Summary: Let us study Micah’s therapeutic suggestions for times of crisis in 4:9-5:1. They can help us get through any type of crisis in our lives. Notice three “now’s” (4:9, 11, 5:1). There represent Micah’s three suggestions.
Helping People Get through a Crisis
Many churches today finance and staff a telephone counseling service. Trained counselors answer calls of people caught in crisis and try to help them survive.
Micah was such a servant for the people of his day. They were in crisis too. Old Testament scholars differ regarding the specific time of the crisis. Some say the material in Micah 4:9-5:1 referred to a time just before the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem in 587 BC. Others say the material came during the reign of Zedekiah of Judah. Still others say that Micah 4:9-5:1 referred to the time when the Assyrians under Sennacherib surrounded the city and threatened its safety. Actually, the specific time does not matter because Micah’s words could relate to people of any time.
Let us study Micah’s therapeutic suggestions for times of crisis in 4:9-5:1. They can help us get through any type of crisis in our lives. Notice three “now’s” (4:9, 11, 5:1). There represent Micah’s three suggestions.
I. Keep your perspective during a time of crisis (vv. 4:9-10)
a. Recognize the reality of the crisis
i. Micah wanted Judah to be aware of the seriousness of the problem.
ii. He spoke of the agonies of exile.
iii. The exile would mean the loss of king and counselor.
iv. It would mean pain like that of a woman in labor.
v. It would mean being uprooted from Judah and transported to Babylon.
1. No one should fail to look at the reality of the crisis.
2. Sometimes people pretend there is no real problem.
3. At other times they do not see where their actions would lead to crisis.
4. To keep perspective during a time of crisis, recognize its reality.
b. Recognize the failure of the earthly kings and counselors
i. For many years Judah depended on earthly rulers who had delivered them from enemies.
ii. Some of these kings had even made Judah a world power.
iii. But Micah predicted the failure of earthly rulers (v. 9)
1. Maybe we trust too much in earthly leaders.
2. Crisis can teach us a valuable lesson: only the Lord is worthy of our trust.
c. Recognize God as the ultimate Deliverer.
i. Micah again picked up the figure of a woman in childbirth.
ii. “Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shall you go forth out of the city, and you shall dwell in the field, and those shall go even to Babylon; there shall you be delivered; there the Lord shall redeem you from the hand of your enemies” (v. 10)
iii. Micah urged the people to keep their perspective
iv. God would ultimately deliver his people.
d. God’s people will go through great crisis, yet there is hope.
i. God will bring them through.
ii. Even if death comes, God will give a better life.
iii. So keep your perspective during a crisis.
II. See God to be greater than the Crisis (vv. 4:11-13)
a. Look at who you really are.
i. Judah considered herself to be strong.
ii. Micah spoke of the time when Judah’s enemies would ridicule her.
iii. “Now also many nations are gathered against you, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion” (v. 11).
iv. Other nations gathered to watch Jerusalem’s agony and shame
v. The people of Jerusalem had been brought to their senses over the crisis.
1. Crises have a way of making us feel humble.
2. They show us our inadequacies, putting us in the category of the created rather than the Creator.
3. We easily see that we are not masters of our fate nor captains of our souls.
b. God will not allow his plans to be stopped.
i. Look at how the nations gloated over the expected downfall of Jerusalem.
1. “Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make you horn iron, and I will make your hoofs brass: and you shall beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth” (v. 13)
ii. God would not stop until he declared his way to the nations.
iii. If Israel failed, he would turn to another.
c. God can bring triumph out of great tragedy
i. The crises of individuals or nations many be be comprehensive or ultimately detrimental.
ii. God can bring good out of bad.
iii. “But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor” (v. 12)
iv. Those who came to thresh Judah would themselves be threshed by her.
1. Many times bad experiences happen to God’s people and they can see only the negative results.