Friday, July 13, 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 2 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…
2:1 – Those who plot and execute evil will be punished.
What is the significance of “plot evil on their beds”? This is not an aggressive, militaristic strategizing. This posture implies relaxed, conniving oppression. It almost comes naturally.
2:2 – This passage reminds me of how Ahab coveted Naboth’s vineyard, but Naboth wouldn’t sell, so Jezebel had him killed and they stole the land in 1 Kings 21.
A warning to those who fraudulently take someone’s home. Would this apply to the lending institutions that should not have made loans to those who couldn’t purchase such expensive homes? Now these people are being foreclosed on.
A warning to those who fraudulently take someone’s inheritance.
2:3 – This is the Lord speaking. God is planning a disaster for these plotters from which you are powerless to save yourselves. Who will be caught up in the punishment of these wicked people? God’s people from Jerusalem and Samaria? God’s people will no longer strut around like peacocks because it will be a tragic time.
What have you done to safeguard yourself in uncertain times?
2:4 – God’s people will be ridiculed and taunted with a song that accuses them of what he wicked men have done in verse 2!
God’s people are taunted and ridiculed now, too! What advice would you give the persecuted?
2:5 – no one in the assembly of the Lord?
Divide the land by lot? Simply a fair way of distributing land?
2:6 – The prophets of Jerusalem and Samaria beg Micah not to prophesy about these things. What do you prefer from God? The truth – even if it means conviction? Or a warm fuzzy that won’t help you to grow in relationship to Him? Take a wild guess as to which God will actually give you!
2:7 – Good question. Do you think the Spirit of the Lord is angry? Does He do such things? In verse 3, He plainly says that He is planning disaster for the wicked and that His people are going to be caught up in it. The key to this is that God’s “anger” is very different from ours. When we are angry, we lash out to hurt others purposely. When God is angry, He orchestrates and allows events that will bring us back to Him!
God’s words encourage those whose hearts are right with Him. Is your heart right? Or do you feel condemned by what God says? Don’t run away from Him. Pray that He will align your heart with His so that you feel blessed by His correction rather than condemned by it.
2:8 – God’s people have become corrupt like their enemies. They will suffer the punishment of those described in verses 1-2 because they behave like them!
…without a care like men returning from battle – tired, contemplating what horrors they’ve seen, dreaming of home, relief and disbelief that they made it, mourning those they know who haven’t, not joyfully running to arms of loved ones – why? Because they have to bear bad news to the families of the dead? Why would the people passing by Jerusalem and Samaria behave this way?
2:9 – Why would they drive their own women from their homes? Is God still speaking to His people? Yes. Are they forcing their women to become shrine prostitutes as part of their idolatry? Why else would women be taken from their children?
God’s blessing to children are their mothers. If you have the opportunity to do so, call your mother right now.
2:10 – God’s people have defiled the land that they were given as part of the old covenant, so they are being removed from it – taken into exile! Are you honoring all that God has given you?
2:11 – God says that the perfect prophet for this people would be a liar who would do so for a payment of alcohol! WOW! How unethical would that be! What sort of prophesies do you think a person like that would give to the people?
2:12 – God’s grace and mercy is apparent in that He will gather all of His people back together again. He will protect a remnant of Israel and keep them together.
2:13 – Is this scene how the people of Israel will be given a way to come back together? 2 Kings 19:35-37 speaks of the death of King Sennacherib of Assyria and a significant number of his people, which would have cleared a bit of the path leading to Israel’s freedom.
• 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?