Editor’s Note: We might be a little late on this, but in our defense we were living up that Winter Retreat life.
With media filled with stories of reports, violence, corruption, war and terrorism occurring around the world, it’s easy to wonder how--or if--faith fits into it all. The book of Micah reveals that even when God seems distant or uninterested, he still deeply cares and offers a message of hope and redemption to those that remain faithful to him.
If you’re keeping up with the plan, you may be wishing scripture didn’t include scenes like these. Since the split of the of the Kingdom after the reign of David, God’s chosen people in both Israel in the north and Judah in the south have turned against their covenant with God. Micah directed much of his prophecy toward the powerful leaders of Samaria and Jerusalem, the capital cities of Israel and Judah, respectively (1:1).
The prophet Micah identified himself by his hometown, called Moresheth Gath, which sat near the border of Philistia and Judah about twenty-five miles southwest of Jerusalem. So basically, Micah lived in the countryside and far from the government centers of power and control. As a result, he witnessed first-hand the mistreatment of the lowly and less fortunate in society--the poor, the lame and the afflicted (Micah 4:6). Because of these experiences, social justice is a major theme in both the book of Micah and some of the other minor prophets.
Much of Micah’s book revolves around two significant predictions: one of judgment on Israel and Judah (Micah 1:1–3:12), the other of the restoration of God’s people in the millennial kingdom (4:1–5:15).
Judgment and restoration inspire fear and hope, two ideas wrapped up in the final sequence of Micah’s prophecy, a courtroom scene in which God’s people stand trial before their Creator for turning away from Him and from others (6:1–7:20). In this sequence, God reminds the people of His good works on their behalf, how He cared for them while they cared only for themselves.
The book of Micah does end on a high note with the prophet’s call on the Lord as his only source of salvation and mercy (7:7), pointing the people toward an everlasting hope in their everlasting God.
In spite of the judgement the people are facing, God still has not abandoned his plan for hope and redemption.