Friday, July 20, 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 3 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…
3:1 – Is this Micah speaking, again? Yes.
Micah is speaking to the king and government leaders, here. He asks the leaders of Israel and Judah if they should be exempt from justice. Israel and Judah believed that they were above the law because they are God’s people. But they should have taken their position of privilege as a responsibility to guard the Lord’s reputation with their behavior. Do you guard the Lord’s reputation with your behavior?
Do you pray regularly for the leaders God’s placed over you? By the way, if they are over you, God has placed them there.
3:2-3 – hate good, love evil, skin God’s people, rip the flesh from their bones, eat flesh, break bones, chop them up like meat – Ouch! God is still talking about Israel and Judah. They are torturing their own brothers. Do you see behavior like this in the world today? Maybe within families…maybe within churches…maybe between Christian denominations? What can we do to make this stop? Start with prayer.
3:4 – When these things happen, they will cry out to God, but He will not respond because of their own wickedness.
3:5-7 – The prophets are leading God’s people astray. These men are like those in 2:11 who will prophesy for wine and beer. They base their prophesies on what the payment is. These prophets will be punished by not receiving visions from the Lord. They will be disgraced before the Lord and the people.
Micah is taking on the religious leaders, here. He is standing alone against all of the other prophets.
Have you ever had to stand against others for any reason? What would you do differently? What advice would you give to someone else who had to stand up on their own?
3:8 – But Micah declares his genuineness. He is filled with power, the Spirit of the Lord, justice and might to deliver this prophecy against Jacob. What has God filled you with?
3:9 – Micah declares that the leaders of Jacob and Israel have become completely corrupt. They despise justice, distort the truth, build cities with bloodshed and wickedness, and judge for bribes. Their priests teach for payment. Their prophets tell fortunes for money. But they still believe the Lord is among them. These people are depraved and have no integrity. Every part of their society has become poisoned – the executive government, the legislature, the military, the priesthood, the judicial system! What parallels do you see in the news? How can you pray for your leaders? Do you pray for your leaders? You should.
3:10 – Zion is where God’s temple was? It is where His throne of judgment will be.
3:11 – unethical behavior, bribes, paying for what you want to hear – not the truth! GOD’S WORD IS FREE!!!!!
3:12 – Micah predicts the fall of Jerusalem. Zion, the city that was built with bloodshed in verse 10, will be plowed like a field – completely uprooted. Jerusalem, the city built with wickedness in verse 10, will become a pile of rubble. The temple hill will be neglected to the point that it will be overgrown with thickets, destroying the “high place”. Jeremiah mentions this prophecy as he was observing its fulfillment in Jeremiah 26:18.
• 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?