The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
The Story: Micah, the prophet, is called to prophecy for the Lord in the days of Jotham (739-731 B.C.), a good king of the southern kingdom, but under whose rule idolatry still prevailed; Ahaz (731-715 B.C.), a wicked king of the northern kingdom; and Hezekiah (715-686 B.C.), a righteous king in the southern kingdom. During Micah’s lifetime, Hosea prophesied in the northern kingdom and Isaiah in the southern kingdom. The name Micah means, “Who is like Yahweh?” (Yahweh is the Covenant Name of God which means, “I am.”) The location of Micah’s hometown, Moresheth, is uncertain, but in all likelihood it is Moresheth-Gath, a town twenty-five miles from Jerusalem near the border between Judah and Philistia. Injustice, idolatry, greed, avarice, and immorality flourished in both the northern and southern kingdoms at the time Micah prophesied. Micah speaks for the exploited and dispossessed. He speaks against the merchants, judges, priests, prophets, and political leaders who are corrupt and venal. Much of what Micah says applies to our own times, so it is important that we hear what God has to say through this faithful and fearless spokesperson. But even in Micah’s darkest predictions, he offers the hope of restoration and the promise of a coming leader who we now know is Jesus the Messiah who will “shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord” (5:4a).
The Structure: The key verse of Micah’s prophecy is 6:8:
8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah can be divided into three sections which predict consequences of judgment because of disobedience to v. 6:8 as well as comforting passages that assure us that 6:8 will eventually become a reality: the first section, chapters 1-3, are a call to repent, a call “to do justice…to love kindness…to walk humbly with your God” with warnings of impending judgment if Jerusalem and Samaria do not; the second, chapters 4-5, develop the theme of restoration when these qualities will prevail under a remarkable leader; the third, chapters 5-6, are set in a metaphorical courtroom in which the legal plea for repentance is being made before the whole cosmos.
Read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12 and then answer this question: What does it mean to walk “humbly with your God”?
For more insight to the prophet Micah, order the book, The Minor Prophets, Vol. 2: Micah-Malachi, by James Montgomery Boice, from our online store.
The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.