Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah, and prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Jotham and Hezekiah were good kings who helped the nation, but Ahaz was a wicked man who sold the nation into idolatry. Thus the great prophet Micah saw his nation go through both good and bad times.
The Book of Micah is composed of three sermons preached to the people, and each message begins with the word, "Hear." The theme of chapters 1 and 2 is the coming judgment of God. God had spoken to Micah and warned him that the sins of the people were so great that He must send judgment. He names the capital cities--Jerusalem, the capital of Judah, the Southern Kingdom; and Samaria, the capital of Israel, the Northern Kingdom (chapter 1). In fact, in his first message, Micah names twelve cities and points out their sins, which were polluting the whole nation.
In chapter 1:5 God names the sin of idolatry that was being committed by the people. They insisted on worshiping the works of their own hands.
In chapter 2:1 we see the sin of covetousness. The people were not only covetous, but used illegal means to get what they wanted. Verse 2 says they used fraud, threats, and violence. The rich took advantage of the poor, and the rulers did not follow the Word of God.
Micah's heart was broken when he heard the awful message of judgment from God. He wept and mourned, then he sent a personal message to each of the wicked cities, warning them that the day of God's wrath was imminent. The people reacted to Micah's warnings by trying to stop him from preaching. But Micah continued to preach as the Spirit of God compelled him to do. He knew the people did not want to hear his preaching; they preferred that of their drunken false prophets who lived as wickedly as they did.
In chapter 4 Micah's preaching turns from judgment to hope. His message is one of hope for future peace on the earth, with righteousness reigning supreme. He explains in our reading tomorrow that peace would be a reality because the Deliverer would come.
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