BACKGROUND (1:1) -- Gives the Coordinates:
word of the Lord to prophet Micah = "Who is like Yahweh?"
how can idolatry even be an option in light of the uniqueness and majesty of our God?
We should listen because the message has divine authority
Moresheth -- SW Judah on border by the Philistines --
significant from standpoint of military campaigns; Micah identified with common people in rural areas who suffered much -- both from foreign armies and from exploitation by fat cats in the big cities Samaria & Jerusalem -- focuses on the capital cities
during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah -- kings of Judah
I. LISTEN WITH COMPLETE ATTENTION TO THE VERBAL JUDGMENT OF THE LORD
(:2) (cf. Is. 3:13)
A. We Should Listen Because God's Judgment is Universal all the peoples of the earth are accountable to their Creator;
Micah's God was no less than "the Lord of the whole earth" (4:13).
look at globe to see how small an area is in view and yet the prophet calls all to attention -- we live in 1988 in U.S.A. and we need to take heed
Literally, "cause to point, to sharpen" (the ears)
B. We Should Listen Because God is Sovereign --
His Judgment is Accurate and Certain; there can be no argument; there can be no escape
Allen: "God appears as witness for the prosecution, with incriminating evidence to present against the peoples of the world. He is witness, plaintiff, and judge at one and the same time, for He has the knowledge of wrongdoing, the right and concern to prosecute as the upholder of social welfare, and the wisdom and authority to judge with equity.
C. We Should Listen Because God is Holy
There is a great gulf between our dwelling place on earth in sin and the habitation of God in His holy temple -- He is the one deserving of all worship and service
God's Judgment is Just & Righteous -- based on His Holiness
II. LOOK IN COMPLETE AWE AT THE PHYSICAL JUDGMENT OF THE LORD (:34)
We should look because the intervention of our transcendant God -- (the Creator) -- is Powerful in its Destruction
"He shall come down and shall tread" -- repeated action
Similar descriptions of such awe-inspiring manifestations of Jehovah occur in Ex. 19:18,19; Jud 5:5; Isa. 64:1; Hab. 3:6
The Lord can come in blessing or He can come in judgment
III. LEARN FROM THE JUDGMENT OF THE SOVEREIGN LORD (:57)
A. LEARN THE REASON FOR GOD'S JUDGMENT (:5) --
Why does a loving God have to judge and destroy
1. "transgression" -- rebellion, breaking away, apostasy
2. "sins" -- missing the mark (as when a marksman shoots and misses)
God sets up the target
3. "high place" -- Idolatry -- locations for idolatrous worship
the two capital cities are charged with being the focal
point for the sins of the whole nation
B. LEARN THE EXTENT OF GOD'S JUDGMENT (:67) -- How bad will it be?
very graphic language; God gives us pictures we can remember
IV. LAMENT BECAUSE OF THE JUDGMENT OF THE SOVEREIGN LORD (:816)
Our hearts should be broken so that we would be repentant and contrite in spirit. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" -- Prophet identifies himself with the nation
Prophet foresees the coming Assyrian invasion; its progress, city by city -- from the Philistine coastal plain through the Judeanhills to Jerusalem. Samaria was captured by Assyria in 722; Jerusalemwas besieged by Sennacherib in 701 (2 Kings 18:1316) and by Nebuchad. In 605 and later.
Nakedness was the common lot of a captive.
City Gate -- refers to the place of counsel and power;
the king's counselors or cabinet -- this sin had reached to the very top and defiled the entire nation
The Meaning of the City Names (they sound like what they symbolize):
1) Gath -- sounds like the Hebrew word for "tell"
2) Bethleaphrah -- House of dust; rolling in the dust signifies abject mourning
Prophet dreaded the outpouring of the scorn of these heathen cities when they should learn of the terrible judgment experienced by God's own people
3) Shaphir -- sounds like Hebrew for "beauty, pleasant" contrasted with shame
4) Zaanan -- sounds like a verb meaning "to go out" -- people are unable to escape; will be terrified to go out of the house
5) Bethezel -- sounds like "foundation" -- but they had none "God lay bare her foundations" vs.6
6) Maroth -- like a word meaning "to wait for good" -- they were waiting for evil (or sounds like Hebrew word for "bitter")
9) Achzib -- place of deceit; this town (8 miles north of Moresheth) rather than serving as a defense against the invaders will be helpless or even turn traitor