Summary: A remnant saved - out of the midst of a scheming people and their leaders.
1. DREAMING UP SCHEMES
The specific sins which will bring judgment upon Jerusalem are now outlined. It resonates even today with those who are familiar with the ways of commercial cities.
There is the coveting of fields, and their seizure, separating a man from God's inheritance. Such hostile takeovers seem more worthy of Ahab and Jezebel than the entrepreneurs of Jerusalem.
This will be redressed in the early part of Micah 4, but meantime men “devising wickedness on their beds” finds its counterpoint in the LORD “devising evil against this family.”
The sad thing is that whilst those with power or money in the city are exploiting their fellow-citizens, the judgment nevertheless falls upon the whole community. One haughty man declaring war against God brings disaster to his whole people.
The solidarity of mankind in sin is a fact which cannot be sidestepped: it was evident even from the very first sin in the Garden of Eden.
Man without God is man in rebellion against God. You want evil, God seems to say - well I'll give you evil: “it will be an evil time.”
Those who have seized the fields will be levelled with their victims: all are cast away, and their fields divided. No-one will be left to parody the division of the land by lot - a reference back to Joshua's day when the inheritance was first divided.
In such a day it is no good looking to preachers who just tickle our ears!
2. JUDGEMENT ON JUDGES, PROPHECY AGAINST PROPHETS
Often corrupt leadership in Empire goes hand in hand with corrupt leadership in the Church. So both come under condemnation.
The judges who hate the good and love the evil will find themselves calling upon God in their day of distress, but He will refuse to hear them.
And the prophets whom they think they have in their pockets, who preach peace when God intends war: these shall know nothing but darkness. There shall be no message from God for them: their vain divining shall be fruitless.
Against such a backdrop, Micah is “full of power and the spirit of the LORD,” making right judgments and preaching the truth.
Priests who work just for the employment rather than out of a genuine devotion to God, these will join their leaders and their prophets in seeing Jerusalem reduced to heaps, and the high place of Jerusalem, its glorious Temple, given over to the forest.
Ministers without vocation, who serve their paymasters rather than their Master in heaven, wonder why the churches are empty, and their ministrations ineffective.
Established Christianity seems also at times to have been given over to the destroyer.
3. A REMNANT SHALL BE SAVED
God's judgments are always tempered with mercy. Even in the midst of condemnation, He promises restoration to His faithful remnant. He gathers them as a shepherd gathers His sheep. He sets a king before them: Jesus, that great shepherd of His wayward sheep who seeks out the lost, and gathers back into the fold those who have strayed?