Friday, July 06, 2012
Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Micah, although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, spring 2009, things are looking pretty bleak with the economy and unemployment, natural disasters, and godly principles of living being disregarded. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Stay strong. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…
Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 1 of the Old Testament book of Micah. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…
Micah (his name means “who is like the Lord”) was from Moresheth-Gath (the name means “inheritance of Gath”). This city was located near Philistine-Gath. Micah was sensitive to society’s depravity. He prophesied during the reigns of Jotham (750-732 BC), Ahaz (735-715 BC) and Hezekiah (715-686 BC). He was a contemporary of Isaiah and Hosea. See Jeremiah 26:18. This book was probably written around 700 BC if Micah penned it, himself.
Micah was witty and may have loved language. He incorporated several plays on words to begin this text.
1:1-4 – Micah saw the Lord’s hand in the movement of the Assyrian army.
Think about your life, history or current events: How do you see the Lord’s hand in the movement of others?
1:1 – Micah received a vision from the Lord.
How does the Lord speak to you?
1:2 – God wants Samaria and Jerusalem to hear the judgment against them. These cities are the capitals of Israel and Judah. God is judging His people. All people will be judged.
Rebellion is a path to ruin.
Are you rebelling in any areas? Confess and repent. Just between you and God.
God is sovereign.
God resides in a holy place – heaven.
1:3 – God wants Samaria and Jerusalem to see Him coming down to the earth. Why? To intimidate? To make them repent? It is significant that God appears.
High places – mountains, shrines.
1:4 – Mountains melt? Heat? Fire? Judgment? Yes. God shows up to judge His people.
Valleys split? Power?
Like wax? The mountains? Probably. See Psalm 97:5.
Water rushes downhill.
1:5-7 – Micah predicts the fall of Samaria. This took place in 722-721 BC. 2 Kings 17:6 describes that in the ninth year of King Hoshea of Israel, Shalmamesar king of Assyria invaded and captured Samaria. He took the captives to Halah in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes.
1:5 – Jacob’s transgression? Israel’s sin? Samaria (Israel’s capital, remember)? Idolatry? Samaria was built on a hill, so it is naturally a “high place”.
Judah’s high place – Jerusalem. David chose this city as the capital for its height – that was good military strategy – defensible. No one could sneak up on them. But this sounds like it’s become an idol.
1:6-7 – Samaria will be destroyed because it is Jacob’s transgression? Samaria, built on a hill, became a “high place” – a shrine – a place of idolatry.
1:7 – prostitutes – shrine prostitutes? Prostitution is symbolic of idolatry and spiritual unfaithfulness.
1:8 – This destruction makes Micah weep? Because he loves God’s people.
Howl like a jackal? Moan like an owl? These are noises associated with mourning. Do you mourn over what is happening in the world today?
1:9-16 – Micah predicts the desolation of Judah.
1:9 – Her wound is incurable – who is “her”? Israel? Her wound has come to Judah. This horror is like a cancer that will spread until judgment day.
Judah is the gate of God’s people. This is evident in the layout of the tabernacle. If the wound comes to Judah, it gains access to God’s people.
1:10 – tell it not in Gath – a play on words. Gath sounds like the Hebrew word for “tell”.
Roll in dust in Beth Ophrah. The proper name of this city means “place of dust”. Rolling in dust expresses grief. This is another play on words.
1:11 – nakedness and shame in Shapir. The name means “beautiful town” or “pleasant”.
The inhabitants of Zaanan will not come out – another play on words. Zaanan sounds like the Hebrew for “come out”.
Beth Ezel mourns. They no longer protect Judah. Beth Ezel means “house of the leader” or “house at the side”. They no longer led the way or stood by Judah’s side.
1:12 – The people of Maroth are in pain because of disaster inflicted on them. Maroth means “bitter” or “bitter fountain”.
1:13 – Lachish was one of Judah’s largest towns and a crowning conquest for Sennacharib, King of Assyria.
1:14 – Israel will give parting gifts in Moresheth-Gath? Why? Because she is to be captured by Assyria.
The town of Aczib will deceive Israel’s kings. Aczib means “deception”.
1:15 – Who is the conqueror God will bring against them?
Those who live in Mareshah will be conquered. Mareshah sounds like the Hebrew for “conqueror”.
The glory of the Lord will come to Adullam? Either by God Himself or appointed leaders of Israel.
1:16 – Shave your heads in mourning. You are going into exile.
• The book of Micah teaches us that there is forgiveness and deliverance for those who belong to the Lord. What have you learned and applied to your life from today’s reading that will help you persevere in your relationship with Christ?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?