Overview of Micah: From Gloom to Glory – Present Judgment… Future Deliverance

thebookofThe Book of Micah magnifies the forgiveness and loyal love of a God who has endured pervasive idolatry and rebellion on the part of His people. The prophet bounces back and forth between proclaiming imminent judgment (that will bring painful and shameful devastation and destruction) and directing our vision to the glorious future of the Messianic Kingdom. The present leaders of Israel have perverted justice, but the coming Shepherd/King will establish justice and righteousness in the land. The prophet calls for repentance and a renewed worship of a God who knows no equal when it comes to a compassionate heart of forgiveness and covenant loyalty. Sin requires judgment; but God will fulfill the promises made to Abraham and David. Who is a God like YAHWEH?

Micah pulls no punches in forcing the people and especially their leaders to face the harsh reality of their wickedness. The rich have exploited the poor; the ones in power have used that privilege to exploit the helpless and line their own pockets with the wealth of covetousness. But the sovereign God will execute judgment in His holiness and righteousness. There will be no escape or excuse from the severe hand of His accountability.

However, the focus of the prophet remains on his confident expectation of the righteous ruler that the eternal God will provide from humble beginnings in Bethlehem . This Messiah will usher in a kingdom of peace and prosperity where justice is implemented throughout the land. God’s faithful remnant will be regathered and purified so that they can enjoy vindication over their enemies and the security of a protected kingdom. God is faithful and He will fulfill His promises in history according to His timetable.

WHO IS A GOD LIKE YAHWEH?

DESPITE PERVASIVE COVENANT DISLOYALTY WHICH BRINGS NECESSARY JUDGMENT, YAHWEH STANDS ALONE AS A GOD OF FORGIVENESS AND LOYAL LOVE WHO WILL YET DELIVER HIS PEOPLE AND PROVIDE THE SHEPHERD-KING TO REIGN IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PEACE

Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?” – Micah 7:18

3 ORACLES OF PROMISED JUDGMENT AND FUTURE DELIVERANCE

Each introduced by a call to attention: “Hear” – 1:2; 3:1; 6:1

(:1) INTRODUCTION: THE BURDEN OF THE PROPHET

  1. Source of the Message
  2. Herald of the Message = the Prophet Micah
  3. Time Period
  4. Target Audience

I. (1:2 – 2:13) ORACLE #1 — WHO IS A HOLY GOD LIKE YAHWEH – AWESOME IN JUDGMENT

(1:2) Call to Attention – Audience = All Peoples warned of coming judgment but God Himself will deliver

A. (1:2 – 2:11) PROMISED JUDGMENT – THE SINS OF IDOLATRY AND REBELLION AND EXPLOITATION BRING INESCAPABLE AND PAINFUL DESTRUCTION

  1. (1:2-16) The Sovereign God Judges Idolatry
    1. (:2-7) The Coming Devastating Judgment of a Holy God Lays Bare the Idolatry of His Own Rebellious People
      1. (:2) Call to Attention (cf. Is. 3:13)
      2. (:3-4) Catastrophic Coming Judgment
      3. (:5) Charge of Rebellion and Idolatry Against Both Judah and Israel
      4. (:6-7) Certainty of Complete Devastation – the Extent of God’s Judgment
    2. (:8-16) The Corresponding Shame and Cause for Mourning Spreads Across the Entire Land
      1. (:8-9) Severity of the Offense = Cause for Mourning
      2. (:10-15) Scope of the Shame – 11 Cities Cited
      3. (:16) Sign of Identification with the Shame and Suffering
  2. (2:1-11) The Sovereign God Judges Righteously
    1. (2:1-5) Exploitation by the Rich will be Judged – Taking the Land Away from the Land Grabbers
      1. (:1-2) Targeting Evil Doers for Judgment
      2. (:3-5) Turning the Tables on the Land Grabbers
    2. (2:6-11) Explanation of Israel’s Reproach: Uncleanness Brings Destruction
      1. (:6-7) Cover Ups and Complaints Accomplish Nothing
      2. (:8-9) Charge of Shameful Exploitation
      3. (:10) Sin Demands Destruction
      4. (:11) Value System Driven By Empty Decadence

B. (2:12-13) FUTURE DELIVERANCE — EXPECTATION OF THE REGATHERING OF ISRAEL AND THE REIGN OF THE MESSIAH – THE SHEPHERD-KING

  1. (:12) Regathering of Israel
  2. (:13) Reign of the Messiah – the Shepherd-King

II. (3:1 – 5:15) ORACLE #2 — WHO IS A RIGHTEOUS GOD LIKE YOU – DEMANDING AND IMPLEMENTING JUSTICE?

(3:1) Call to Attention – Audience = National Leaders of Judah (even Jerusalem) especially culpable but God Himself will deliver

A. (3:1-12) PROMISED JUDGMENT — THE LORD WILL TURN HIS BACK ON HIS EVIL HOLY CITY WITH ITS EVIL RULERS AND FALSE PROPHETS WHO PERVERT JUSTICE

  1. (:1-4) Condemnation of Evil Rulers – The Lord Will Hide His Face and Not Answer – What distinguishes a wise and righteous ruler from a foolish and wicked ruler?
    1. (:1) Justice Should be Paramount
    2. (:2-3) Loving and Practicing What is Good (by serving the people) vs What is Evil (by exploiting the people)
    3. (:4) Enjoying the Favor of the Lord vs His Condemnation
  2. (:5-8) Condemnation of False Prophets – the Lord Will Darken Their Vision and Not Answer – What distinguishes a faithful prophet of the Lord (who shepherds people according to the truth) from a false prophet (who leads God’s people astray)?
    1. (:5) Motivated by Truth Rather Than Personal Gain
    2. (:6) Enlightened by the Lord vs. Darkened in Their Vision
    3. (:7) Commended by Their Intimacy with God vs. Ashamed of Their Estrangement
    4. (:8) Empowered to Proclaim the Unpopular Word of Judgment
  3. (:9-12) Judgment Will be Executed Upon Jerusalem – The Lord Will Destroy Jerusalem
    1. (:9-11) Summary Condemnation
    2. (:12) Devastation of Jerusalem

B. (4:1 – 5:15) FUTURE DELIVERANCE — JUSTICE WILL REIGN SUPREME IN THE COMING KINGDOM UNDER THE SHEPHERD/KING = THE MESSIAH

  1. (4:1-13) The Coming Kingdom – After Pulverizing Her Enemies, Jerusalem Will Reign Supreme in the End Times and Administer Justice
    1. (:1-8) Justice Will Characterize the Dominion of the Messianic Kingdom in the End Times
      1. (:1-5) The Solid Foundation of Justice Will Be a Messianic Kingdom. Driven By the Word of God
      2. (:6-7) The Merciful Implementation of Justice Will Provide Security for the Weak and Disadvantaged
      3. (:8) The Ultimate Dominion of Justice Will Flow From its Messianic Throne in Jerusalem
    2. (:9-13) Present Suffering Prepared the Daughter of Zion for Future. Redemption and the Pulverizing of Her Enemies
      1. (:9-10) Present Suffering of Israel Compared to Birth Pangs
      2. (:11-13) Future Threshing Campaign Will Pulverize the Gloating Pagan Nations
  2. (5:1-15) The Coming Shepherd/King – The God of Peace Will Purify His People, Shepherd His Flock and Execute Vengeance According to His Timetable – Four Promises Fulfilled by the Coming Messiah:
    1. (:1-3) Promise of Delayed Deliverance Through God’s Appointed Ruler (Who Has Been Actively Working From Eternity Past)
      1. (:1) Leadership Crisis in Context of Warfare
      2. (:2) Messianic Deliverer Promised
      3. (:3) Deliverance Delayed Until the Regathering of the Nation Under the Messiah
    2. (:4-6) Promise of Protection by the Majestic Reign of the Shepherding Messiah Who is Our Peace
      1. (:4) Protection Assured By His Majestic Greatness
      2. (:5) Protection Advanced By His Leaders Who Wage War to Keep Peace
      3. (:6) Protection Accomplished By Deliverance from All Attackers
    3. (:7-9) Promise of Pervasive Victory to the Remnant of Jacob – Bringing Blessing to the Righteous and Destruction to the Wicked
      1. (:7) Analogy #1 – Refreshing Like the Morning Dew – to the Righteous
      2. (:8-9) Analogy #2 – Destructive Like the Predatory Lion – to the Wicked
    4. (:10-15) Promise of Purification of God’s Restored People Under the Leadership of the Messiah
      1. (:10) Purified From False Military Dependence
      2. (:11) Purified From False Security (and Pride) of City Fortifications
      3. (:12) Purified From False Religious Charlatans
      4. (:13-14) Purified From False Idolatrous Worship
      5. (:15) Purified From Pagan Enemy Nations

III. (6:1 – 7:20) ORACLE #3 — WHO IS A FORGIVING GOD LIKE YOU – COMPASSIONATE IN LOYAL LOVE?

(6:1) Call to Attention – Audience = God’s chosen people indicted but God Himself will deliver

A. (6:1 – 7:6) PROMISED JUDGMENT — THE LORD BRINGS INDICTMENT AGAINST HIS PEOPLE FOR UNJUSTIFIED PERSISTENCE IN WICKEDNESS AND EXPLOITATION AND VIOLENCE

  1. (:1-5) Israel’s Offense is Particularly Egregious in Light of the Lord’s Loyal Love
    1. (:1a) Call to Attention
    2. (:1b) Offer Your Defense
    3. (:2) Court Room Antagonists – The Lord Bringing Indictment Against Israel
    4. (:3) No Excuse of Provocation
    5. (:4-5) Demonstration of Loyal Love
  2. (:6-8) Religious Ritual and Empty Sacrifice Cannot Compensate for Failure to Observe God’s Clear Requirements
    1. (:6-7) Ritual and Sacrifice Cannot Atone for Sin
    2. (:8) God’s Clear Requirements
  3. (:9-16) The Lord’s Indictment Spells Out the Specific Crimes and Corresponding Punishments
    1. (:9) Authoritative Voice of the Supreme and Sovereign Judge
    2. (:10-12) Specific Crimes
    3. (:13-15) Corresponding Punishments
    4. (:16) Apostate Society
  4. (:1-6) The Prophet Looks at His Nation – Bankrupt of Godliness
    1. (:1-2a) No Godly Person Can Be Found
    2. (:2b-4) Universal Corruption and Exploitation
    3. (:5-6) No One Can Be Trusted

B. (7:7-20) FUTURE DELIVERANCE — THE PROPHET EXPRESSES CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S FUTURE BESTOWAL OF FORGIVENESS, RESTORATION AND BLESSING

  1. (:7-10) The Prophet Looks at Himself – “But as for me” – Confident Anticipation of Deliverance and Vindication
    1. (:7-8) Confident Expectation of Deliverance
    2. (:9-10) Confident Expectation of Vindication
  2. (:11-20) The Prophet Looks at his God – Heart of Compassion and Loyal Love to Bestow Forgiveness, Restoration and Blessing
    1. (:11-13) Messianic Kingdom Expansion and Domination
    2. (:14-17) Messianic Shepherding
    3. (:18-20) WHO IS A GOD LIKE YAHWEH? – Climax of the Book