The prophet Micah’s name means, “Who is like God”? Micah’s ministry was closely linked to answering that question. What does God love? What does He hate? What does He require? How does He evaluate culture? What is it that draws His wrath? How do you understand His mercy? What words are used to describe Him? In short, “Who is like God”? The answer is that no one is like God. He is holy and in every way different from us.
In Micah, God is glorifying Himself through His uniqueness, so that He might demonstrate His superior goodness in the salvation sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of His people for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy.
The author identifies himself as Micah of Moresheth (Mic. 1:1; cf. Jer. 26:18). He was a contemporary of Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea.
Micah prophesied from the reign of Jotham (750–732 B.C.) to that of Hezekiah (716–687 B.C.).
“Hear, all you peoples!
Listen, O earth, and all that is in it!
Let the Lord GOD be a witness against you,
The Lord from His holy temple.”
“I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob,
I will surely gather the remnant of Israel;
I will put them together like sheep of the fold,
Like a flock in the midst of their pasture;
They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.
The one who breaks open will come up before them;
They will break out,
Pass through the gate,
And go out by it;
Their king will pass before them,
With the Lord at their head.”
“Who is a God like You,
And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?
“He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in mercy.
He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.”
Some commentators interpret “the one who breaks open” as a ram with big horns that crashes through the gate and lets the sheep go free. This is symbolic of Jesus Christ. He is the one who breaks through the barrier and triumphantly leads His flock into the open pastures. Slaves of sin are set free (Rom. 6:7–18), and the devil’s works are destroyed (1 John 3:8).
The prophet Micah predicted that Christ would come out of Bethlehem (even the Jews recognized this in Jesus’ day, see Matt. 2:1–6; John 7:42). This Man, according to Micah, would be no ordinary man, but one “whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting,” that is, God Himself.
What was the historical setting that prompted Micah’s prophesy?
Micah prophesied during a period of intense social injustice in Judah. Prophets preached for riches. Princes thrived on cruelty, violence, and corruption. Priests ministered out of greed. Landlords stole from the poor and evicted widows. Judges lusted after bribes. Businessmen used deceitful scales and weights.
What is the central message of Micah’s prophecy?
God judges those who practice injustice.
What was the state of families at this time?
They were divided (Mic. 7:6).
What was Samaria?
Samaria was the capital city of Israel (the northern kingdom).
What was Jerusalem?
Jerusalem was the capital city of Judah (the southern kingdom).
What does God say He will do to Samaria in chapter 1?
He promised to make Samaria a heap of ruins (Mic. 1:6–7).
What sin did God judge Israel for?
Idolatry (Mic. 1:7).
What did the Lord promise to gather?
A remnant (Mic. 2:12; 4:6–7).
What were the sins of Israel’s civil leaders?
They were devouring the people (Mic. 3:1–3).
What were the sins of the false prophets?
They made the people go astray (Mic. 3:5).
What was the judgment that the Lord said He would bring upon the false prophets?
They would receive no revelation from God (Mic. 3:6–7).
What did God say would happen in the latter days?
People would flow to the house of the Lord (Mic. 4:1).
What kind of people did God say He would gather to make a strong nation?
The lame, outcast, and afflicted (Mic. 4:6–7).
Where did Micah say the Christ would come from?
Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2).
What does the Lord require of all men?
To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with their God (Mic. 6:8).
To whom does Micah look for salvation?
The Lord (Mic. 7:7).
Where does God cast the sins of His people?
Into the depths of the sea (Mic. 7:19).