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Summary: 'For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God' (1 Peter 4:17).

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JUDGMENT BEGINS AT THE HOUSE OF GOD

Micah 1:1-9

Micah 1:1 - “The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.”

The word here translated as ‘came’ speaks of the Word ‘happening’ to Micah. It was a ‘happening’ - as unplanned and spontaneous as the Scottish ceilidh. It was a revelation!

Not everybody thinks in tidy terms and specific concepts, nor in the orderliness that Systematic Theology purports to bring to the Bible. Micah not only had the Word of God ‘come’ or ‘happen’ to him: it was the Word of God ‘which he saw.’ It is not just that he heard God's voice, but he was enabled to see into God's mind. The origin of this word describes the impact of pictorial thinking.

What Micah has now ‘experienced’ and ‘visualised’ he must translate into words to convey God's message to man.

It should also be so with the preacher. God gives us a word from the Bible which we must live with, experience and enter into before ever we dare to reduce it into lite bites for our hearers.

Micah's prophecies were pronounced during the reign of three successive kings of Judah. So in seven short chapters we have a summary of some fifty years of ministry. A study in brevity!

Micah was also contemporary with the prophet Isaiah, so their work overlaps. For example, Isaiah 2:2-4 finds its echo in Micah 4:1-5.

One need not necessarily have ‘copied’ from the other. There is a consistency in God's Word, and a reassurance that it is from Him when we hear the same strong message from different preachers.

Micah's prophecy concerned Samaria and Jerusalem, the two capital cities of the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

However, Micah is not limited to time and space. God's word never is. The prophet proceeds to address all people, the whole earth.

‘Hear,’ he says, and in a stronger more intense word, ‘hearken.’

According to 1 Peter 4:17, ‘judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?’

Micah seems to say: if the LORD deals thus with His own people, what shall the end of those be who oppress them!

So who does God call as witness against the peoples? He calls Himself, even the Lord from His holy temple! He comes out of His place in heaven on high to tread upon the high places of the earth - the lofty places where idolatry is rife.

The drama which attends God's presence is intense. Mountains gush forth their lava, valleys are rent by earthquakes, and the skies erupt with a torrential downpour.

At the time of Micah's writing the Assyrian armies were on the march. As the instruments of God's judgment, the whole earth shook before them. Samaria would surely fall, and her idols be beaten to pieces. The enemy reached even to the gates of Jerusalem, which the prophet vividly described as Judah's high place.

Even the place where God has met us might be transformed in our minds into a place of idolatry!


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