiding places
like reptiles slithering on the ground.
They will tremble in the presence of the Lord our God;
they will stand in awe of you.
Who is a God like you,
forgiving iniquity and passing over rebellion
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not hold on to his anger forever
because he delights in faithful love.
He will again have compassion on us;
he will vanquish our iniquities.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.
You will show loyalty to Jacob
and faithful love to Abraham,
as you swore to our ancestors
from days long ago.
Did you notice the structure of Micah? It’s just a little different in that it’s not mostly judgement with an ending of hope. There are three sections of judgement, each ending with that whisper of hope…the promise of restoration. I’m sure you’re familiar with Micah 5:2 from the Christmas story. But an incredible verse worth repeating is Micah 6:8. If ever there was a checklist of ways to please God, this must be it. Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.
And finally, like a big, ol’ hug from our Heavenly Father, the last few lines leave us grateful and relieved: He does not hold on to his anger forever because he delights in faithful love. He will again have compassion on us; he will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
Tell me what you got from Micah at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will be changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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